Include some of these cheap activities and outings for children and families in holiday plans to keep children busy and active during school holidays.
School holidays can be a great opportunity to spend time together as a family. It is not necessary to take expensive trips to build wonderful family memories. There are lots of fun and inexpensive activities for children that can be enjoyed at home or in the local area to keep children busy and active without breaking the budget.
For budget family activities in the local area, check newspapers at the beginning of the holidays for details of events.
Outdoor Activities for Children
Don’t be put off by the wind or rain, wrap up with layers of thermals and waterproofs and get some fresh air.
Visit a local park
Take along morning tea or a picnic lunch. This can be as simple as some sandwiches or a packet of crisps or biscuits. Take bottles of water or a flask of hot chocolate. Include their bikes, a football, cricket set or a kite (if the weather and area are suitable). Find a park that has a swing set and play area to keep young children entertained. Call some friends and arrange to meet there. The children will keep each other entertained and the adults can catch up as well, taking turns to watch the children.
Visit the beach
Paddle with wellies on. Get your hands into the sand, feel the grains through your fingers and build a castle. Grab some pebbles to skim on the water. Build a boat from twigs and see how far it can go.
Work in the garden
Except in the coldest months, there is often work to be done in the yard. There are many benefits of children gardening and they love to get involved, so plan to plant a herb garden or tidy up the flower beds during the holidays when they can help. Collect leaves to make a collage. If getting children to help with maintenance work like weeding, make sure that they are very clear about what plants/weeds need to be removed.
Seek out places of interest in your area
Local farms and growers often have tours and tastings of their produce. Children love seeing where their food comes from. Take a drive along a tourist trail or a do a day tour of your city.
Indoor Activities for Children
Play a board game
There are an astounding number of board games available, including some in most children’s rooms that haven’t been used for some time. Old favourites like Monopoly and Scrabble are great with older children while Snakes & Ladders and Snap will keep young children amused. Chess is experiencing a revival, so why not get the chessboard out and pass on this great strategy game to the next generation. Many games such as Monopoly, Cluedo, Scrabble and Guess Who have Junior versions available for young children. These are great for keeping their attention as Lucas loves playing Monopoly junior but we don’t tend to finish regular Monopoly as it takes too long for him.
Build a fort
Cover the dining room table with blankets and create a cubby house or fort. Serve morning and afternoon tea there. Children love to create their own environments and have lots of fun planning and organising everything that they need to make their own ‘house’.
Do a jigsaw
Set aside an area on the dining room table or living room floor and work on a large puzzle together.
Bake a cake or some cookies
Use a packet mix cake if that makes things less stressful. During holidays the family routine is a little bit more relaxed, so it is also a great time to let children help to prepare dinner for the family.
School holidays are a wonderful time to create great family memories and simply spend some time together. Get everyone involved in making suggestions for what the family can do and enjoy the opportunity to take a temporary break from the school routine.