The economy doesn’t seem to be looking any better, but the kids still want to have fun on their school holidays.
While you may be tempted to just say “Sorry kids, maybe next time,” why not plan something inexpensive to give the kids something fun to do while they’re away from school? Here are 50 cheap and fun school holiday activities that the kids will love while they’re free from the tedium of books and lessons.
1. Go camping in the garden or backyard, or even just in the living room.
Best Age: 4 – 12
If you already have a tent, this doesn’t cost a thing. Serve up some hotdogs and tell stories until you fall asleep. Keep the tent near the back or side door so that kids who get scared in the night can scoot back to their beds, or use the loo! If you have a grown-up staying in a tent with them, consider a little barbecue or campfire.
2. Have a movie day if you don’t want to head outside.
Best Age: Any Age
This is perfect for a rainy day or for when days are hotter than the sun. Rent a few kids movies and stock up on popcorn. Set up doonas and pillows and lounge your day away! Or plan a binge watch session on Netflix, we have some suggestions here!
3. Plant a veggie patch with the kids.
Best Age: 2+
You don’t even need a garden for this. Most of the fun comes from finding containers to recycle as pots, painting them, and planting the seeds. Choose something that grows fast and start on the first day of holidays, so the kids can see them grow each day. Look at plastic soft drink containers to make a small indoor nursery.
4. Take public transport and go on an adventure.
Best Age: 8+
If you have a nearby train or bus route, take the kids and go on an adventure to see where it goes. Let them see the sights without you having to drive! Most kids find buses and trains lots of fun, something we forget as grown-ups!
5. Take a day at the beach.
Best Age: Any
The only expense is the fuel and snacks while you’re out in the sun.
6. Go to a local museum or art gallery.
Best Age: Any
Your kids will have fun while learning about local culture. Most capital cities have many museums and always have a feature collection suitable for school-age kids!
7. Visit a farm.
Best Age: 4 – 12
Many farmers will be happy to give a short tour to a group of kids, and they might be able to pet some of the animals.
8. Head out to a local park and have a BBQ picnic.
Best Age: 6 – 10
Let the little guys help pack the food to get them excited about the trip.
9. Let them dig for fossils – bury a bunch of cheap dinosaur toys in the yard or garden.
Best Age: 2 – 6
Give everyone a plastic spade for digging. You can even buy some inexpensive “replica” dinosaur bones online or at a museum.
10. Make salt dough ornaments.
You can bring out the creativity of your kids by making salt dough ornaments — figurines, letters, animals — just about anything they want to make. Making things out of salt dough will help foster fine motor skills through sculpting, painting and threading. Click on this link for instructions on how to make salt dough.