With the school holidays just around the corner, you’re probably starting to wonder how you’re going to fill up all of your kids free time, and just how expensive each of these activities will be! Budgeting for school holidays can be a bit of a task but we recommend doing it sooner rather than later.
That’s why we’ve put together our list of easy and affordable holiday ideas to have fun with your kids, without breaking the bank! Keep them entertained for hours and maybe even teach them a thing or two whilst they’re not at school.
1. Paper plane making contest
Start by grabbing some A4 sheets of paper from the printer or around the house and you’ve got a fun, creative holiday activity for your kids that will even get them outdoors.
Either keep it simple by seeing who can design the plane that goes the furthest or print out some more complicated guides from the internet to make planes that can twist, flip and do tricks.
A Youtube Channel full of instructional videos (search “Planes”)
Ready to step up? Here is a channel with some more advanced designs.
2. DIY science experiments
Depending on the age of your little ones, science experiments can be the most exciting thing they do all day and can even have them working away for hours. Unlike the majority of adults who remember science as the boring old subject they had to endure through high school, a child’s mind can be full of weird and wondrous possibilities.
You can foster this interest with some simple experiments using ordinary household materials with a couple of these classics:
Make a bouncy egg: This one takes a little bit of time but it is a lot of fun:
If you like these and want to discover more, just head to Hoopla Kidz Lab.
It can be easy to forget that there are things to do outside your home that won’t cost a thing. Make the most of the beautiful parks, beaches and nature we have in Australia these school holidays, and you might help to ignite life-long love affairs with the great outdoors.
Most national parks have trails with difficulties for all ages and there are plenty of different barbecue sites and playgrounds along the way.
4. Cupcake making and decorating
Get the kids started in the kitchen early and teach them the basics of baking with some easy cupcake recipes.
With a few ingredients, you can show them how to measure, mix, stir, bake and most importantly taste their creation, before popping them in the oven.
Then, once the cupcakes are out (and cooled down!) the kids can decorate till their heart’s content. Theme the cupcakes with spooky decorations for Halloween, get festive with Christmas cupcakes, or just let them go wild with lollies and icing.
5. Teach your kids to sew
The key to getting your little ones interested in sewing is finding something they actually want to make. Help them create something they will actually use like clothing for their toys or a protective case for their iPad. Keep the early projects simple so they don’t lose interest.
Start with the basics of a needle and thread and when they start to feel confident, you can move on to a sewing machine, if you have one that is! Not only will you have them designing new patterns from their imagination, but they will also be learning a pretty useful, lifelong skill.
6. Local Council, Library and Shopping Centre Events
Most libraries, local councils and shopping centres have weekly free events and activities aimed at kids, especially during school holidays.
From concerts and movie screenings to access to community facilities, just check your council website and your local shopping centre to find a great day of free entertainment for you and the kids.
HOT TIP: Organisations that run these type of holiday activities often have email newsletters you can sign up to, which makes planning a lot easier.
Shopping with the kids is prime tantrum-time.
Kids will always manage to find something in a shop that they “NEED you to buy”. So why not hunt for some bargains amongst the many pre-loved items available?
Op-shops can not only save you money, but they also encourage recycling and the proceeds go towards people in need.
Donations are usually made by residents who live nearby, so travelling to wealthier areas will, more often than not, help you find better quality items.
8. Fire Station open days and weekly fire safety displays
No kid would say no to being a firefighter for a day, right?
Well, fire stations all around Australia have open days where kids can see fire fighting equipment demonstrations and take fire truck rides.
Search your local station online and see what events they have, over the school holiday break. If you can’t find anything, just give them a call. You’ll soon be riding shotgun on a fire engine with the kids.
9. Plan a treasure hunt
Keep the kids entertained by creating a treasure or scavenger hunt.
Hide a series of notes or clues around the house or close by in the street, then let the kids discover the clues in order, one by one, leading them to the ultimate treasure at the end.
You can get creative by making the clues math problems, word games or different types of cryptic riddles, and the hunts are a great way to encourage teamwork.
10. Camping in the backyard/living room
You don’t need to go trekking for you and the kids to enjoy some quality camping time.
Pitch the tent in the living room or in the backyard and let your imaginations run wild. You can still do all the fun camping activities you would usually do, like belting out some campfire songs, preparing some classic camping food, and scaring the kids with some light-hearted ghost stories around the lantern.
11. Make lemonade for a stall
Bring back an old-fashioned favourite and teach the kids about making their own money by setting up a lemonade stall.
You don’t have to stop at lemonade either. The kids could utilise their new skills in baking or sewing and add those products to the menu, or include any other drinks or snacks.
Sounds like a good day’s work!
12. Teach them magic tricks
There is nothing quite like the look on a kid’s face when they see a magic trick for the first time. The only thing better is giving them exclusive, insider knowledge as to how it actually works.
You can start simple by showing them some easy card tricks and making coins disappear. There are plenty of ideas online for cheap and simple tricks that kids can create and learn. Then once they master the basics you can buy them a few cheap magic kits or trick books for them to really get lost in.
Not only will they be impressed with your magic techniques, but they will love impressing their friends with these illusions when they get back to school!
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