I absolutely love school holidays.
No lunches to be made, no morning rush, no outrageous screaming for little people to get dressed and we can stay in our pyjamas all day if we want. Ahhhhhh bliss.
That is until my kids, on about day three start this ‘I’m Bored’ shit. It drives me batty. To the brink of actual insanity and quite often, I have no real idea what I should do with them.
These school holidays I’m going to be prepared. I’ve had a look around for some of the most cost effective and easy ways to keep the kids occupied, without having to go too far out of my way. I know I’m a mum, but it’s my holiday as well. I wanted maximum activity with minimum effort.
It’s a great idea to grab some crafty stuff, organise a space and let the kids go nuts. There’s huge amounts of craft inspo all over the net and you’ll surely find something to suit your budget or using things you have laying around the house. Personalised Christmas cards and wrapping paper are great ideas; as well as collecting leaves and pinecones to decorate a beautiful Christmas wreath.
2. Get Out of the House
Most towns have local water holes or rivers great for swimming and exploring. Maybe even an awesome bush trail and look-out to discover. Pack a picnic, pile the kids in and go on an adventure. You’d be surprised at the beautiful places you can find in and around your area and it’s a great way to get your kids moving instead of staring at their devices all day.
3. Free Organised Events
A lot of local councils hold free regular holiday events for kids and families. From farmers’ markets to family movie nights in the park. It won’t cost you anything to attend and generally, you can take your own food and drink. Jump on your council’s website to find out what they have on these holidays. Grab a blanket and join in the fun.
4. Catch Up With Friends and Family
It’s holiday time and in Australia, now is the ultimate BBQ season. Catching up with friends and family for a steak and salad is an awesome way to spend quality time with the people you love. You can keep entertaining costs low by asking everyone to bring a share plate. Play a bit of backyard cricket or even a game of cards. Great company and good food is a sure fire way to make some amazing memories.
5. The Beach
It’s free and for most of us, it’s right under our noses. Slip, slop, slap and run your little nippers ragged with a day at the beach. Pack lunch instead of buying it and take a footy. Set yourself up under your beach umbrella and enjoy a day with your kids while working on your tan. Australian summers are the best and a beach day is a must.
You don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy a night under the stars. An inexpensive way to experience a great camp out is by doing it in your backyard. My kids love the thought of sleeping outside and enjoying it both in different locations and at home. By doing it at home, you still have the convenience of not having to pack ridiculous amounts of stuff and can still cook meals inside. Set up a tent, some lights and give them some nibbles. Maybe even ask some of their friends to come and stay.
7. Movie Nights
We regularly do movie nights at our place.
We set up all the mattresses in the lounge room, make a huge amount of popcorn and always have our go-to favourites we love to watch. To add a bit of holiday specialness, why not organise your movie night outside. Set up your TV outdoors, grab your blankets and enjoy your balmy summer’s eve with the kids on the grass. To create some beautiful ambience, hang fairy lights and lanterns to make it look just a little bit pretty.
8. Make a Veggie Garden
I’ve always wanted a vegetable garden and one of those things I just never seem to get around too. Get your kids outdoors and digging in the dirt. Find your spot and start by preparing the soil. Your local hardware or nursery should have all the seeds you need and shouldn’t cost you the earth. Seeds are a lot cheaper than purchasing already established plants and a lot more fun to watch it grow. You can add watering the garden to the kids list of chores and save yourself some dollars long term by picking your own vegetables.
9. Make Slime
Although I’m not a huge fan of slime, it’s currently the next biggest fad since fidget spinners.
Most of the products your kids will need to make their slime should already be in your kitchen pantry. If not, you should be able to grab the extras at your local grocery store for a minimal amount and will provide your kids with hours of fun. I suggest laying some ground rules before commencing this project, e.g. have a designated area, no slime on or near carpets etc.
Check out this recipe to make slime!
My kids love music and so do I. Move some furniture from the lounge room and hang some fun decorations to transform the space into a disco. Invite some of their friends, pop out some treats and just add music. For an extra special disco, do it at night and decorate with some uber cool lights if you have them. Your kids will love it.
Keeping your kids occupied can be a difficult task given the length of the Christmas holidays. But giving them a few things to do and organising yourself, you can easily keep them generally happy without breaking the bank.
Most children honestly don’t mind what you’re doing, so long as they’re spending time with you. Add in a beach trip and a backyard camp out and you’ll be giving them plenty of school holiday fun. More ideas = more fun and if I hear the words ‘I’m Bored’ more than three times this school holidays, I’m skipping countries and changing my name.