Crafts & activities

17 book-related summer activities for kids

Summer is here so we’ve made a list of fun book-inspired things to do during the holidays. From afternoon tea with Peter Rabbit to starting your own book club, how many of our summer activities are you going to do?

Puffin team
A photo of five children, a mixture of boys and girls, all sitting on a bench in the park, holding up books that cover their faces
Image: Getty

1. Start a summer book club

There's no better way to kick off the summer holidays than by starting a book club! It can be just a parent and child book club or (restrictions permitting) extend the invitation to friends or neighbours. This is a great way to add some excitement to reading over the summer and encourage book discussions; what did you like? What didn’t you like? Don’t forget snacks!

2. Enjoy a book-inspired afternoon tea

If you’re in London over the summer and a Beatrix Potter fan, stop in at The Dilly hotel for a Peter Rabbit afternoon tea! From chamomile mousse and vegetable patch sandwiches to a bunny’s favourite carrot cake, this is a wonderful way to spend a summer afternoon.

A photo of the Peter Rabbit afternoon tea - a selection of cakes and finger sandwiches on a tray
Image: The Dilly on Piccadilly

3. Discover (or rediscover) new book characters

One of the best things about books is the characters. And what better time to find new ones to fall in love with than over the summer! If you like to laugh out loud, work your way through the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Or if you enjoy stories with lots of mischief and magic, Roald Dahl’s selection of tales will do just the trick. We've got a selection of where to start reading lists.

4. Create a summer reading nook

Make reading this summer extra fun by creating a reading nook together! It can be inside or outside or choose a new spot every week to keep things interesting. And best of all it doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant; follow out how-to guide. Or take some tips from author Jacqueline Wilson below.

5. Spit some rhymes (poetry that is)

If you’re a promising poet, try writing your own ridiculous verses this summer. Best of all, poems don’t have to be long or rhyme! There are so many different types of poetry. Try a Haiku which only requires five syllables on lines one and three, and seven on line two. We have a plethora of poetry books to inspire fledgling rhymesters and some pointers from author Michael Rosen on how to perform poems.

6. Listen to the Puffin Podcast

Journey to the outer realms of your imagination this summer with our Puffin Podcast. Hosted by Babatúndé Aléshé and two young Puffineers, the trio speaks to some of our Puffin authors who whoosh listeners away to a magical world. Humza Arshad, Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Greg James, Chris Smith, and Robin Stevens are just some of the authors who have been featured so far on the podcast. And there’s a brand new episode out now with guest Rachel Bright, author of Peter Rabbit: Head Over Tail. In the episode, our Puffineers journey to a garden and help Peter Rabbit plant lots of new seeds using one of his nifty inventions!

7. Write a novel

On those inevitable rain-filled British summer days, put pen to paper and write your own novel. Follow Jacqueline Wilson’s, Ade Edmondson’s, and Steven Butler’s tips for writing stories. If you're stuck for ideas, try writing fan fiction as the characters are already there for you. You could even start a diary if you prefer the non-fiction route. And for budding illustrators, have a go at creating your own picture book

A photo of a young boy writing on a laptop against a light purple background with illustrations
Illustrations: Alexis Snell and Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin & Getty

8. Get a library card

If you’re a passionate reader and love nothing more than to be surrounded by books, get a library card this summer. Not only you be able to wander the shelves and read as many books as you like, but often libraries hold fun events. Here are some of our favourite libraries around the UK. 

9. Download a Puffin activity pack

For when you’re stuck indoors on those rainy summer days – scribble, stick and have fun beyond the book. We’ve put together this bumper activity pack so all you need to do is download and print! 

A photo of three children - one boy and two girls - laying on the floor as they do some colouring in
Image: Getty

10. Take a tour of all the best kid’s bookshops in the UK

If, like all bookworms, you want to add to your own personal library – and who can blame you – get lost in some of the best bookshops for kids. As well as filled with wonderful tales and characters, some of these shops have reading nooks, story events, and live-in cats!

11. Get crafty and make something

There’s no better time to get creative than over the summer break! Wannabe astronauts can build their own rocket ship; budding scientists can make a lava lamp; or if you’re a bug lover, start your own worm farm. If you’re planning on doing lots of reading this summer, make your own origami dog to use as a bookmark. And if you need to de-stress, try making these funny face stress balls.

A photo of the book Fidget the Wonder Dog alongside a couple of origami Fidgets on a bright blue background
© Suzie Attaway

12. Sit back and listen to your favourite stories

Are you and your family planning on spending some time travelling over the summer? Listening to an audiobook in the car is a great way to enjoy stories – and prevent any motion sickness that can happen when reading! Audiobooks are also fun to listen to when doing other things, like crafts or baking, or just before bedtime.

13. Become a super sleuth over the summer

With all that free time over the summer, you can’t help but observe and notice when some things are afoot. So, banish boredom and become an expert detective with detective Daisy Wells’ how-to guide. Now all you need is your first case and a partner. And on those days when you’d rather do some low-key detecting, have a go at solving this murder mystery.

A photo of a young girl looking for clues using a magnifying glass - she is almost looking straight into the camera
Image: Getty

14. Host your own Puffin picnic

One of the best parts of the warmer summer weather is being able to dine al fresco! So, host your own picnic! You can do this in your local park, on the beach or in your own garden. As well as delicious snacks, blankets and pillows, and great company; make it a proper Puffin affair with our book-inspired bunting and fun headgear

15. Star in your own play – as your favourite Puffin characters!

Love being up on stage and performing for everyone? Then why not put on your own play and star as your favourite book character? We’ve got a selection of costumes to get you started. From wimpy kid Greg Heffley and a detective from the Murder Most Unladylike series to a ghostbusting agent (if you want to add a little action to the story!) We even have some easy three-step costumes for those with limited dress-up clothes.

A photo of a DIY Percy Jackson costume on a yellow background - costume includes a t-shirt, jeans, trainers and a fake sword

16. Throw a book-inspired sleepover

You don’t have to be up early for school, so that means lots of fun sleepovers during the summer holidays! Need help getting your sleepover off to a flying start? Download our Creakers sleepover kit. Want some fun party games to keep your VIP’s entertained? Try our Twits party game or our Tracy Beaker party pack. Then when the lights are down and everyone is snuggled up, share a story or two.

17. Play book bingo!

Turn reading over the summer into a game! Download and print off our book bingo sheet for inventive ways to enjoy a story and try different genres. Read under a tree; read a non-fiction book, visit a library; are you up to the challenge?

Book bingo

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