Fun ideas to keep the grandchildren busy this summer

Fun ideas to keep the grandchildren busy this summer

The Woodland Trust's Big Summer Challenge has 150 different activities from bug hunting and pond dipping, to scavenger hunts and snail racing… and much more besides.

All the activities are free to download and there is even a certificate to print out once you’ve completed them all.

How many can you and your grandchildren have a go at over the holidays?

Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

 Make a feely box

…and get your friends to try and guess what is inside just by touching the contents.

Design: Encourage your little ones to come up with their own design to stop your ‘feeler’ cheating and peeping inside. Then decorate the box with paint, stickers or brightly coloured paper.

Collect: This is the fun part – deciding what you’ll put inside your feely box. Think about including as many different textures as possible; prickly, soft, slimy, smooth.

Test: Find a victim to stick their hand in and try it out. How many can they guess correctly? What is their reaction are they shocked, scared, do they laugh?
Download this activity sheet here


Make a butterfly feeder

You will need
1 paper plate
String Some
Over-ripe (mushy) fruit

1 Make four holes around the rim of your plate– try to get them equally spaced or the feeder will hang lop-sided.

2 Tie a piece of string through each hole, then tie the ends of the string together.
The feeder should now look a bit like an upside-down parachute!

3 Place the mushy pieces of fruit on the plate. Now hang the feeder near some flowers and wait for some visitors
Is a paper plate strong enough, or would a plastic one work better? Does a plain plate or a brightly coloured, decorated one attract more butterflies? Which fruit do the butterflies like best?
Download this activity sheet here

Build a den

Here’s a simple way to make a sturdy den in the woods. Once you’ve mastered the technique, get creative and have a go at designing and building your own shelter.

Find a good foundation: Look for a strong tree with suitable nooks, crannies and knobbly bits which will help to form the base of your framework.

Build a sturdy framework: Find a couple of large branches which you can firmly wedge together against the tree to make your den’s main framework.
A strong, low branch works well too!

Strengthen your framework: Collect more branches and lay them so they are leaning against your framework. Pack them closely together so they are secure as possible.

Protect from the elements: Cover your den with leaves and smaller twigs, wedge them into any gaps so your den provides good shelter from wind and rain.
Download this activity sheet here

If this has whetted your appetite there are 147 more activities to try here