Kids will no doubt be counting the days until the summer holidays arrive, looking forward to the long six-week break from the classroom. Many parents, on the other hand, are likely to be busy counting their pennies to make sure they have enough to fund activities and excursions during the holidays.

The Sun revealed that parents spend an average of £502 over the six-week break buying video games and magazines, taking kids on day trips and covering the cost of extra childcare. When you add that to the average £335 they spend on food and drink for their youngsters as well as the £422.61 per teenager to go on a summer holiday, the costs mount up to over £1,000.

But do the school holidays need to be so expensive for mum and dad? With more than 40 per cent of parents admitting that they’re worried about affording the school break, there is a need for people to look for other options to entertain their children.

Chris Brown, from the National Citizen Service (NCS), said that the organisation could help give teenagers a productive way to spend their time, and alleviate the costs for parents.

“With the long break fast approaching, parents want to ensure that their teens are spending their time productively, without breaking the bank,” he told the newspaper.

An NCS summer programme lasts three to four weeks and is designed for 16 and 17 year olds. The aim is to help them develop life skills, gain confidence and become more active members of their community.

The Belfast Telegraph recently explained what’s included in an NCS programme, with one of the components being adventure. This involves youngsters trying a range of outdoor activities. Rock climbing, canoeing and archery were the ones suggested by the news provider.

But getting them started on mountain biking could be another option. The newspaper noted that the NCS isn’t the only way to get your teenagers involved in organised outdoor sessions. Encouraging them to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award is another option.

Part of the DofE involves planning and undertaking an expedition. This can be on foot, or on bikes, boats or even horses.

With either option, there’s a lot of scope for your teenagers to get active and do something productive with their summer break, without putting too big of a dent in their parents’ bank balance.

If your kids are interested in getting more out of their bikes, sending them on a beginner’s mountain bike course during the summer holidays could be the ideal way to keep them amused and tire them out.

The great thing is that there are mountain biking courses all over the country, so it’s an option almost no matter where you live.

Last summer, Red Bull described Wales as “one of the best mountain bike destinations in the UK”, so if you also love getting out and about on two wheels, this could be the ideal choice for a summer holiday.

The organisation picked out some of the best places for mountain biking in Wales, which included Antur Stiniog, near Snowdonia, BikePark Wales near Merthyr and Coed Llandegla near Wrexham.

If you’re looking for something for your children to do in Hampshire, Surrey or West Sussex look no further than a mountain bike course at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. options for all abilities and age range from 5 to 14 years.