SCHOOL HOLIDAY... ACTIVITIES

50 Fun And Cheap School Holiday Activities

9 min read
50 Fun And Cheap School Holiday Activities

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.

More Reading:

bigstock Cool teenagers hanging out tog 34380062 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

1. Go camping in the garden or backyard, or even just in the living room.

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. If you own a trampoline – excellent!  Cover it with blankets and it can be a tent!

2. Have a Movie Day

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!

More Reading:

50 Free and Cheap School Holiday Ideas | Stay at Home Mum

3. Plant a Veggie Patch with the kids.

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.

More Reading: The 7 Vegetables That are Easiest to Grow

4. Go on a Nearby Adventure

Camping cooking food | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Grab a map of your area and find a place you haven’t been before.  Pack the kids in the car and go explore!  You might visit a new park, a waterfall, a hiking trail, a walking track – go exploring!

5. Have a day at the beach

The only expense is the fuel and snacks while you’re out in the sun.

6. Go to a local museum or art gallery.

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.

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.

Let the little guys help pack the food to get them excited about the trip.

bigstock Big Happy Family Enjoying Bbq 87568349 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

9. Let them dig for fossils bury a bunch of cheap dinosaur toys in the yard or garden.

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.

11. Write a story with your kids.

Get them interested in writing and literature.

12. Write a play with your kids that they can act out.

You can let them make all the costumes and sets for the play.

bigstock Writing Boy 200593348 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

13. Have a Masquerade Party at your house.

Let the kids make their own masks out of paper plates, elastic bands, and paint, feathers, and glitter.

14. Make cards with the kids (for Christmas or any other occasion).

During the Christmas holiday, you can make cards with the kids to send out to relatives.  Grab together all the art supplies – or pop down to your local craft shop to get some cardboard, glitter and glue.

15. Try Geocaching

Geocaching is super fun – go find hidden treasure!

16. Make a collage

You can pick up items at the beach or a local park, stuff like shells, leaves, or driftwood, and then bring it home and glue it all to a piece of cardboard.

girls playing | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

17. Get a small face painting kit and spend the day painting the kids’ faces.

Then, let them try it out on each other.

18. Head out to a national park and do a bushwalk.

Depending on the park you go to, the entry fee could go up to $11.

19. Make fresh juice.

Get out the juicer and let your kids choose what kinds of crazy mocktails they want to drink. You’ll be surprised at what they come up with!

20. Build a Sandcastle.

If you live near the beach, there are plenty of activities to do during a day trip.

bigstock Kids Building Sand Castle On T 92606354 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

21. Use macaroni or costume store beads to make necklaces, bracelets, and more.

This is great with girls, but boys actually can have a good time too.

22. Grab a pair of binoculars and go birdwatching.

Then, make a list of all the birds and look up information about them on the internet later.

23. Plan a treasure hunt.

Hide clues around the house or garden and give your kids a treasure map to start out with.

24. Go for a bike ride!

Simple, yet surprisingly fun.

bigstock Family bike ride in autumn Mo 206274760 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

25. Find a variety of leaves and do leaf rubbings.

Place the leaf under a sheet of paper, and rub a pencil across the paper to make an imprint of the leaf’s shape.  If the kids are older, you could look at doing some old cemetery rubbings too!

26. Go see the Aboriginal rock drawings at Bundeena.

It’s free!

27. Invite some playmates over.

Sometimes, all you need to do is bring a friend over and set them loose.

28. Take a trip to the Australian National Maritime Museum.

In fact, check online for all the local museums around your area.

bigstock Asian Children Playing With Ma 92100599 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

29. Have a fashion show.

Let the kids wear some of your blouses and dresses and have them parade down the runway. Take pictures to send to relatives.

30. Head over to the Art Gallery of NSW.

They have periodic free performances, along with 2-hour art courses that the kids will love for $25.

31. Play a detective game.

Either set up a mystery or just give the kids magnifying glasses and “police notebooks” (regular notebooks) to hunt for clues.

32. Have a tea party.

Set up an afternoon tea party in the garden.

bigstock Looking Through A Magnifying G 11883734 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

33. Have food colouring experiments.

Set up jars of water with different colours and dip in vegetables, flowers, or anything else you can think of.

34. Take a trip to see the grandparents.

This is a treat for the kids as well as the grandparents.

35. A simple game of hide and seek is always fun.

Play at night in the dark to make it extra thrilling.

36. Take a tour around your city.

Even after years of living there, you’ll be surprised at all the new and culturally significant places you didn’t know about.  Many major cities have a free bus that will just travel around ‘the loop’ of the city.  This is great for free sightseeing!

bigstock Happy boys go fishing on the r 151110881 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

37. Head over to a nearby botanical garden with a picnic lunch and a few books.

Let the kids run around and play while you relax.

38. Go fishing.

You can do this for the afternoon and catch dinner.  If you don’t have a fishing line, grab an inexpensive hand line (they are about $2).

39. Make your own kites.

Then, head outside to play with them.

40. Get up early in the morning and go to a local farmer’s market or fair.

The kids might grumble at first, but they’ll end up having a great time.

bigstock 166787825 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

41. If you’re feeling creative, try a paper mache project.

It makes a mess, but it’s a whole lot of fun.

42. Look up a few simple science experiments online and then do them with your kids.

Who says holidays can’t be educational?

43. Do a theme day.

Choose a colour, and everything that day has to go along with that colour. For example, if you choose red, then you wear red clothes, eat food coloured red, make paintings or crafts with red paint, etc.

44. Make a scrapbook.

Keep your memories alive by putting it in a scrapbook.

bigstock 145079849 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

45. Go out to a park.

Enjoy an afternoon of rollerblading or biking.

46. Go to the bowling alley for a couple of hours of fun.

Bowling is inexpensive, and most of the time, there will be an air hockey table if the kids get bored.

47. Spend an afternoon at the zoo.

All you pay is the admission!

100 Things To Do On School Holidays | Stay at Home Mum

48. Have a cooking day, where you bake a bunch of different desserts.

This is always a hit because you get to eat them later!

49. Put on a dance party.

Find or make some costumes to make it even more fun.

50. Find a local theatre that puts on live shows and bring the kids.

Many theatres will put on free shows, but make sure it’s family-friendly!

What cheap school holiday activities do you and your family like to do?

50 Fun And Cheap School Holiday Activities | Stay at Home Mum

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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