Summer family activities to do at home
If you've recently enjoyed some summer family activities at the places we look after, why not carry on the adventure at home? Or even if you've not had the chance to visit yet, get involved with the summer fun at home with lots of ideas for things to do wherever you may be.
Play is important for the well-being of children and adults alike, and it can take many different forms. Using your imagination, getting creative with crafts, tuning into your senses, taking part in traditional games and noticing wildlife are just a few ways to be playful and learn about the world around you.
How do you like to spend your time? Do you like arts and crafts? Do you enjoy sports? Or do you prefer dipping your fingers and toes into a pond to make friends with a watery creature? Whatever grabs your interest this summer, find something to do at home, in the garden or your local area with our summer family activities to do wherever you are.
Use your senses
Take part in a sensory scavenger hunt
Tune into your five senses when you try out these ideas for a sensory scavenger hunt around your house, garden or local area. You never know what you might find.
Find something smooth
This could be the surface of a desk or table, an apple, or a pebble you’ve found at the beach. Can you find different coloured smooth objects?
Find something scrunch-able
Find an object you can scrunch up in your hand, like a scrap piece of paper or even a leaf from the ground. What sound does it make when you scrunch it up?
Find something soft
See what your t-shirt feels like under your fingertips, or find the softest pillow you have and run your hand over it. What material is it made of?
Find something shiny
Can you see your reflection in a window? Or do you have a really shiny spoon hidden in your kitchen drawer? What sound can you make if you tap a shiny spoon against a pot?
Discover the history behind popular games
The origins of 'tag'
Chasing games go back at least to the 17th Century in Britain. Players chase one another trying to 'tag' each other. The tagged person becomes 'it'. There are many variations, including 'Duck, Duck, Goose' and 'Stuck in the Mud'.
Hand clapping games
These games became popular during the 1960s, many originating from America. A song or rhyme is chanted as players clap hands together in a rhythm. A classic example is 'A Sailor went to Sea, Sea, Sea'.
This originates from the Victorian era. Each player writes one part of a story, hidden from the other players. The parts are then put together and read out as one complete – usually funny – story.
The first cricket match in England was played at Sheffield Park, East Sussex in August 1845 between two local villages, Fletching and Chailey.
Ideas to play wherever you are
If you don’t have a garden or nearby park, you can still use your five senses to tune in to nature and the world around you.
Next time you're walking down your street, take your time to absorb your surroundings. What can you hear? Is there a bird or two twittering away on a branch? Perhaps you can hear a bee happily buzzing among the flowers in someone’s front garden.
Flowers can grow in the most interesting of places – a crack in the pavement, for example, can be a hotspot for dandelions. If you spot one, you could feel the fluffy top with your fingertips. If you blow the seeds away, see how far you can watch them float in the air before they disappear from view.
Can you smell flowers in the summer air? If someone's cutting the grass, what does that smell like? Be careful not to sneeze too much. If you've put suncream on, the scent can stay with you all day. When you get home, if it's raining, open the window to let in the fresh smell of rain on the pavement.
If you like art, take some paper and chalk, pencils or crayons next time you go out for a walk. You could do some rubbings of different objects you find, from interesting cobblestones to leaves that have dropped on the ground.
If you have a garden with a patio, create some art with chalk to add some colour to the concrete, or make your own game. Hopscotch, noughts and crosses and drawing maps from your imagination are just a few games you can play with a simple, yet mighty, piece of chalk.
Wherever you may be, you can find a reason to play and have fun. You might even discover a new hobby when you try out these simple pleasures.
At many of the places we look after, you'll be able to pick up a 'Get set, go' activity card — or, if you prefer, download them below to take with you — to inspire your summer adventure. These activity cards have lots of ways to enjoy summer activities wherever you are.