Video: Parents spend £688 per child keeping them entertained over the six weeks of summer '“ top free activities revealed

It's that time of year again, the school gates shut and the playground is empty for six whole weeks, with children free to do as they please - it's hardly surprising that many parents struggle to find activities for their children over 42 long days.

Top free activities
Top free activities

A new study of 1,000 parents by Sun-Pat Peanut Butter has in fact revealed that two thirds of parents (68%) struggle to keep their kids entertained during the six week holidays.

In an attempt to keep their little ones amused parents will now spend an average of £688 per child over the summer holidays (£16.38 a day) this means £202m is due to be spent collectively by mums and dads across the UK in this period.

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The research also surveyed 1,000 6-11 year olds as well as parents, revealing that contrary to popular belief, kids actually wish for more outdoorsy activities this summer with 85% wishing they spent more time outdoors during the summer holidays. However, only 7% said they would choose to stay indoors to play computer games, compared to 51% that would choose to go for a bike ride, or 38% opting to play in the park.

The Top 10 Activities to keep your kiddies active over the holidays include:

1. Play cricket in the park

2. Britain has lots of outdoor pools, many of which are free, so find your nearest one online and head for a morning swim

3. Head to a local forest or meadow

An earlier version of this article included the suggestion that people may like to pick wild flowers. This has been removed and we ask readers to enjoy the countryside without damaging wild flowers. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to uproot a wild plant without the landowner’s permission. Additionally, many of the plants in our area, like those in the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve’s extremely rare vegetated shingle habitat, are worthy of special protection and should be allowed to thrive naturally.

4. Create a set of bug bingo cards featuring garden bugs like Ladybirds, Ants and Woodlice

5. Use paper and crayons to rub impressions of different tree bark

6. Host a treasure hunt in the garden, or around the house on a rainy day

7. Plant a summer garden of peas, spinach and carrots

8. On a hot day there’s nothing like a sprinkler to help you cool off – adjust the height of the water and have a high jump competition in the garden

9. Create a rock zoo! Collect unusual shaped rocks and use watercolour paints to turn them into a variety of different animals

10. Tie large blankets between trees and create a hammock

Kirsty Gallacher said: “Some of my fondest memories of childhood are playing outside and I want my kids to experience the same. However I also know how hard it is to constantly think of different, cost effective ways to entertain them when they are out of school over summer.”

Mum of two boys and part of a sporting dynasty, Kirsty Gallacher, has teamed up with the experts at Sun-Pat Peanut Butter to come up with the Fuelling Families guide - 42 fun and low cost outside activities for this summer and help parents keep kids entertained outside – one for every day of the summer holidays.

Kirsty added: “I love Sun-Pat’s Fueling Families guide. It’s packed full of different, free activities for kids to do outdoors which takes the pressure off coming up with new ideas. I have it stuck on my fridge.”

This summer Sun-Pat is giving away hundreds of free sports kits containing a football, cricket set and skipping rope. Parents can enter online to win a kit, with 10 kits up for grabs for every single day of the summer holidays. The Fueling Families Guide is also available to download on the Sun-Pat website.

For your chance to enter the competition, head to the website to find out how: You can enter via Facebook and the website to participate, and also download the Sun-Pat Fuelling Families Guide.