“I’m Bored”…no words any parent wants to hear, but with such a long school holiday break, I am sure like me you are wondering how are you going to fill your days and also ways not to break the bank doing it!
We thought we would share some hints and tips on what you can do for the rest of the holidays as well as sharing some fantastic websites in each state which lists some great activities.
Plan – you have 6-8 weeks to fill in. Don’t plan everything for the first week leaving you nothing to do for the rest of the time. Spread out the activities to home days and going out days.
Involve – involve your children. Whilst the final decision on what activities you do rests with you, if you ask your children what they would like to do you may be surprised it is not always the iPad. Including them in the planning and organising helps them also to have a sense of ownership of the idea as well. Little G – I love to be involved in choosing the activities. You may be surprised what we decide we can sometimes choose really fun things to do and not that expensive. Most of the time we just want some time with mum and dad doing things we love and sharing it with you.
Be Flexible – whilst you may have a day planned at the beach expecting to swim, build sandcastles and play rugby nothing spoils that more than rain! Or does it. So you can’t go to the beach? Why not put your gumboots and raincoats on and go jump in puddles, have leaf races in the gutters (of course not recommend for busy roads), jump on the trampoline and afterwards, run a warm bath or shower for them and followed with popcorn and watch your favourite movie. Little G – One day mum and I jumped on the trampoline when it was raining and laughed so much, it was so fun seeing mum being silly as well.
Explain – one thing I noticed with Little G was she didn’t really understand what mummy normally does during the day. Why? Because she is at school whilst I am cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking, grocery shopping etc. The reality is these jobs still need to be done. So now we do them as a team activity and teach her life skills as well. How?
- Washing – get them to help sort it into colours. Make it a game – e.g. how quickly can you sort? Allocate a colour ie. black wash, white wash, light colours, dark colours to each child and let them race to see who can sort it the fastest.
- Cooking/Baking – get them involved. Make it fun and let the OCD site of you take a step back when it comes to decorating cakes and cupcakes.
- Grocery shopping – get them to write the list for you. If you have multiple children spilt the list up between them and when at the shops they have to tick off the item, play a bit like bingo
Sure things may take a bit longer but a least they will get done. Little G – these things can be soooo boring but with mum doing these things it makes it fun, especially if she lets me lick the spoon when making cupcakes!
Give them down time – you don’t have to be out every day. The kids have had a big year, giving them some chill out time is important. Little G – Mums is right, there are some days I just want to stay home and do nothing.
The element of surprise – write down on separate pieces of paper all the things you want to do on the holidays or ideas for rainy days place them into a jar and have a member of your family choose a piece of paper and that is the activity for the day.
Allocate technology time – it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of allowing the kids to play on their iPad, iPhone, Xboxes etc. Allocate a certain amount of time per day and always have a time that they know the technology has to go away. You could also have a reward system to it, if they want more time they have to do certain chores to get bonus minutes! I am realistic having an only child means you are the permanent entertainment committee, I am certainly not saying don’t have it. You can read more below on what you can do at home or outdoors on a budget and find website links to activities in your city.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ON A BUDGET STAYING AT HOME
- Start a vegetable or herb garden – you don’t need to have a garden. Find containers to recycle as pots, have the kids decorate them and then plant the seeds. I recommend finding fast growing ones so they can see the progress during the holidays of what they have planted
- Go camping – you don’t even have to head outside, it can be as simple has having it in your living room
- Write letters and cards – people love receiving mail, get them to make their cards from scratch and then write to a relative or friend
- Craft – now craft is something for all ages. Get each member of the family to draw a caricature of themselves or another member of the family. Always remember you can print a variety of colouring in sheets online
- Do a treasure hunt in the house or garden
- Go exploring in your backyard. – What animals can you find
- Make your own kites and head out and see if they fly
- Bake – then go to the park and have a picnic
- Have a theme day. This could be a colour and everything that day has to be that colour what your wear, eat etc
- Play dress ups and do a play
- Reorganise the children’s room (with their help).
WHAT CAN YOU DO ON A BUDGET OUT AND ABOUT
- Visit your local museums, national parks, libraries and councils. You will also find many of these have free activities during the school holidays that the kids just love. You can take a pack lunch with you to keep costs down
- Shopping Centres – the big ones tend to have free school activities or shows
- Go to the park – take the bikes, football or whatever they like to do and head to your nearest park
- A day at the beach – pack a lunch and head to your local beach
- Go for a walk – sometimes just getting fresh air and out of the four walls is all it is takes. Of course you will get a few whinges but once there out there seeing the world they will thank you for it
- Go to the local farmers markets – teach them about local produce. Little G also loves the flower markets.
THIS CAN BE DONE AT HOME OR OUT AND ABOUT
Playdates – our family is lucky we have an amazing group of parents that we have meet at school. We organise to meet at different places or at someone’s house, we all bring a plate of food. The kids love it as they can play and it’s a great chance for the parents to catch up.
BELOW ARE SOME GREAT WEBSITES LISTING SCHOOL HOLIDAY IDEAS (if you have any other suggestions we love to hear from you):