Ideas for no-cost creative activities to do with kids this autumn

October half-term is just around the corner and with the weather on the turn and the nights drawing in; it can be hard to keep the kids entertained. To help, we’ve teamed up with Butlins Head of Entertainment, Matt Rake who is responsible for putting a smile on thousands of family’s faces every year.

Butlins is all about injecting fun into family life so to help families have the happiest half-term possible.

Matt has designed some top tips to keep kids amused this autumn.

Get back to nature

There may be a chill in the air, but the great outdoors can be beautiful in October. Go for a family walk and get your kids to pick up everything they see on the way, such as fallen leaves, conkers, fern cones, twigs, or even bird feathers.

At home, the kids can make a collage out of everything they found on their walk. They can also include drawings of other things they saw, from birds and squirrels, to trees and rivers.

Matt says: ‘This is a great opportunity for the kids to get creative and for all the family to get some exercise. Plus, it doesn’t cost a thing!’

Make some memories

Take the time to go through your old photographs – a job we often put off – and put together a family photo album. You can buy a cheap photo album, or you can create your own using A4 sheets of coloured card.

Each family member should be given their own sheet of card. To start with, draw an outline of the photo on the page, so you know how much space you have to play with. Then, get creative and decorate the rest of the page!

Matt says: ‘This is a great way to make the most of your photos and keep kids entertained. If the picture was taken on holiday get the kids to draw a beach scene around it or if it’s a family snap maybe they can draw your house.’

Once everyone has decorated their piece of card, stick on the photos with glue. Punch a few holes in each page and tie them together with ribbon to create your very own photo album.

Terrifying treats

From buying ingredients and getting their hands dirty in the kitchen, to tasting the final product, it’s no secret that kids love to bake. Make baking even more fun this October half-term by following Matt’s spooky treat recipes:

“Marshmallow Ghosts”


• Icing sugar for rolling

• 600g (1lb 5oz) ready-to-roll icing

• 24 marshmallows

• Food colouring pens

What to do:

• Dust a board and rolling pin with flour and roll out the icing so it is about as thick as a pound coin

• Cut the icing into 11cm (4½ inch) circles

• Stack two marshmallows on top of the icing and drape round icing to make a ‘ghost’

• Use food colouring pens to draw faces on the ghosts – will your ghost be scary or friendly?

“Spider Ice Cream”


• Chocolate ice cream (or any other flavour)

• Black liquorice sticks/laces

• Raisins or chocolate drops

What to do:

• Place one scoop of ice cream into the centre of a plate or bowl

• Make the spider’s legs by inserting 8 pieces of liquorice in the ice cream

• Use the chocolate drops or raisins for the spider’s eyes

Guess the goo

Pumpkin carving has always been a favourite with kids and adults alike, but what to do with the leftover pulp has always been a mystery. Until now that is!

Matt says: ‘How about a game of ‘guess the goo’? To play, fill a few bowls with different types of gooey goodness, such as the inside of a pumpkin, mashed banana or soggy cooked pasta.

Cover each bowl and dare your children to put in a hand, feel around, and guess what the ‘goo’ is. Or hide individually wrapped sweets in the bowls and challenge your kids to find them – an original take on treat or trick!

Feed the birds

With the coming of colder weather, birds sometimes struggle to find enough food, so why not get your children to make some bird feeders?

Cover a pine cone with peanut butter, and then roll the cone in birdseed. Tie some string to the top of the cone, and it’s ready to hang outside!

Matt says: ‘Almost any household object can be used to make a bird feeder, so the kids will have fun being creative, and you’ll love seeing your garden filled with different types of birds.’

For more information on how Butlins keeps kids entertained across its three resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness please visit

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