Summer and holiday learning articles
6 low-cost ideas for a happy Halloween
Halloween is an exciting time for children but many parents worry about the cost of costumes, decorations, treats and parties. With the cost-of-living crisis putting the pressure on, how can we make it a memorable holiday for our kids with minimum damage to our bank accounts? We’ve come up with some ideas that might help…
Forest school fun for kids
Learn to read clouds and enjoy some splashy water games in the great outdoors with an extract from Forest School Wild Play by Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton.
Simple scientific makes for kids
Transform and recycle household objects into a Rubber-Band Racer and a Balancing Bird toy with an extract from scientific makes book Mr Shaha's Marvellous Machines. All you need to help you develop skills in key STEM areas are a few household items, some time to create and lots of imagination.
9 wildlife projects for kids
Help your child learn about and look after native species with these great outdoor activities.
12 ways to make walking fun for kids
Take the whinging out of walking with these great ideas for helping your child enjoy getting out and about.
Best online drawing tutorials for children
Does your child love to draw, doodle, paint and sketch? Help them learn new techniques and perfect their own versions of their favourite characters with a host of free draw-along videos from children's book illustrators and animation artists.
Why jigsaw puzzles are great for kids
Jigsaws can help your child develop many physical and mental skills, so why not get one out this weekend?
No-budget STEM fun at home
At-home science doesn't have to involve expensive special equipment! Primary school teacher and author of the 15-Minute STEM series, Emily Hunt, suggests some brilliant STEM uses for everyday items you'll find in your recycling bin, along with three quick, creative STEM activities your family can try with each of them. Will you make a water xylophone, a ping pong ball run or a hurricane house?
9 ways to keep your child busy on zero budget
Feeling the pinch? These brilliant ideas will banish boredom without testing your bank balance.
Coding benefits for kids
Why is your child learning to code in primary school and why is coding an important skill for their future? We asked the experts at Bright Little Labs to explain why coding can and should be a part of a complete education for a modern child, and how to mix coding, stories, art and fun.
The best summer challenges for kids
Help your child keep those brain cells active throughout the holidays with these brilliant activities, from reading to computer coding.
Summer science projects for Y6 to Y7 transition
Help your child prepare for secondary-school-level work by supporting them with a summer science project. Caitlin Brown, Education Manager at the British Science Association, explains why devising, completing and presenting their own science investigation is one of the best ways for your child to prepare for Year 7 this summer – and great fun, too!
Best cookery books for kids
Help your child master kitchen skills that’ll set them up for life with these brilliant cookbooks for every age. From cookery basics to elaborate bakes, they’ll enjoy getting stuck into a whole range of family-friendly recipes.
6 of the best virtual museum adventures for families
Why not visit a museum from the comfort of home? Whether you are a history enthusiast or an art connoisseur-in-the-making, there is a virtual resource for you! Kaitlin Fritz, co-founder of Musemio, outlines 6 top virtual experiences from across the globe.
Best literacy resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating at home. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories.
19 life skills you can teach your child at home
Learning isn't just about mastering spellings and times tables. A lot takes place outside the classroom, and spending some time teaching practical life skills at home will help set your child up for the future.
Easy outdoor learning adventures
Exploring the outside world is an important part of a child's learning experience, but it's not always easy when you have space and time limitations. We've compiled a list of fun, simple suggestions to keep families connected to nature without having to go far or break the bank.
Best kids' activity packs to download
Top up the resource bank and keep the kids busy at home with reading, puzzles, crafting, science and other screen-free activities. They're all available to download for free and you won't need any special equipment, so head off the "I'm bored!" moans and buy yourself a few moments of peace so you can get some of your own work done!
60 reading challenges for primary school kids
Great ideas for keeping your child engaged with reading and broadening their taste in books.
Best art home education resources
Whether you want to learn to doodle, draw flowers, illustrate Marvel comics or create a portrait of a Disney character, our pick of the best home education resources will bring the world of art to your kitchen table. Explore art history through videos and games or pick up a pencil to have a go yourself – the only limit is your imagination.
Hands-on science fun
Transform one substance into another and watch colours and textures change right in front of your eyes with our at-home, hands-on science activity suggestions from Dr Michelle Dickinson, prize-winning nanotechnologist, researcher and founder of Nanogirl's Lab.
The best child-friendly podcasts to pass the time
If you’re looking for new ways to keep your kids entertained and educated at home (without eyes on screens!) then look no further. Podcasts are this generation’s radio, except even better because you can be much more specific about what you want to listen to and when.
Become a board game family on a budget
Determined to make the best out of enforced lockdown togetherness? Introducing some play time, for adults as well as children, might be the answer. Board game designer Ellie Dix, author of The Board Game Family: Reclaim your children from the screen, has tips to help you establish family game time on a budget.
Museums reviewed by parents: British Museum
World-renowned, big columns, ancient artefacts, absolutely enormous – what else comes to mind when thinking about a visit to the British Museum? Our family testers found the wealth of resources on hand for children, and share their top tips for a grand day out.
16 ways your child can make a difference to others
From donating outgrown shoes to planting trees, there are lots of ways for your child to support charities, help the environment and take care of their community. Here are few of our favourites.
Museums reviewed by parents: Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books
Bring your child's favourite stories to life with a trip to Seven Stories in Newcastle upon Tyne, a haven for book- and story-lovers of all ages. Jo Dunbar visited with her sons William, age 5, and James, 3.
Museums reviewed by parents: The Life Science Centre
An award-winning visitor attraction and educational facility, Newcastle’s Life Science Centre is packed with hands-on science opportunities for everyone from toddlers to teens (and parents too!). Jo Dunbar got stuck into experiments and exploration with her children William, age 5, and James, age 3.
Museums reviewed by parents: The Great North Museum: Hancock
The Great North Museum: Hancock is a popular family destination in Newcastle upon Tyne and offers exhibitions and activities for children of all ages. Jo Dunbar explore the national history collections with her son William, 5.
Museums reviewed by parents: We The Curious, Bristol
Discover the wonders of the human body, the solar system and the Earth’s ecosystem through the lens of technology and science at Bristol’s activity-packed, wonderful museum. In a city known for its character and colour, We the Curious blends right in as the ultimate learning experience with a quirky twist.
Museums reviewed by parents: Museum of Cardiff
Get to know the city of Cardiff inside and out during a visit to this charming museum. Interactive exhibitions and fun family games reveal a rich history and a place buzzing with multicultural communities. Often overlooked, the Museum of Cardiff, formally known as the Cardiff Story museum, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike.
Museums reviewed by parents: Techniquest
Explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths in Cardiff’s innovative museum, Techniquest. If your child hasn’t shown an interest in these topics before, they soon will after being surrounded by these exciting and futuristic exhibits. Touching the machines, gadgets, and gizmos are actively encouraged!
Museums reviewed by parents: National Museum Cardiff
The National Museum in Cardiff combines fascinating exhibitions with year-round displays of the natural world and child-friendly activities. Expect a sensory overload and a jam-packed day out with the family when you visit!
11 DIY Forest School activities
Help your child embrace the great outdoors and create your own DIY "Forest School" at home with these back-to-nature learning ideas.
Best geography games for children
There's no need to pack – travel the length and breadth of our world with these brilliant geography board games and card games, great for explorers and geographers of all ages.
Museums reviewed by parents: Tate St Ives
Winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 (the world's largest museum prize), Tate St Ives has been drawing crowds back to its spectacular beach location after a two-year renovation project. There's always something to catch your eye, thanks to a varied exhibition programme, and plenty on offer for children too. With a rooftop cafe and beautiful beach on tap, families are sure to find something to suit everyone.
Museums reviewed by parents: Wheal Martyn, Cornwall
Set within 26 acres of woodland, this family-friendly country park is home to the world's only china clay mining museum. Find out more about Cornwall's largest mining industry, which is still alive today – how it changed the lives of local people, and its wider impact on the world. With nature trails, an adventure play area, and mining in action, there's plenty to keep you entertained.
Best books for kids who love comics
Comics, graphic novels, Marvel, DC... a world that children know lots about, even more than many adults! Primary school teacher and children's literature enthusiast Scott Evans takes us on a tour of his favourite kids' books for comic-lovers.
10 home education ideas that hardly cost a penny
Keep your child entertained with these brilliant budget-friendly learning activities.
Halloween science fun
Watch as a tissue ghost magically dances without you touching it, tie a bone in a knot to learn why calcium is so important for strong bones and taste some realistic-looking worms, made using the power of chemical crosslinking. This Halloween, try some spooky, creepy science fun!
4 screen-free boredom-busting activities
Why don't you put down that phone, turn off that tablet, switch off the television and do something less boring instead? Make a marshmallow catapult, create your own fingerprint kit, prepare a tornado in a bottle and amaze your friends with rainbow bubbles – just four of the electronics-free ideas in 100 Screen-free Ways to Beat Boredom!