When it comes to summer activities for the kids, mums and dads book at least one trip or pay for a day out each week over the holiday period - spending an average of £183 per child overall.
According to the new Kid's Simple Pleasures Index from Sainsbury's, almost four in ten parents (39%) have increased their spending on such activities and excursions over the past 12 months, while one in four (25%) have reduced their expenditure.
Such spending activities were influenced by a fear that kids would be bored with just garden antics and low cost everyday activities for the duration of the summer (41%), while there was also a worry that children would not have an enjoyable summer if they didn't go on any day trips to theme parks (29%).
Basic low cost pleasures
However, another part of the study found that parents need not worry about such things, and don't have to throw money away when it comes to entertaining the kids.
The index asked 1,500 children aged five to 11 nationwide to rank their favourite summer frolics across criteria such as how much fun they are, how happy they make them feel, and how special and memorable they are, comparing the pleasure each activity delivers relative to the cost.
Back-to-basic, low cost pleasures such as play dates, water fights and den building ranked first, second and third respectively in the index, way ahead of trips to the cinema (11th place), leisure complex visits (12th place) and theme park trips (21st place).
"In terms of pleasure per penny, it's the everyday outdoor fun, which takes little time or money to organise, that far outweighs the more orchestrated expensive excursions," said Dr Linda Papadopoulos, child psychologist.
"Summer memories last us a lifetime and parents can learn a lot from what their children have told us in this study. Children mostly value the simple pleasures that summer brings, and spending time with friends and family. For kids, quantity time with their parents is just as important as quality time."
Bikes rides (4th), outdoor games (5th), climbing a tree (6th), mud pie making (7th), berry picking (8th), eating ice cream in the sun (9th), and feeding the ducks (10th) completed the top 10 of the index.
Why not take inspiration from the London Olympics and create an 'Olympics for Kids' fun day? Get together with other parents and organise a cheap and cheerful way of keeping the young ones occupied.
If you haven't done so already, it might also be an idea to check out these 50 ideas for summer on a budget.