Any quality time you spend with your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren is time well-spent – but sometimes, you might need a little inspiration to figure out how to make the most of it.

So, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of 22 fun activities to do with kids, for a range of different ages and interests.

Whether you want to get creative, go for a day out, or you’d like some ideas for what to do when you’re apart, we hope you’ll find something here that you want to try with your loved ones.

Creative activities

Creative activities

1. Cook a meal together

For kids who enjoy helping out in the kitchen, cooking a meal could be a great way to spend some quality time together. Working together on a delicious dish can be fun, but it’s also a good opportunity for kids to learn some culinary skills.

If you have a signature dish, why not teach them how to cook it? If they already look forward to your speciality when they visit for dinner, they’ll probably be just as excited to learn the recipe as you are to teach it.

If you’re in need of some meal inspiration, why not visit the food and drink section of our website? Here, you’ll find everything from tips on how to make the perfect pizza to recipes from around the world.

2. Take on a DIY craft project

There are all sorts of ways to get creative and crafty – but taking on a project that involves lots of imagination can be amusing for children and adults of any age.

To get inspired, why not check out this list of 80 great craft projects for kids from Good Housekeeping? Many of these crafts can be made with bits and bobs you’ll probably already have lying around the house. From recycled t-shirt bracelets to DIY bath bombs, you’re bound to find an afternoon of creative fun for just about any child to enjoy.

3. Make a time capsule

Kids of any age will likely enjoy making a time capsule. Picking out what you want to share with the world can be exciting for both of you, and it’s also a chance to get them thinking about what the future might be like.

They might want to include personal items, write letters, or even add their own crafts or drawings to leave for the citizens of the future.

However you decide to go about it, creating something to leave for someone to find many years from now can be a fun and thought-provoking way to spend time with your loved ones.

If you’re looking for ideas on what to include in your time capsule, you might want to check out these tips from Personal Creations.

4. Play music together

If you play an instrument, why not share your love of music with your loved ones? No matter their age, chances are they’ll be fascinated with what you can do, and might even want to have a go themselves.

If you have a child, niece, nephew, or grandchild who plays their own instrument or enjoys singing, it can be lots of fun to play together too. You could even put on a performance for your family.

5. Bake and decorate gingerbread

Baking is another popular pastime that children love and never seem to tire of. Anything you decide to bake can be fun – but younger children in particular will often have lots of fun decorating the finished product.

Gingerbread is ideal for this. It’s easy to make, a favourite for many children and adults alike, and, with lots of different shapes available, children can really unleash their creativity. Plus, they might even want to share some of their baked treats with their friends.

If you fancy baking gingerbread, why not try this recipe from BBC Good Food?

Days out

Days out

6. Visit a beach

Almost anybody loves a day at the beach – and that’s especially true for kids. Whether you want to go for a swim, build sandcastles, or just sit and watch the waves with some ice cream, you’re bound to have a great day out.

Trips to the beach have been a classic staple of British holidaying for centuries – and it’s no wonder since the UK has so many picturesque beaches to choose from. If you’re on the lookout for one near you, you might want to have a read of our list of 16 of the best beaches to visit in the UK.

Alternatively, why not go for a stroll while admiring the coastal views? Our article, The best coastal walks to try in the UK, may give you some ideas.

If you’re looking to travel a little further afield, you can browse UK staycation deals below.

7. Visit a trampoline park

For an active and exhilarating day out, you can’t do much better than a visit to a trampoline park.

Kids of all ages will enjoy bouncing around on various different trampolines, and it can be an effective way to help them shake off some energy and get some exercise while having fun.

There are many different popular trampoline park brands around the UK, so it’s worth searching online to see what’s available near you.

8. Take a trip to a museum

There’s a wide variety of intriguing museums to visit around the UK. Whether you and your loved ones are interested in art, science, human history, or even dinosaurs, there’s likely to be a day out that’s right for you.

Places like the National GalleryNatural History Museum, and Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh; and the Titanic Belfast are must-visits. But it’s always worth looking online to find museums in your area – as not all great museums are well-known.

For even more inspiration, you might want to check out our list of 14 UK museums you won’t want to miss.

9. Explore a historical site

The UK is also full of excellently maintained historical sites and monuments. Lots of kids love visiting castles, so some favourites like Warwick and Leeds in England, Edinburgh in Scotland, Caernarfon in Wales, and Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland are all great choices for a fun and educational day out.

Alongside castles, places like Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, and Down House (the home of Charles Darwin) are other top choices.

For more ideas on great sites to visit, you might like to read our article; 28 of the best historical sites to visit in the UK.

10. See a show

Why not take the kids to watch a show? Whether it’s a concert, a pantomime, or a movie at the cinema, everybody loves some entertainment.

If you’re not sure what show to book, you’ll hopefully find some ideas in our article; 16 of the most popular theatre shows.

And if you fancy catching a movie with very young children, it’s worth looking out for showings specifically for kids – some Vue locations, for example, offer ‘Mini Mornings’, where tickets to family-friendly films cost only £2.49. Another example is Odeon cinemas’ Odeon Kids screenings, which take place every weekend and every day during the school holidays.

11. Go on a nature walk

When all else fails, the beauty of the natural world is always there for us. Whether or not your kids enjoy long walks, even taking a quick trip to go for a stroll on a picturesque track can be a lovely, relaxing experience for the whole family.

You might already have a favourite spot in your local area – but there are also lots of famous green spaces to visit around the UK. For some inspiration, you might want to read our list of 10 of the best National Trust places to visit.

And if you want to add a dash of adventure to your walks, why not try geocaching for some treasure-hunting fun?

Things to do at home

Things to do at home​

12. Build a blanket fort

If you have young children in your life, building a blanket fort can be the perfect way to spend a day indoors. They’ll love having an adventure at home, and the finished product makes a great space to let their imaginations run wild.

You can build a blanket fort with just about anything you have laying around the house – and figuring out how to do it can be a big part of the fun. But you can also buy kits to help you construct a solid frame, which can really take your fort to the next level.

Once the fort is built, why not encourage the kids to decorate it? For example, fairy lights can be a nice way to light up the interior while adding a touch of magic.

13. Explore the world of books

While younger children will often enjoy a good bedtime story, reading is important for kids of all ages (and adults). So why not try reading your loved one a favourite book from your childhood, or one you’ve picked out especially for them?

Another great way to get kids reading is to take a trip to your local library. Many libraries have dedicated quiet sections for children to read in peace, which makes it easy for them to explore and find a book (or three!) that they want to take home with them.

14. Try birdwatching

If you want to get outside with the kids and explore the natural world, birdwatching could be a good way to spend some quality time together.

Whether you want to find a pleasant local spot to watch for birds, or you just want to set up in your own garden and see who comes along, it’s best to have some binoculars, and a guide to help you identify the birds you spot.

Before you get started, you might want to check out our beginner’s guide to birdwatching.

15. Play a board game

Board games are always a reliable family activity, especially on a rainy day. And whether you’re a fan of firm favourites like Monopoly and Cluedo, children’s classics like Snakes and Ladders, or if you’re on the lookout for something new to try, there’s a wide variety of ways to play a fun game with the children in your life.

Board games have made a bit of a resurgence in recent years, with more complex (but not too difficult) games like Carcassonne and Catan becoming popular with players of all ages.

As part of this board game renaissance, board game cafés are also becoming popular. So, if you fancy trying out some new games, or just want to play some old favourites accompanied by some nice food and drink, why not search for a board game café near you?

Most board game cafés are child-friendly, though some are adult-only – so it’s worth checking before you visit.

16. Complete a puzzle

Another perfect activity for a rainy day, and one that’s also commonly found on board game café shelves, is the classic jigsaw puzzle.

You can find all sorts of puzzles online and in shops, but if you want to try something new, why not have a go at solving a 3D puzzle with the kids?

Just remember to take their age into account when picking out your puzzle – as there’s a wide range of difficulties available.

17. Share your favourite music

Depending on their ages, sharing your favourite tracks and tunes could be a great bonding activity for you and the kids.

Chances are that your favourite genres and artists will differ, and learning about new music is always fun and insightful – especially when it’s a loved one’s favourite. So why not grab the CDs or load up your favourite playlist and make an evening of taking turns playing tracks you want each other to enjoy?

A good streaming service can make this a lot easier. Spotify and Amazon Music are great choices. However, if you’re a fan of classical and jazz music, you might be more interested in Vialma.

18. Look through photo albums and watch home videos

Kids who are a little older will especially appreciate this, but digging out old photo albums and home videos can be fun for the whole family.

Showing them what they were like when they were younger while taking the time to reminisce about your own life can be a great experience – and you’ll likely end up whiling away many hours exploring your family history together.

You could even try tracing your family tree. We have plenty of tips in our article here to help you get started.

19. Have a movie night

While going to the cinema can be fun, it can be just as enjoyable to have a movie night at home. You could pick out a fun family movie, grab some popcorn or other classic movie snacks, and set up on the couch with a cosy blanket.

Movie nights are a great choice for a regularly scheduled activity too – you could even take turns picking the film.

If you’re looking for some ideas, you might want to check out this list of the best family movies from TimeOut.

20. Start a series

Alternatively, why not start watching a TV or film series together? Diving into an enthralling series can be a great way to spend time together, whether in person or not.

Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus offer watch-party features – which means that you can watch episodes together simultaneously. Getting stuck into a series can encourage you to schedule future evenings together to watch the next episodes.

If you’re looking for ideas for what to watch, you might want to check out this list of the top family TV shows from IMDb.

When you can’t be together in person

When you can’t be together in person

21. Play games online

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, casual online games have become a lot more accessible. If you’re on a video call with your family, it’s easy to set up and play games that don’t need a physical board or other elements that require you to be together.

For example, if you want to play a game like Pictionary, all you need is some paper and a pen each and this Pictionary word generator – and you’re all set for a long-distance game night.

Alternatively, web browser games are a great way to have some fun with your family, as long as you’re on a PC. One popular favourite is Gartic Phone – a game where players have to draw and guess each other’s prompts, leading to hilarious results of miscommunication.

22. Exchange letters and care packages

For a more long-term activity to get stuck into with your loved ones when you can’t be together, why not exchange letters and/or care packages every now and then?

Digital communication can become a bit overwhelming or even boring over time. So why not start exchanging regular handwritten letters? Letter writing can be a fun, creative activity for both you and the kids, and receiving them will be something you’ll both look forward to.

Another option is to try sending care packages occasionally. These can be as simple or as extravagant as you like, but favourite snacks, small toys, and fun or practical items are always great choices for gifts to include.

Final thoughts…

Some days, it can be really difficult to think of something fun to do. We hope that one or more of our ideas inspire a fun day of quality time with the child or children in your life. But, regardless of what you decide to do, time spent with loved ones is always time well spent.

For more ideas and inspiration, head over to the hobbies and activities and relationships sections of our website.

Do you have any additional ideas for fun activities to do with kids? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!