Five minute fun activities for busy people to do with little kids

Advice + Tips

School Hols Shizzle

We are late to the party (ha, “party”). My two have only just broken up from school (lucky you, I can hear you all thinking! I know!) But before I disappear off to have a wee break from all things online I thought I would pull together a list of stuff I have either stocked up on or bought ready for these rather unusual school holidays.

Hopefully this way if you’re already halfway through the holidays then this will give you some fresh ideas or if not there’s always next time. It’ll be half term before we know it. Now first let me just be clear. A lot of the links I am going to provide in this are to my Amazon Affiliate shop. Obviously you don’t have to buy any of this stuff from Amazon you can get it from anywhere you like - I’d recommend pound shops and supermarkets for the cheapest deals. But if you do buy from the links below I make a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you any more, it just makes me a bit of dosh so I can pay the lovely chap who is currently desperately wading through the hundreds of articles on my blog and trying to format them into a clear and simple website. Good luck fella!

However I have decided that with the money my shop makes in July and August I am going to donate 50% of my earnings to The Trussell Trust who are the organisation that run food banks. I have heard before that over the summer holidays the demand for them goes up significantly because a lot of the children who usually get meals at school are at home and given the current pandemic I’m sure that the demand will sadly be even higher. So I promise to let you all know the donation amount at the end of July and then August, and if you do buy and therefore contribute, thank you.

As you no doubt know, usually all my games use stuff you might already have at home. All the games in my book are designed so that hopefully anyone can play them with just usual household stuff. However some of those typical household things I stock up on for the holidays can be found below:

  • String
  • Masking tape / washi tape
  • Colouring pencils or felt tip pens
  • Paint Sticks
  • Flour - for baking, making salt or playdough
  • Salt - for making salt dough or play dough or moonsand - no link for this on the shop as I am assuming no-one wants a lifetime’s supply of salt from Amazon!
  • Cornflour - for making gloop/oobleck or chalk paint or slime
  • Coloured paper
  • Coloured foam
  • Coloured card
  • Shaving foam - for writing on bathroom walls or on trays
  • Plasters - for games of doctor and nurses with bears and dolls
  • Whiteboard markers - for writing on windows or mirrors
  • Paper plates
  • Food colouring
  • Paint
  • Chalk
  • Balloons
  • Blue tack
  • Post its


I also start to save some of the stuff from recycling in a separate bag. Cardboard boxes, egg boxes, plastic scoops or bottles - good for potions play or random crafting (always in the garden - I cannot be doing with the mess in the house!)

Bought Activities

I have also listed some of the activities I’ve bought. Things we’ve tried and enjoyed - or I got five minutes peace out of!

  • Water beads - mesmerising. We all played with them for about an hour, then later Ewan used it as a pool for his hot wheels cars to fly into off the end of a ramp he made.
  • Bunch O Balloons - super easy to fill water balloons. I did a game with these that’s here.
  • Bath crayons - perfect for writing in the bath. People always ask if these stain but they haven’t ever stained my bathroom. I’d perhaps keep it clear of white grouting though.
  • Baking kits - I’ve got a couple from the supermarket but there is nothing better than one from Laura Bakeful Play. She’s also doing Summer Bake Alongs.
  • Galt Rainbow lab - this kit is fun to do anyway but the pipettes, tubes and little pots are brilliant for basic potion play afterwards using the food colouring.
  • Water magic books - good for long journeys
  • Gellibaff - we had a lot of fun with this during an afternoon bath in lockdown, I’ve got some slimebaff to try too. It has a powder you put in to dissolve it afterwards so the mess was minimal. Yay!
  • Some more kinetic sand and kinetic rocks as these are always a hit with my two.
  • We love Orchard Toys so I often have a new one in the cupboard to pull at times of need. This is a current favourite - Bus Stop. But we have swapped with friends in the past too. Doing a game swap is a great way to introduce new exciting games without spending any money!
  • Light up T-Shirts - great for a rainy day at home. Switch out the lights, shut the curtains and have a glow disco. Glow Sticks are ideal for this and can be used for hoopla after!
  • Colour in T shirts - our friends got the kids these and Ewan LOVED them. You wash them and they go blank again too so they’re reusable.
  • We recently got this game - I Saw It First and we’ve played it a lot.


I also obviously heavily overstock the snack cupboard. I use plastic fruit punnets to help organise it. We always have in popcorn for a ‘movie’ day and Nesquick powder to make milkshakes as an afternoon treat! The Kids LOVE this milkshake “maker” - which just moos and stirs it. I hate it. Juice to restock the ice lolly moulds, and digestive biscuits, icing sugar and sprinkles for a quick and easy biscuit decorating session. I also get some Northern Dough Co Pizza dough because they have loads of great recipes and you can defrost their frozen dough in the microwave. Making pizza is an activity and a meal! Winner! It goes without saying that the secret chocolate cupboard and wine/gin/tequila stash is generously contributed to of course.

I actually did a Hobbycraft haul which I shared on my instagram account a week or so ago, and that has lots of fun bits and bobs. I’m keeping them hidden away for now and will pull on them in times of need. Those days where you have no plans are often long - that’s when i dig through this box! You can find what I got here.

So there you have it. A kit list for those that need it. I’m off to have a break now from blogging and posting on my various social media channels. I’ll be back in a few weeks with Letter of the Day and in the meantime I’ll be letting them eat ice cream, and chips and run around naked in the sprinkler. Summer is for everyone to just be free. And that means us too parents! Cheers.

GUEST BLOG - “10 Handy Habits for Making Family Mealtimes Easier” by Registered Nutritionist Emily Longbottom

A guest blog post from Nutritionist Emily Longbottom, with 10 tips on how to make mealtimes with…

Read More

The Building Blocks of Learning

I spoke about this on my Instagram stories the other day but I thought I should perhaps get it…

Read More

Long Car Journeys with Kids

My family live in Sussex. We live in Manchester. Four hour car journeys are a regular thing for…

Read More