School holidays will be here before you know it and it’s time to start thinking about how to keep your kids entertained. It may be tempting to book a long holiday, but if you’re trying to stick to a budget you’ll need to be creative. Luckily there are lots of options to keep your kids busy over the school holidays that won’t break the budget.
The key is to have a plan of attack so you’re armed and ready with ideas when your kids come to you with the dreaded, “I’m bored!” howl.
You can start getting your kids excited about their options and involving them in the planning process – you may be surprised with some of the ideas they come up with!
There’s no need to overschedule your holiday either, one activity a day should be more than enough and it doesn’t have to be all day. Also remember to have fun with it – it is the holidays after all!
Read below see how you can turn your next school holidays into a fun and memorable break without blowing your budget.
At home activities:
There’s a ton of things you can do with your kids at home that cost little to no money at all. While they may not all suit your family, they may inspire you to come up with a few ideas of your own.
Plant a veggie garden
Plant a few items at the beginning of the school holidays and watch them grow over the break. If you don’t have a backyard, you can always buy pots and plant herbs – simply stick them on your balcony or windowsill.
Camp out in your backyard/living room
Grab your sleeping bags and pitch a tent in your backyard or living room. You can take turns telling ghost stories with a torch light and make s’mores over the stove.
Kid’s bedroom makeover
Re-arrange the furniture, get rid of old toys and frame your children’s artwork for a brand new look. This is almost a cleaning project disguised as a makeover, but your kids don’t have to know!
What child doesn’t love to eat cookies? Take a half a day to make a few of your favorite cookie recipes, or let the kids pick a desert they want to try out. You probably have a lot of the baking supplies you need in your cupboard already.
Schedule a play date
This is dead simple, cost-free and means a bit of free time for you while the kids play!
Take a look at your arts and crafts supply to see what kind of activity you can put together and let the kids go to town!
There’s something sneaky about watching a movie in the middle of the afternoon and your kids definitely won’t resist this one. Choose a movie you already have or borrow one for the library then draw the curtains, dim the lights and pop some popcorn to get the full movie experience.
Build a fort
What’s more classic than building a fort? Read stories underneath, play cards, or start a puzzle after you’re finished building it.
This requires a bit of extra effort but it’s good fun. Choose four to five hiding places for your clues and decide what your “treasure” will be. You can then write clues for your children to follow. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this post on how to build your own treasure hunt.
Stem friendly activities
If you’re trying to sneak in something educational over the holidays, check out these STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) friendly activities.
Out & about activities:
There’s plenty to do outside your front door, and you’ll be surprised to know how many low cost/free activities are around once you start looking.
See what’s on at the library
Check out your local library for a list of free activities like story time, which usually happens on a weekly basis.
Explore your local fairs & markets
Visit the art gallery
Many galleries have kid friendly activities and exhibitions for little to no cost during the school holidays.
Act like a tourist
Be a tourist for a day and check out the major attractions in your area. Research your local tourism website if you’re in need of ideas.
Day at the beach
There’s nothing more Australian than a day at the beach. Pack a picnic and plenty of sunscreen and you’re set for the day.
Bushwalk in a national park
Australia has a wealth of gorgeous national parks, just make sure to pick an age appropriate trail for your children and bring along plenty of water and snacks for your hike. Check here for a list of national parks near you.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep your kids entertained over the school holidays. The most creative ideas are little to no cost and they’re usually the ones your kids remember for years to come. Start planning now and you can enjoy an eventful holiday break with money to spare. For more helpful tips on how to enjoy yourself on a budget check out 5 ways to enjoy life under financial pressure.
If you’re worried about the upcoming costs of the holidays and aren’t sure how to manage your finances, give us a call on 1300 368 322 to sort your debts out before the holidays begin. We’ve helped thousands of Australians get back on track, and we can help you too.