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10 Budget Friendly Ways To Keep The Kids Busy During The School Holidays

School holidays are awesome!  A break from routine and the endless lunch box packing and a chance for the kids to chill out and have so me fun.  They can also be pretty crazy though and if you’re not careful the dreaded boredom will set it!!

10 Budget Friendly Ways To keep The Kids Busy During The School Holidays

Here are our 10 budget friendly school holiday activities to keep the kids entertained and your sanity intact until wine o’clock.

1.  Nature walk scavenger hunt

It doesn’t matter where you live, be it near the sand or bush.. Outdoors is full of things to collect for your scavenger hunt. One a piece of paper draw or write items they can collect outside. They carry this around like a map and tick each off as they go.

Think things like sticks, feathers, shells, leaves, pebbles. And for the older kids, make it more challenging by adding particular details e.g. Smooth orange leaf or flat grey pebble

Once they’ve hunted and gathered, you can roll onto the next activity below

2.  Create a nature collage

For he smaller kids, this can simply be pasting the items on a large sheet of cardboard, perhaps adding paint or glitter for colour

And for the older kids, you might ask them to create a scene with their findings adding details (eg, create a magical forest with creatures) with textas, paints, goggly eyes etc.

3.  Pancake faces

This is great fun for all kids and best bit is you get to eat them afterwards! Make up a batch of pancakes and allow to cool. Lay out your favourite baking ‘bits and bobs’ and let the kids go nuts creating their pancake face. Some decoration ideas include chocolate chips, fruit pieces, raisins, shredded coconut, icing, sprinkles and my personal favourite – Nutella (note – be sure to steal the jar and have a few spoonfuls when no one is looking).

4.  Make a fairy / elf garden

ways to keep kids entertained in the school holidays

All you need is a pot / plastic tub and some dirt. It’s the kids job to create their very own tiny world out of bits and bobs you might find outdoors or around the house. Paddle pop sticks or twigs make a great fence, corks and matchbox make wonderful tables and chairs, bottle tops make for great tiny bowls or cups, or perhaps they might like getting extra crafty with some cardboard and tape to create little pieces of furniture. The sky is the limit and this one really gets their imaginations going.

*For a little something extra, sprinkle some glitter onto their little garden when they’re asleep for them to discover that the fairies/elves have visited in the morning!

5.  Toilet roll painting

Start saving those toilet rolls and grab some coloured paints. Snip each toilet roll in half or thirds to create thinner cylinders. Now you can squash and bend each one into a different shape. Dip the bottom in paint, and stamp on paper! Use cotton buds to add small details like eyes to the picture.

6.  Public Transport Adventures

There is something super fun to kids about public transport, and not only is it fun for them it teaches them about the different ways we can get around when out and about. Plan a day where you can bus or catch a train to and from your destinations. Get them to help give the driver the ticket and play eye spy in transit. If you’re feeling extra adventurous even try the ferry! It doesn’t matter if you get off at the other side for a quick pit stop lunch then back again, they will love the journey!

7.  Declutter Game

This has to be one of my favourites and it’s a great one for those rainy miserable days stuck indoors. Every home needs decluttering, whether it be sorting out your junk drawers or packing away the kids last seasons clothes that are too small… You can turn your decluttering into an activity! Get the kids to help you put items in piles, chuck old stuff in bin, find new spaces for items and donate old toys to charity. Not only can you get the decluttering done, it can teach the, about the importance of giving to those in need when we have finished using something.

8.  Build an EPIC cubby house

Building cubby houses is still one of my most favourite childhood memories and is just as enjoyable to do when you’re a grown up too! Another great rainy day activity, grab large sheets and cushions and peg onto chairs to make one big cubby house. Fill it with pillows and all your kids favourite stuffed toys and bring in books or the iPad. Make it extra fun by using dark sheets, and bring in a flashlight and popcorn and you have your very own cosy cinema! Snuggle up with your babes and enjoy watching ‘Frozen’ cubby house style!

ways to keep kids entertained in the school holidays

9.  Fun with chalk

A bucket of colourful thick chalks costs around $2 and the activities are endless! The kids can doodle all over the pavers for hours! Hopscotch drawn with chalk is a great game for everyone to join in.. You can have them practice their words and numbers and because you’re outdoors, the novelty won’t wear off as quick as it does when they’re inside doing drawing. You can trace around their body and have them draw different body parts within the lines or do chalk rubbings with different items such as leaves and coins placed under paper to reveal their prints. And the best part is, with a splash of water it all washes away . Or if you’re lazy like me, just wait ’til it rains!

10.  Playdough therapy

No matter what age, everybody loves Playdough. Even better when you can make your own at home using a few simple ingredients you probably have in your cupboard.

You’ll need :

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of salt
  • Up to 1.5 cups of boiling water (slowly add and mix until the consistency feels right)
  • Food colouring

Easy peasy and you can choose themes for the kids to create.


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