Family activities for summer 2021
Nottinghamshire: a great place to bring up your family
Nottinghamshire is a great place to bring up a family, where children get the best start in life and having fun over the summer is a big part of this. There are lots of family fun activities to keep you and your kids busy.
Whether you want to stay inside or explore the outdoors, there are a range of FREE activities to suit your whole family!
Top things to do at home with your family
Here are our top family fun activities to keep you and your little ones busy over the summer holidays. Whether you want to stay inside or explore the outdoors, there are a range of FREE activities to suit your whole family!
- Reading and books
- Staying active at home
- Getting crafty
- Theatre and culture
- Making learning fun
- Virtual tours
- Country parks
Summer Reading Challenge 2021
Our friends at Inspire have sent us information on the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge, which looks really great. This year’s theme is Wild World Heroes, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund.
You can choose from hundreds of books, audio books, magazines and newspapers through the Inspire website.
All you will need to be able to do this is a membership, but don't worry, this if FREE and can easily be done online!
If you’d rather listen than read, then Inspire also have a great range of audio books too. Take a look - and have a listen!
It's important to keep the kids healthy and active while at home, so we've brought you some inspiration below.
Recreate Sports Day at home
Enjoy all the favourites at home in your garden or out at the park. How about trying some of the following races below Don’t forget the prizes!
- Egg and spoon race: No eggs? No problem! How about substituting whatever you can find at home?
- Sports Day Stars: A challenge against the clock to complete the most star jumps in one minute.
- The Parent's Challenge: We know things get competitive during the Mum's and Dad's races on Sports Day, so why should your home version be any different!
- Obstacle Course: Our friends at HENRY have come up with some great ideas Let's make an obstacle course (HENRY)
Using what you have
Staying active doesn't mean you have to have equipment at home. This summer can be all about improvising, so here's a few ideas:
- Substitute football goals for any item placed on the floor and enjoy your very own penalty shoot out challenge!
- Swap rackets for pots and pans and if you haven’t got a ball, how about a rolled up pair of socks? Remember to be careful where you aim of course!
Treasure Hunt: Everyone enjoys a treasure hunt, especially if there’s a little prize at the end of it. Our friends at HENRY have some great ideas here: Let's go on a treasure hunt (HENRY)
Or you could go on a Listening Walk. here’s some ideas from the Children’s Centre Service: Listening Walk [PDF]
When the weather warms up, cool down with Water Play in your own garden. Thanks to HENRY again for the ideas: Let's play with water (HENRY)
Change4Life (www.nhs.uk) has loads of fun, active play ideas such as the Disney 10 Minute Shake Up, with ideas linked to Toy Story, Frozen and Cars, to name just a few.
For more great active play ideas take a look at our Virtual Family Hub on Notts Help Yourself: Things to do at home: 5-7 years (Notts Help Yourself)
Why not take a look at Your Health Your Way’s brilliant website: Nottinghamshire’s Wellbeing Service: Your Health Your Way (yourhealthnotts.co.uk) and Youtube channel. They are our county’s integrated wellbeing service, commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council, delivered by ABL Health, to help you be more active and have a healthier lifestyle.
Here’s just a taste of the work-outs on offer:
- Warm-up with Darren - YouTube
- Helen's Low Intensity Cardio Workout - YouTube
- Aerobic Workout with with Ben - YouTube
- Aerobic Boxing Circuit with Darren - YouTube
- Cool Down with Anita - YouTube
For more information and lots of other great ideas take a look at :Nottinghamshire’s Wellbeing Service: Your Health Your Way (yourhealthnotts.co.uk)
Couch to 5K!
Join the Couch to 5K running plan for beginners! This FREE programme has been tried and tested by thousands of new runners. Why not grab your running trainers and give it a go! Learn more by visiting NHS Couch to 5K
Active Notts Summer Fun
Active Notts has some fantastic resources aimed at providing children and their families with a series of ideas to help them to stay active over the Summer. Their weekly activity packs will keep you and the kids busy all Summer long and include Orienteering, Golf, Netball and loads more. For more information visit www.activenotts.org.uk/young-people-active-at-home
The British summer is the perfect time to explore all of the beautiful nature on your doorstep. The Wildlife Trust has a fantastic page, Wildlife Watch, that is packed full of fun free activities for children including spotter sheets, activity guides, masks to make and much more!
These great fun ideas from our Children’s Centre Service are perfect for little ones, but big brothers and sisters will have fun joining in too:
- Make a bird feeder [PDF]
- Make a Dreamcatcher, a scary spider, and do some bark rubbings [PDF]
- Stone painting – make your own mini beast [PDF]
- If you get all your friends to paint stones, you can hide them in your local area and then go hunting for others. Take a look at Notts Rocks (Facebook) for more ideas.
- Make a butterfly [PDF]
For lots more ideas have a look at our Virtual Family Hub: Things to do at home: 5-7 years (Notts Help Yourself)
As things start to open up again, you may want to treat the family to a visit to the theatre – have a look at what’s on at some of our local theatres:
- Nottingham Puppet Festival (24 -27 June 2021): Bringing the City to Life with Puppets and People
- What's On: Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham
- What’s On: Nottingham Playhouse
- Mansfield Palace Theatre
- Palace Theatre, Newark
Online, you can still join in the fun. Have a look at these for ideas:
- You will be spoilt for choice with the online theatre productions available, from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat to favourites from Shakespeare's Globe!
The Shows Must Go On!
Musical favourites from Andrew Lloyd Webber's collection will be streamed online, starting with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat! Each performance will be available for 48 hours after being posted so you can enjoy at anytime over the weekend.
The National Theatre
Enjoy theatre from the comfort of your own home by streaming productions from The National Theatre!
The Royal Opera House
If you want to get your cultural fix this summer, The Royal Opera House offers online broadcasts, musical masterclasses and a unique look behind the scenes at one of the world's most famous cultural institutions.
Shakespeare’s Globe productions are available to watch for free on the theatre’s video-on-demand service, Globe Player. Featured films will be captioned to make sure they are as accessible as possible.
Gardening for kids
Kidsgardening.co.uk lists a range of fun free activities that provide opportunities for families or informal groups to learn together, while encouraging love for nature and the environment.
How about trying some crazy science experiments? These websites have some great – but safe – ideas:
If you're still cautious about getting out and about, you could try a virtual tour instead:
Google Street View Tours
Explore the British Museum and many other museums and galleries from around the world all from your computer. There's so much to choose from, why not let all the family pick a favourite to explore?
The Natural History Museum
Inspect the butterflies, birds and beasts in the Natural History Museum’s collection up close. The interactive online guide includes insights into some of the 80 million specimens through short films, virtual reality and a 360 degree tool. Bonus: the departed Dippy the diplodocus is back on display in the entrance hall online and you can even listen to Sir David Attenborough narrate the virtual tour around Hintze Hall!
The British Museum
More than 8 million objects sit inside the British Museum. You can search through much of this online, exploring the artefacts individually or by geographical origin
The National Gallery
The National Gallery is home to thousands of publicly owned artworks from the UK and Europe, spread across 18 rooms, which you can visit with the National Gallery’s 360 degree tool. The tour offers detailed information about each painting as you look at it, as well as floor plans to navigate around as though you are there.
The British Library
Discover literature from medieval to Victorian times, as well as a number of virtual tours around the exhibitions you may have missed. Highlights include Harry Potter: A History of Magic, which has a section for each of the Hogwarts magic classes, and Alice In Wonderland, looking at how Lewis Caroll’s story has been retold over the past 150 years.
Rufford Abbey Country Park
Rufford is one of Nottinghamshire’s favourite attractions. Set in beautiful parkland, Rufford Abbey offers over 870 years of history, from its origins as a 12th century cistercian monastery to its period as a Jacobean era family home.
Sherwood Forest Country Park
Visit the legendary Sherwood Forest, a unique habitat for wildlife and a magical destination for over 350,000 visitors. From its ancient oaks and legendary characters, to the work of the RSPB, protecting the forest today. Play, discover and leave with tales of your own, inspired by 420 hectares of beautiful, precious, unique woodland.
Holme Pierrepoint Country Park
Visit the home of The National Water Sports Centre! Holme Pierrepoint is bursting full of family fun water sport activities including Lagoon Wipeout, Kayaking, Canoeing, White Water Rafting, Lazy River Tubing and much more! If you prefer to stay dry there are a fantastic range of other outdoor activities such as Sky Tykes, Segways, Archery to name a few!
Notts Outdoors inspire families to get outdoors and embark on adventures together and provide outdoor learning opportunities for young people. What's more, they've been awarded the Good to Go Mark and are recognised as following COVID-19 government and industry guidelines.
Virtual Family Hub
Take a look at our Virtual Family Hub on Notts Help Yourself for more local ideas of where to go for parks and open spaces.
The British summer is the perfect time to explore all of the beautiful nature on your doorstep. The Wildlife Trust has a fantastic page called Wildlife Watch that is packed full of fun free activities for children including spotter sheets, activity guides, masks to make and much more!
Take a look at the National Trust’s fantastic 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ activity list. Don’t forget, we’ve got Clumber Park , Mr Straw’s House and Southwell Workhouse in Nottinghamshire and Hardwick Hall just over the Derbyshire border, with lots of other places a little further away. Why not take a picnic and make a day of it?
For events happening throughout the summer and places to visit why not take a look at:
- Things to do in the community (Notts Help Yourself)
- Things for Families to do in the community (Notts Help Yourself)
- Events (Nottinghamshire County Council)
- Whats On in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (Visit Nottinghamshire)
- What's on around Nottinghamshire Near Me (WhereCanWeGo)
- 20 Best Things To Do In Nottinghamshire Near Me (Attractions in Nottinghamshire: Day Out With The Kids)