The school holidays are here and budgets are tight but that doesn’t mean you are in for a holiday soundtrack of “I’m bored!”. Sara Keli has come up with 20 activities you can do with the kids these school holidays that are absolutely free!

Check your local council

Councils often run free activities for kids over the school holidays so check your local council to see what they are offering.

Decorate cupcakes or cookies

Lay out the icing and decorations to let them go nuts. They can also help you bake, but depending on their age, may not have the patience to wait until they have cooked and cooled before they can start decorating them!

Spend the day at the beach

Pack some lunch, snacks and water and head to the beach. Pick a beach with a park nearby and your day will be sorted. Don’t forget the hats, sunscreen and a change of clothes for the trip home.

Pack a picnic lunch

Head to the park with your picnic basket and packed lunch. The kids can run around while you enjoy the sunshine!

Make pizza

Making pizza is actually perfect for kids. Once the dough is made (get them to help you with the kneading!) cut off a little bit for them to play with- it’s just like play dough! They also love choosing the toppings for the pizza and are more likely to eat it if they’ve made it themselves.

Camp out in the backyard

If you don’t fancy the idea of heading to a campsite but want to give the kids the experience of camping, try it out in your own backyard. Borrow gear from a friend and enjoy a night under the stars with the kids.

Have a water fight

Turn on the sprinklers, fill the water balloons and prime the water pistols – it’s game on!

Fly a kite

The satisfaction of flying a kite should not be underestimated. If you don’t have a kite you can try making your own first.

Wear in the new school shoes

Not the most exciting school holiday activity but really important to do. You could even make a game of it by having a daily school shoe running race.

Science experiments

It’s amazing what a little bicarb soda and vinegar reaction can do to pique the interest of little minds.

Teach them a handicraft

The longer school holidays are the perfect time to pass on a craft skill to your kids. Whether it is sewing, knitting, French knitting, crochet, scrapbooking or something else altogether, they will love spending the time with you.

Paint a canvas

Pick up a big canvas from the craft store and get painting. You could do it all in one day or add a little each day. It will also serve as a beautiful memory of the holidays.

Set up a home bowling alley

All you need is a few empty water bottles and a ball plus a hallway and you have your own bowling alley for hours of fun.

Write a book

It could be a book about your school holiday adventures together or something completely fictional. Get them to write and illustrate the book and you could even get a copy printed up as a photo book at the end!

Do a puzzle

Puzzles are so therapeutic. Setting yourself a challenge to complete the whole puzzle in the school holidays will also keep you on track and give the kids a real sense of achievement at the end.

Make your own obstacle course

To create your own Ninja Warrior style obstacle course in the backyard (or even the living room) you can simply use furniture and items from around the house. Mountains of pillows or couch cushions, chairs, stools, stepladders, you are limited only by your imagination. Just remember to be safe!

Have a family dinner party

Get dressed up as though you are going out for dinner, turn off the TV, perhaps play some soft music and even light some candles to create a restaurant atmosphere at home. This is not only a cheaper alternative to eating out but it feels special and can be a good intro to restaurant dining for your kids.

Play board games

The list wouldn’t be complete without a classic family board games night. Let your competitive streaks shine and battle it out on the game board.

Run a car wash

Washing cars can actually be really fun, especially when you are a kid. Have your family members or neighbours bring their cars around and get the kids to wash them and they can even earn a little bonus pocket money.

Create your family time wish list for the year

A really beautiful thing you can all do as a family is to sit down once a year and decide what you want to do as a family that year. Your list could include dream holiday destinations or local attractions you want to visit together. You might not get to all of them but it gives you some structure for the year with activities that you all want to do.

For 21 more school holiday activity ideas visit

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