Summer holiday activities and things to do with children

The long summer holidays are almost here and with them the question of how to fill all that time.

As what seems like endless weeks stretch out in front of you, how can you keep children occupied and maybe throw in a bit of education at the same time?

Informal learning can keep the mind active and helps children make a flying start in the autumn term - and 'informal learning' does not need to be a byword for boring.

Here's some tips from top educationalists on how to keep kids amused and at the same time keep their minds ticking over ready for the new academic year.

Children exercising

1. Get Active

Ideas to keep children - and you - fit and healthy

Try out some fun new physical games and activities that can be done both indoors and outdoors - just the thing for the unpredictable British summertime weather.

Why not take up a new sport by watching Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams demonstrate the fitness benefits of boxercise training or try out BBC Super Movers.

"It's about making children feel that you're in it together." - Dr Debra Kidd, Education consultant and former teacher.

Reading with children

2. Reading

Reading for pleasure is an important part of a child's development

Take an adventure into the world of children’s literature as celebrities share what they love about their favourite books.

BBC School Radio has an extensive collection of books brought to life with story summaries and animations.

"Reading is a joyful thing." - Simon Smith, headteacher at East Whitby Academy.

Looking through a microscope

3. DIY Science

Get experimenting this summer, holiday science should be fun, exciting and engaging

Perfect for rainy days, why not try out a range of do it yourself science experiments from Terrific Scientific.

Make a tornado at home in a bottle, learn how to make drink cans jump and create your own rainbow.

"Something that is fun, exciting and engaging." - Peter Banks, head of science at Ardvreck School.

Animated children

4. Get new skills

Summer is the perfect time for finding something you love

A collection of short films to inspire young people in recognising passions and talents, to set life goals.

Record-breaking yachtswoman Ellen McArthur talks about achieving her lifelong dream while Paralympic champion Ade Adepitan talks about how he was inspired by the Olympics after he lost the use of his legs as a result of childhood polio.

"Informal learning is massively important for children of all ages." - Dr Debra Kidd, education consultant and former teacher.