School holidays are just around the corner, and if you children are like mine they are itching for that well-deserved break. They need it to recharge their batteries and kick those winter bugs to the curb! Unless you're jetting off to a tropical paradise (lucky you!), let's dive into some simple, affordable, and super fun ways to make the most of these school holidays.
I've always found that having a list of activities and a loose plan of what we're doing and when is the best way to handle school holidays (yes, I do like a little routine!). Making a plan allows us to balance free activities with paid ones, consider the weather, and coordinate with friends. Plus, our children like knowing what's happening and what they have to look forward to!
However, if you prefer a more spontaneous approach, I totally understand. Some families simply write down a few different activities and put them in a jar. Each day, they take turns pulling out an activity from the jar.
Regardless of your approach, we've listed some of our favorite activities for the school holidays, both at home and out and about, along with some helpful tips and tricks.
- A Scavenger Hunt - this can be done indoors or out depending on the weather. Create a list of items for children to hunt for and find.
- Hut building. Grab some blankets & cushions and build some indoor huts or forts. If you have a small camping tent you can even set this up inside and do an overnight camping adventure!
- Baking or Cooking. Baking is always going to get eaten in school holidays with the endless request for food. If you have older children, school holidays are a great time to get them involved in the cooking of dinner when there is a little less time pressure to get dinner on the table.
- Indoor Picnic or Tea Party.
- Arts & Crafts. Get creative with some arts and crafts. You can download coloring sheets online or have fun with chalk outside, drawing artwork on the driveway or creating a hopscotch game.
- Dance or Karaoke Party
- Have a clear-out. This is a great time to declutter old toys and books with your children's help and donate them to those in need.
- Build an obstacle course or play The Floor is Lava game.
- Home Movie Night: Grab some popcorn and snacks, and enjoy a favorite movie. Kids can even create their own movie posters and tickets for entry.
- Have a party just because you can! Invite friends over, have them bring a plate, and organise some party games. You can even arrange a toy swap.
Out & About Activities.
- Visit the local hot pools.
- Explore local playgrounds or venture a bit further to discover new ones!
- Mini Golf
- The Museum
- Art Galleries
- Embark on a nature walk or a scavenger hunt. Collect fallen leaves, pinecones, or cool rocks to use for arts and crafts when you get back home.
- Head to the movies. If you check out your local movie theatre they often do deals for kids movies in the school holidays
- Bike Riding or head to your local BMX track.
- Take a bus ride: The novelty is often in the journey itself, regardless of the destination!
- Check out what's happening at your local library - as libraries often host school holiday events. Visit their website to find out what's running.
- Shell collecting at the beach
You can also schedule a kindness day, either at home or when you're out. This could involve baking cookies and taking them to a neighbor or taking someone's dog for a walk.
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you have plenty of snacks and food on hand (I cannot believe how much my children eat in school holidays!). Some parents find it helpful to make lunches the night before using lunchboxes, to minimize constant snack requests. If that's not your style, simply ensure you have lots of snacks available, especially ones you can grab on the go when heading out!
- Get together with friends for playdates or shared activities. If your children are older, take turns hosting playdates to give other parents a day off. If you have younger children, spending time with others is more enjoyable for everyone.
- Include activities that burn off energy. While school holidays provide much-needed downtime, kids still need physical activity to burn off that energy so they don't end up climbing the walls!
And lastly, don’t worry if your kids get bored. We’re firm believers in boredom forcing children to use their imaginations and to get creative!