Well the school holidays are upon us again, and as much as we love our little ones, the thought of such a long, uninterrupted block of time with them can seem a bit … exhausting, to say the least.
How on earth are you supposed to keep them entertained without blowing the budget or resorting to a fortnight of ‘movie days’? How do you add a bit of excitement to their days without having to brave the terrifying school holiday crowds that take over the city?
Here at Hooray Day, we love to share all sorts of tips and tricks for making every day a celebration! This is our list of fun, low cost activities to help keep your kids busy over the holidays, and your sanity intact!
In Your Backyard
Have a daytime camping trip! Put up a tent or teepee in the backyard. Get your kids to help collect pillows, sleeping bags, rugs, books, food – and set up camp for the day!
Plan a picnic. Even plain sandwiches and cut up fruit will seem more exotic when eaten outside. Bonus points for popping everything into a basket or hamper for them to unpack!
Treasure hunt! Hide some treasure in your garden and draw a rough map to help your kids find it. The treasure doesn’t have to be anything major – stickers, hair accessories or little treats are perfect. If you have a sandpit, digging for buried treasure could work well too!
Set up a veggie or flower patch in the ground, a planter, or a pot. Take the kids to the nursery to choose seeds and potting mix with you. Go for fast growing options like herbs or seasonal flowers that’ll give them the satisfaction of having produced something!
Make an obstacle course in the backyard! It doesn’t have to be fancy … crawl under a table, stand on a (small!) chair and jump off onto grass, jump rope ten times, run over there and ring that bell twice, etc. So many options!
Rainy Day Activities
Set up a bowling alley in your hallway – all you need is a collection of empty bottles, a ball, and you’re away!
Set up a babycino café – cups, warmed milk, marshmallows. Make it fancy with some saucers, a chalkboard menu and cookies. Depending on how old your kids are, they might even like to play barista!
Have a cupcake or cookie decorating afternoon! Icing, sprinkles, lollies, dried fruit … whatever you have around. Go the whole hog and make your own cupcakes/cookies or keep it simple and go for store bought.
Butcher paper is your friend! Grab a roll and get creative. So many options! Use a permanent marker to create a paper tablecloth that your kids can colour in. You don’t need to be an artist – hearts and flowers will do. Spread it out on the floor and sketch out roads, then get your kids to use blocks and toys to build their own city. Take turns lying down on the paper and tracing your outlines, then draw on faces and clothes!
Out and About
If your family has an annual pass to somewhere like the zoo, liven up your regular excursion by incorporating a new element, like a scavenger hunt that the kids have to complete while they’re there!
Take some binoculars to the park or on a walk around the neighbourhood and see how many animals your kids can spot. Do the same with a magnifying glass and get them to find insects. You could even ask them to draw or journal what they see.
Go on a night time excursion and explore your neighbourhood with a torch – it’s amazing how exciting kids find this kind of thing!
Go on a nature walk with a purpose. Give your kids a list of things they need to find (e.g. autumn leaves in different colours, flowers to make art, shells from the beach) ask them to track their walk on a map.
From all of us at Hooray Day, we wish you and your family a fun and relaxing school holiday! Check out our website for other blogs and information on our Party Kits and handmade decorations. We do all the hard work so that you can say Hooray to that special day!
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