15 tips for free family fun: Our ideas to keep the kids entertained

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15 free frolics for families: Running out of ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer? Try our top tips

  • Summer camp may be off but there are free online versions for arts and sciences 
  • Audible has released hundreds of free audiobooks including Winnie-the-Pooh
  • The Stop Motion Studio app helps children create their own animation films 

After months stuck at home, many parents are running out of ideas to keep the kids entertained. 

With budgets tight, here Money Mail has rounded up 15 tips for free (or almost free) family fun.

Take part in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Wild Challenge and complete a series of activities, such as building a bird box or bird bath with household items

1. GO BIRD WATCHING

Take part in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Wild Challenge and complete a series of activities, such as building a bird box or bird bath with household items. See rspb.org.uk.

2. SPACE MISSION

Your child’s summer camp may be cancelled, but there are free online versions for arts and sciences. 

For example, Cosmoto is a five-week space-themed course for children, aged five to ten. Visit cosmotospace.org.

Farms have started to re-open to visitors and many don't charge for entry. However, there may be restrictions on some of the activities, such as animal petting

Farms have started to re-open to visitors and many don’t charge for entry. However, there may be restrictions on some of the activities, such as animal petting

3. FARMYARD FUN

Farms have started to re-open to visitors and many don’t charge for entry. However, there may be restrictions on some of the activities, such as animal petting. 

St James City Farm in Gloucester, for example, is free to visitors. Contact your local farm online.

Audible has released hundreds of free audiobooks including Winnie-the-Pooh

Audible has released hundreds of free audiobooks including Winnie-the-Pooh

4. LISTEN IN

Audible has released hundreds of free audiobooks including Winnie-the-Pooh and Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. 

You don’t even need to download the app, just listen online through your desktop or smartphone. See stories.audible.com.

5. MOVIE MAGIC

The Stop Motion Studio app helps children create their own animated films such as Wallace And Gromit. 

It’s free to download, but there are in-app purchases. 

For example, you need to pay 79p to use images from your phone. You will need an iPhone or iPad to use it. Go to apps.apple.com.

6. WALK AND TALK

Many walking tours are free aside from an optional tip for the guide. Sandemans New Europe runs free walking tours in Edinburgh. Visit neweuropetours.eu.

7. MAP A ROUTE

Orienteering is a fun way to teach kids map reading skills. The National Trust has trails on its website. 

For example, the Wildflower Trail in Stonebarrow, Dorset. Go to nationaltrust.org.uk.

8. MAZE RUNNING

Peter Rabbit fans may enjoy the free Beatrix Potter collection at the V&A museum

Peter Rabbit fans may enjoy the free Beatrix Potter collection at the V&A museum

Many mazes are now starting to re-open. Some don’t charge for entry, including the Minotaur Maze at Kielder Castle, in Northumberland. Book in advance. See visitkielder.com.

9. SPORT FOR ALL

Most councils run free activity and fitness sessions. Islington council has set up a Summerversity for teenagers with kayaking and tennis. Go to summerversity.co.uk.

10. VISIT A MUSEUM

Many museums are re-opening. The V&A in London is welcoming back visitors from August 6. 

Peter Rabbit fans may enjoy the free Beatrix Potter collection. You must book online at vam.ac.uk.

11. PICK UP A FREEBIE

Before heading to the shops to buy a bike or paddling pool, search the website Freecycle (freecycle.org.uk). 

Enter your local area and see what is up for grabs. Try Facebook Marketplace, too.

12. RAINY DAYS

If it’s too wet to play outside, download a free indoor treasure hunt activity sheet to track down items in your home. Find details at dayoutwiththekids.co.uk.

13. FLORA AND FAUNA

PlantSnap can identify 90 per cent of all plant species. Download the app on your smartphone and start taking pictures of flowers to learn more. See plantsnap.com.

PlantSnap can identify 90 per cent of all plant species. Download the app on your smartphone and start taking pictures of flowers to learn more

PlantSnap can identify 90 per cent of all plant species. Download the app on your smartphone and start taking pictures of flowers to learn more

14. USE UP VOUCHERS

Many families will have enough reward points or vouchers for a free day out. For example, turn 50p of Tesco Clubcard vouchers into £1.50 towards a ticket for Legoland, Windsor. 

Tickets are priced from £29 at legoland.co.uk.

15. BOOKWORM FUN

Many local council libraries encourage children to take part in the annual Summer Reading Challenge. See summerreading challenge.org.uk.

f.parker@dailymail.co.uk

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