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School holiday activities

School holiday activities

School holidays can be overwhelming for lots of parents. Figuring out how to keep children of different ages entertained without breaking the bank and all whilst holding on to your own sanity can seem like a mammoth task!

But with a little bit of planning, the holidays can be an amazing time full of creative fun that will become treasured memories for all of you.

Where to start

Your local library is not just a place to store books! Most libraries will have some sort of free school holiday activities planned such as LEGO robotics, story time, creative writing, and STEM workshops. Sign up to your library’s newsletter to be the first to hear about the events as they usually fill up very quickly.

Shopping centres are another location bursting with school holiday activities.

Check the websites or social media of a few centres in your area and see what they have on. From cookie decorating, to cuddly animal farms, and interactive art exhibits, shopping centre activations are usually accompanied by in-centre discounts on kids meals as an extra incentive to attend.

Community newspapers will often feature articles and advertising for upcoming shows and festivals in the school holidays. Theatre in the park, visiting circuses, food trucks, Easter Egg hunts or Santa visits are sure to get a mention. Most newspapers have a social media presence so if you don’t get the paper delivered check their Facebook and Instagram pages, and even search the #schoolholidayactivities hashtags within your local area.

Out of school hours (OSH) care

If you school or one in the area has an OSH Club then it is worthwhile seeing what planned activities they have on. OSH Clubs allow you to head to work while the kids are entertained in a fully supervised environment amongst their peers. Some OSH Clubs will advertise their school holiday program in advance allowing you to pick the days depending on which exciting activities they have planned. As a bonus, if you qualify for a Child Care Subsidy, you can use it at registered OSH Clubs!

Structure and theme your home days

Filling two (or eight!) weeks with activities becomes more approachable if you designate certain days for going out and some for staying in. Working around nap times or meal times as it suits, experiment to see what works best for your family. Does a morning out then a relaxing afternoon at home suit? Or do you all function better with a slow start to the day and then on to the more exciting things after lunch?

On home days, don’t be afraid to create a theme! You’ll be surprised how fast a themed day goes and your little one will be talking about it for ages to come.

Dinosaur day 

Set up a dinosaur discovery table with all their dinosaur toys and books on it, watch a dinosaur movie/TV show, do a dinosaur colouring in {link}, create a dinosaur garden out of found items in the garden like sticks and branches, buy a dinosaur egg for your future archaeologist to crack, use a dinosaur cutter for a sandwich.

STEM day

Create a ‘walking rainbow’ early in the morning and watch how it changes over the day, fold paper planes and see how small differences change the flight path, make a balloon rocket zoom across the room, create a glitter tornado, and have fun shooting pom poms around the house with a DIY air cannon.

Nature day

Head to the local park for a game of Nature Bingo, collect fallen leaves, sticks, berries and flowers (remember not to take anything still attached to a plant or from a National Park) and create a collage, use crayons to create rubbings of different textures, combine your found artefacts and clay to create an animal sculpture, or keep your eyes open for hidden treasures with a Scavenger Hunt.

Construction day

Make some amazing LEGO mosaics, create a fort using chairs and bed sheets, see who can build the tallest tower out of blocks, grab some sand and water to make sandcastles, raid the recycling bin and engineer a city out of cardboard boxes and tubes.

Animal day

Bake some animal cookies together, create weird and wonderful creatures out of plasticine or play dough, learn some animal facts via YouTube by watching fun shows like Andy’s Baby Animals, and play “Celebrity Head” with different types of animals.

Get out of the house

If staying home isn’t your thing and you’ve run out of ideas then don’t forget these tried and true activities, sure to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours:

  • Indoor play centre
  • The zoo
  • Ten pin bowling
  • Pottery painting
  • The movies
  • Swimming
  • The park
  • A play date
  • A skate park
  • Ride around the lake or open space

And if all else fails, a day out with the grandparents while you rest is perfect!

What are your go-to school holiday activities? Does your family function better with outings or staying home?


Photo credit: @madebymowie


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