5 School Holiday Activities that Won’t Break the Bank

We’ve hit that point when the year seems to tip forwards and send us speeding towards the long school holidays. Won’t it be nice not to have to pack school lunches and wake up little sleepy-heads, but on the other hand… what are you going to do with them for the six weeks off? This time of year is already expensive, so have a look at these fun ideas for keeping the kids busy on a budget:

  1. Strength in numbers

Gather four or five friends and make a standing, weekly afternoon playdate that you each take a turn to host. One person each week, perhaps not the host, can be responsible for organising a craft for all the kids to do together (get ideas on Pinterest!). Use each meet to do a toy swap, choosing something different each week: puzzles, games, books, dress-up clothes etc. It could be nice to celebrate the season of giving by organising a trip somewhere your children can donate their old toys.

  • The power of mud

It’s amazing how much happiness mud can bring. If you have a garden and can spare a corner, planting vegetables can be a rewarding project. Preparation and planting can fill several days and there will be such joy when you finally get to eat a small, knobbly carrot. If you don’t have such a space, introduce your child to the Japanese art of creating a dorodango – a beautiful, polished mud ball. You start by sieving your dirt and then you add water to it, bit by bit, until you can pat it into a mud ball. After that it’s all about patience and rubbing on more sieved dirt till it’s dry when you can finally polish it up with a cloth.

  • Family focus

If your little one likes cutting and gluing, give them a scrap book, some photos of your family members and let them create a family photo album. Ask them to write what they like best about each person and hey presto, you may have just sorted out a present for Granny. If you have family living far away, task your kids with making a video describing your family’s past year.

  • See the stars

When the weather’s looking good, camp out in the garden. Set up camp, play some cricket and then get them chopping and cooking outside. Once supper is done, and you’ve roasted your marshmallows, play that game where someone starts a story and says ‘ping’ at the point that the next person needs to carry it on.

  • Hunting treasure

You can never have too many treasure hunts! Start with a traditional map sketched on scrap paper. Your next can be a series of clues – include mirror image writing, a code message with a key and a clue hidden in a balloon. Your final hunt can be a photo one – send them off with a list of things to find and let them return with photographic evidence.

Most importantly, have fun and don’t fall prey to the belief that you must provide your children with a constant stream of entertainment. Days at home getting bored and having to find things to do, help your children learn to take initiative and this sets them up to become happy, creative adults.







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