Families have spent a lot of time at home this year and it’s been intense! No wonder everyone is eager to head out for the summer holidays. But it looks like many families will be staying put and spending their summer holiday at home this year. It’s time to ignore the chores for a while, kick back and enjoy the best holiday activity ideas to do at home this summer.
Globetrot at home
Maybe you won’t be saying buongiorno in Italy this year, but you can organise an Italian experience at home. It’s a fun way to involve everyone in learning about another country’s language, food, landmarks, and culture.
Choose a country you’d like to visit (check out our GeoSafari Jr. Talking Globe for ideas) and then think about activities you’d typically do when visiting abroad: you’d check out local attractions, eat new kinds of foods, and even learn some new words. Once you’ve chosen your destination, plan what you’d all like to see, do, try, and eat. Italian is an easy choice as everyone can get stuck into making yummy pizza and indulge in scoops of creamy gelato, all eaten al fresco of course. (Or you could simply stock up on themed ready meals from your local supermarket.)
Make your globetrotting experience as low key or as imaginative as you want. Choose a different destination every night if you want, decorate an area of your home, or even dress up! It’s your holiday, your rules.
Have a family festival day
Family rituals give you and your children a sense of identity and belonging and help families feel closer together. People all over the world enjoy festivals throughout the year and with a little creativity, you can create a festival that’s special and unique to your family. It could be National Pyjama and Ice Cream Day where (you guessed it) you hang around in your PJs and eat ice cream for the whole day. (PS. You can even make your own ice cream. Try our Beaker Creatures Out of Sight Ice Cream science experiment. It’s easy to do and you don’t need an ice cream maker.)
Ahoy me hearties, what about a pirate family festival? You could dress up in pirate costumes and talk like pirates for a day. (Any excuse for family fun and silliness!)
Or what about creating the outdoor festival experience in your garden? You’ll need a tent, summery cushions and throws, fairy lights, food, and music of course. Muddy Puddles has some ideas to inspire you to create your own family festival at home.
Have a family games event
Games are great fun when you’re on holiday. They’re a screen-free way to keep children entertained and engaged, and when it’s an educational game, they won’t realise they’re learning as they go! Something as simple as a card game is ideal for teaching children about numbers, and life skills such as taking turns, being patient, and how to be a gracious winner (or loser). If you’re looking for more fun ideas, try these….
- The Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel Colour Matching Game: Ideal for preschoolers, the aim of this cute game is to practise fine motor skills and introduce early colour matching and counting skills. Suitable for ages 3-7.
- Sum Swamp Addition & Subtraction Game: Up to four players can play this fun addition and subtraction game that helps with maths fluency. Suitable for ages 5-10.
- The Playfoam Game: The whole family will love this squishy, squashy sculpting guessing game. Teams take turns to draw a card featuring a shape and use Playfoam to sculpt the shape before time runs out, while other players try to guess the shape. Suitable for ages 5-9 (but grown-ups will love it, too).
Camp in (or out)
This is a favourite staycation idea for a holiday at home – turn your back garden into your personal camp site and spend the night outdoors. There’s no packing required, no long drive and if you’ve forgotten something, you simply stroll indoors to fetch it. Bonus!
Grab your tent, sleeping bags, pillows (no hard campsite floor for you!), camping mattresses and torches and pitch the tent in the garden. Eat hotdogs under the stars, serve hot chocolate from a thermos flask, and tell stories by camp light. Our Primary Science Solar Lantern is ideal for this family activity – use it as a night light at your camp site and read a bedtime story under the stars.
Don’t let the weather hold you back. For alternative camping fun on a rainy day, camp indoors. If you have space, pitch the tent in your living room, or make a blanket fort. Leave the curtains open so you can stargaze.
Speaking of stargazing, inspire your young astronomer by exploring the night sky while camping out in your back garden. It’s an accessible family-friendly activity everyone will enjoy. Getting started is easy – all you need to do is head outdoors and gaze up. Here’s how:
- Read our Beginners Guide to Stargazing and check out Best Outdoor Camping Toys for Kids blog for ideas on how to create your own planetarium in your back garden.
- Keep an eye on the phases of the moon.
- Look out for meteor showers. The Royal Museums Greenwich offers a Meteor Shower Guide so you can prepare for the next natural light show.
Yes, you read that right – ignore chores. Of all the best holiday activity ideas to do at home, this one is a must! Let the mundane daily activities go for a while. Allow the laundry to pile up, don’t make your beds, don’t answer the phone (unless it’s an emergency!). Just chill at home, and spend time together watching movies, playing games, or reading.
This has been a unique time for most families, and it’s important to commemorate this summer holiday like you would any other. Remember to take lots of photos and gather keepsakes. You could even make a family summer holiday time capsule. Download a free Time Capsule Activity Book and read our guide on making your own family time capsule.
All too soon, the summer holidays will have whizzed by and back-to-school will be on everyone’s minds. Even though families have been at home, take some time off and enjoy each other. You’ve earned it!
Did you enjoy our suggestions for the best holiday activity ideas to do at home? Share your holiday ideas and happy snaps with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Keep visiting our Summer Camp for more ideas, activities and prizes.