Summer holiday activities for kids

With the summer holidays in full flow (and with apologies to the Scots who will be starting to think about going back to school soon) here are a few map related ideas for things to do with your kids to keep them entertained during the schools summer holidays.

As you would imagine, we would always recommend having a look at a map of your local area (or where you are on holiday) to work out what is around you and to identify outdoor spaces and attractions that you can explore.

However, for the more creative among you I would suggest:

Create your own ‘what I did in the school holidays’ map

Take a large sheet of paper and draw a picture of your home (or starting point). Get the kids to draw the route to other places that you go – their friend’s houses, school, swimming pool etc. Then take some photos of all the points of interest and attach them to the map. Then you can come up with your own symbols and draw them too. You could include leaflets of places you’ve been, ticket stubs and other information you might pick up along the way (and this also solves the problem of ‘show and tell’ when they get back to school).

Or on a similar theme….

Create a visitor trail

Think about what you like best about where you live and create a leaflet with a route showing the best way to enjoy it. Recommend a walk through the area (or house) so that your visitor sees all the best bits. Use photos, information, web links or anything else you can think of to highlight the route and the things the visitor will experience on the trip along the trail. And if you ‘re anything like us, don’t forget to point out the refreshment stop.  ‘Cake in the kitchen with mum’ and ‘picnic spot in the garden’ have appeared on one or two of our home grown trails!

Be your own satnav

Think about a journey you are planning to make. If you can get the map out, look at the route you will take or do it from memory. Can you get the kids to record the instructions and directions you will need to get there? It doesn’t need t be a car journey, making sat nav instructions for a walk or bus journey can be equally as fun. Most mobile phones have a voice recording function and you can play it back when you are actually making the journey. See how accurate you can make it. Take turns giving instructions in funny voices or decide to change a word (so swap traffic lights for strawberries and your instruction becomes ‘turn right after the strawberries’ which is strangely hilarious! I have no idea why!).

And when it does go wrong, follow the instructions anyway and just see where you end up. Guaranteed hilarity!

And if these don’t appeal, there are lots of other website with more great ideas




are particular favourites of mine. And then, I always suggest the fantastic Mission Explore, winners of one of our GeoVation challenges, who have some brilliant challenges for kids along a geography related theme. If you haven’t explored their website and their books, I would really, highly recommend that you do!


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4 Responses

  1. A great article with some different creative ideas which will help have fun and help improve their sense of direction.

    Another activity you could do is to map routes for activities on different days of the week. So the day before football or swimming for example, the kids can draw and plan their own route. This will help build a collection of routes the kids can become used to.

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