Children get far more "pleasure per penny" from building dens, riding bikes and climbing trees than from expensive pursuits such as going to theme parks, according to a survey of 5 to 11 year-olds by Sainsbury's.
The nationwide research asked children to rank their favourite summer frolics across criteria such as how much fun it is, how happy it makes them feel and how special and memorable it is, compared to the pleasure each activity delivers relative to the cost.
The results saw outdoor play come out heavily on top. The best value for money activities were found to be:
1. Play date in the park or garden
2. Water fight
3. Building a den in the garden with family or friends
4. Bike ride
5. Outdoor games e.g. Tag, stuck in the mud or hide & seek
6. Climb a tree
7. Mud pie making
9. Eating ice cream in the sun
10. Feeding the ducks
11. Planting flowers
12. Trip to the cinema
13. Leisure complex activities (ice skating, bowling, etc)
15. Playing in a paddling pool or sprinkler in the garden
16. Flying a kite
17. Trip to the local beach/lido or national park
18. Backyard camping with family or friends
19. Farm trip
20. Trip to the zoo / safari park
21. Theme park or attraction (e.g. Madame Tussauds)
22. Playing on the computer
23. Sport or music lesson
24. Horse riding
25. Summer camp (e.g. PGL or CampBeaumont)
You can read more of the research's findings (including parents' views) in this Sainsbury's article. We hope next time they will also ask families specifically about trips to local woods too - our own research has found that 93% of people support having a Community Forest in their area, so we would predict having fun in your local woodland would rank quite highly!
What do you think based on your own family's experiences or your childhood memories? Tell us in the comments...