How to make the summer holidays more fun

family having summer fun

Ah, the summer hols – a tad stressful, but always over too soon. Here's how to get every last ounce of fun out of your family's time off.

1. Technology is your friend

1. Technology is your friend

“We use the Pacer app to count steps to encourage the children to come out walking. We have an informal competition as to who can do the most steps in a day, and then we add them up over the week. The winner gets to choose a small treat.”

2. Don't be afraid to go old school

2. Don't be afraid to go old school

“We're taking part in the reading challenge through our local library. We pick a book and either read it together or listen to the audiobook when travelling in the car. We then talk about the story, maybe watch the film (if there is one) and chat about what we've learned.”

3. Become a swashbuckler

3. Become a swashbuckler

“Treasure hunts have always gone down a treat – we make a checklist of things to try to spot.”

4. Get posh nosh for less dosh

4. Get posh nosh for less dosh

“We like to keep things cheap and cheerful and try to limit our costs to travel and one meal out. We always check in advance for vouchers and discount deals.”

5. And plan ahead to trim costs

5. And plan ahead to trim costs

“The biggest tip that works for us is planning ahead – everything from discount vouchers to taking a picnic to avoid rip-off attraction prices. Ditto for parking.”

6. Don't fear the journey (too much)

6. Don't fear the journey (too much)

“If you're going out for the day or doing an activity, include getting there as part of the fun. Even though the car is usually the easiest way of getting around, I try to walk or go on public transport when I can. My children have had a 'day out' to the shopping centre which involved a ride on a bus, tram and train. They loved it – and it took up half the day but hardly cost anything!”

7. Upgrade 'going for a walk' to 'geocaching'

7. Upgrade 'going for a walk' to 'geocaching'

“Geocaching is great for kids. It gets you out into the fresh air, exploring areas you may never have been to before. There are geocaches everywhere, so you can incorporate it into any day out.”

8. Sneak in some learning

8. Sneak in some learning

“Car journeys or walks can be turned into an opportunity to practice times tables or maths problems, and using a map to mark off different places visited gives the kids an idea of where they've travelled.”

9. Get hooked on scrapbooks

9. Get hooked on scrapbooks

“When mine were younger they liked to collect souvenirs from days out in the holidays and stick them all in a scrapbook; tickets, photos, shells, postcards etc.”

10. Go retro and actually print your photos

10. Go retro and actually print your photos

“We try to remember to print any photos we take. Either the kids can help to create collages online, or we order the prints and they can put them in an album. It means they can relive all the fun they had.”