Two ordinary school weeks can fly by like you wouldn’t believe, but two weeks of school holidays (or the seemingly never-ending six or seven weeks in summer!) can drag on forever when you’re trying to keep the kids entertained.
If you don’t go in prepared with ideas to keep them occupied, you are likely to be pulling your hair out by the end of week one!
Never fear…no matter your location, circumstances, or the weather- we have some super fun ideas to keep children entertained during the school holidays and leave your sanity intact (for the most part!)
OUT AND ABOUT
The holidays are a great opportunity to get out and get involved in all your community has to offer. Depending on where you live your options may vary, but if you’re unsure of what’s happening in your area you can look in the local paper or check out the local information center. Keep reading for some fun ideas for the little ones these school holidays.
Local cinemas will often hold special screenings of kids’ films during school holiday periods at a discounted price. Some cinemas also offer ‘cry baby’ sessions which are great if you have very young kids to take along and you don’t want to worry about keeping them quiet and not disturbing other patrons.
Ride a bike
Fun activity that the whole family can take part in. Dust that good old bike of yours and get some exercise in. Don’t have one for the kids or have they just become old enough to join you on your trips? Great opportunity to teach them how to ride. Spoil them with a shiny new bike and a helmet and they’ll love you for it.
Swimming pools will sometimes advertise discounted rates for school holidays. Children can spend a whole day splashing around in the indoor pool and, if they’re a bit older and need a little less supervision, you can even take along a book to enjoy with a coffee.
If the weather holds up, pack a little picnic and take the kids down to the park or the river. You could even take a kite to fly for something different!
If you’re lucky enough to live near the beach, make the most of it! Even if it’s an hour or two away you can pack up the car and take a day trip somewhere for some new scenery.
Libraries are fantastic places overflowing with activities for kids during the holidays. They often have book readings, puppet shows, and craft days.
Your local shopping center may hold all kinds of events. Check your local paper or the center’s website, or even give Centre Management a call and they will be able to advise you of any upcoming events.
These kinds of venues will usually have special free events for kids over the holidays including fun things like art classes.
Head down to a local waterway and teach the kids how to fish. This can help pass a couple of hours (depending on their attention span). Just make sure you are the one doing or closely supervising any dangerous work involving hooks!
Some days it is inevitable that you will either be stuck at home due to bad weather or just be too dang exhausted to go through the whole getting-everyone-ready process one more time. My advice? Stay in your PJs all day and choose from one of our fun rainy day school holiday ideas below.
Waking up to the sound of rain when you’re young and have a whole day of nothing much planned is pure bliss, but you can bet it’s a parent’s worst nightmare during the holidays! If you’re like me then you wake up wondering how on earth you’re going to keep them occupied inside for a whole day. Get everyone snuggled up in front of the TV and create your own home theatre experience with some homemade popcorn. Break things up and challenge each other on a game console if the little ones get a bit antsy sitting there for too long.
When it’s storming outside it’s a great opportunity to cook up a storm in the kitchen! Get the kids involved as much as possible – they can choose the recipe, crack eggs, mix ingredients, roll cookies into exciting shapes, and ice biscuits and cakes. Just make sure you are supervising them if they’re around the stove and oven.
I know from past experience that this one always goes down a charm with the kids. You can make your own bases (or use store-bought ones if you’re a little pressed for time or can’t be bothered with too much preparation) and place out a selection of toppings for each child to create their own pizza masterpiece.
Read a book
Snuggle up on the couch and read your children their favourite books, or get them to read to you.
Put on a play or magic show
Get the little ones’ imaginations flowing by helping them to put on a play or magic show! They can dress up and re-create their favourite movie, or even make up their own story.
Arts and crafts
Set up a craft table (make sure you put out an old tarp or sheet because things are bound to get messy) filled with all kinds of supplies. The possibilities are endless – paper mache, play dough, finger painting…let their creativity and imaginations run wild!
Play with umbrellas and buckets in the rain
Some of my favourite memories of my childhood include playing out in the front yard in the rain with old buckets. Put your gumboots on and indulge in this completely free activity that can keep children entertained for hours on end these school holidays.
Invite your children’s friends round for a playdate. If you’re friends with their parents you can even have a coffee date at the same time.
If you have some time to set this up it’s sure to make your children’s day. Weather dependent, your treasure hunt can take place either inside or out. Pick up some cheap lollies and chocolate or small toys from the store to hide and give your kids their own buckets to collect their treasure.
Plant some flowers or a vegetable garden
Get some fresh air, keep the children entertained, and beautify your garden all in one sitting!
Don’t feel like you have to try and fill every moment with your kids. Leaving them to their own devices (to a point) helps your children to develop independence and a great sense of imagination!
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