THE average parent is spending £975 on entertaining their child during the school summer holidays – with parents citing bored kids and social media pressures from fellow parents as the main reason for this expensive outlay.

In the North West, the cinema is the most common activity during the school holidays and parents spend £942 entertaining the kids, just below the national average.

That works out at an outlay of over £150 more each week for the six week break from school in order to keep kids happy and Instagram envy at bay.

The research, conducted by Cadbury Mini Bites, also found that in fact the nation’s kids are looking for life’s simple pleasures when it comes to holiday fun.

Those surveyed said their children seemed more joyful when undertaking simple shared activities with parents or grandparents. These included a picnic (33 per cent), a kickabout in the local park (29 per cent) or a bike ride (24 per cent).

Parents are spending an average of £60 per week on Instagram-worthy days out for the kids, plus £611 on holidays and trips away. In fact, 20 per cent are spending over £100 per week and over £1,000 on holidays, totalling a huge £1,600 or £40 a day for a fifth of the nation.

Many parents believe kids want generosity in terms of expense.

But many children are simply looking for parents to be more generous with their time. While 59 per cent of families love a day out at a theme park or water park, many admitted that their kids also enjoy low cost or free activities such as feeding the ducks (14 per cent) or a family night in generously sharing their favourite snacks (22 per cent), proving that a hefty purse is not required for the nation’s kids to have fun.

And even if the British weather lets us down, the nation’s families can find ways to spread joy and be generous with each other’s time, with 22 per cent of kids happy staying indoors and watching a film, and 19 per cent admitting they love a games night with the family.

Over a fifth (21 per cent) of parents revealed that they splurge during the holidays because they don’t feel imaginative enough to create fun on a budget, and 34 per cent of parents confess they struggle to balance work with family life.

A quarter of parents feel guilty for not giving their children as much attention as they should, with 19 per cent feeling the need to compete with what they see on social media, and 24 per cent comparing themselves to other families they know.

Dads feel the guiltiest, with 39 per cent citing work life balance as the problem, and 30 per cent of mums admit they struggle to think of ways to keep them entertained.

Dads are also most likely to splash out on the kids, with a quarter admitting they spend a lot of money to keep the kids happy in the holidays, compared to 18 per cent of mums.

Katie Saxon, spokesperson for Cadbury Mini Bites, said: “The summer holidays can be a long and demanding period for many parents, with many feeling the pressures to balance work and family and come up with creative ways to entertain the kids.

“However, our research has shown that 52 per cent of children are happy simply spending time at home with the family and that spreading joy can be super simple. In fact, it can be as easy as picking up their favourite snacks from the supermarket and enjoying a family night in or picnic, as over a fifth of respondents admitted their kids enjoy this activity."

Most common activities for families during the school holidays

1. The park (68%)

2. Cinema (67%)

3. Eating out (62%)

4. A family picnic (62%)

5. Shopping (58%)

6. Museum (54%)

7. Theme park (53%)

8. A family movie night (52%)

9. Baking (47%)

10. A night in with snacks and treats (46%)