A freelance writer living in Perth, WA. My blog is coming soon. Watch this space!
Published January 2nd 2012
Finding things to keep the kids occupied during the school holidays is never easy. You can always take them out to the zoo or the water park but things like this can end up costing lots of money. So here are a few ideas to keep the kids happy for hours and the best part is – they're free.
1. Play Board Games
Play those old board games or card games that you haven't played for ages. ou might be surprised at how much fun they are. For a bit of something different let the kids make up their own games.
Most kids love painting or drawing and making things, so break out the paints and let them create a masterpiece. Let the kids get crafty and make some jewellery using beads or even left over Christmas bits and bobs. You can get lots of stuff from your local craft shop or just use whatever you have lying around the house. If jewellery is not your thing then make something else, maybe a photo frame or birthday cards. A bit of glitter and glue and your all set.
3. Cook up a Storm Get in the kitchen and make something together or let the kids have a go on their own. Whip up something easy like cupcakes and decorate them with sprinkles. Maybe make some mini pizzas. You can buy individual bases and the kids can add their own toppings.
4. Have a Tea Party
Let the kids invite a couple of friends around and have a tea party. It doesn't need to be fancy just a few cakes or some finger foods and soft drinks. The kids will have a ball and you can hold this indoors or outdoors depending on the weather.
5. Have a Picnic
Pack up lunch and a blanket and head to the park for a picnic or for a change have a back yard picnic. A few sandwiches, cakes and soft drinks are all you need.
6. Outdoor Movies
Set up the Television or maybe the laptop outside, or inside but facing the back yard so it can be seen from outside. Organise some blankets, beanbags or cushions to sit on and of course some popcorn. Then play their favourite DVD's for some outdoor movie magic. This can be done during the day or in the evening.
7. Memory Game
Pick about 10 items (or more depending on how old your kids are) and put them on a tray. Give the kids about 2 minutes to memorise the items, then cover them up. See how many items they can remember. They can write this down or each one can just say it in turn.
8. Treasure Hunt
Hide a few items around the house and get the kids to find them. Make it a race to see who finds the most items first or give them a list to tick off each item as they find it.
9. Write a letter
Letters are not written like they used to be in our parents and grandparents days so writing a letter is a bit of a novelty. Get the kids to write a letter to someone they don't see very often, maybe someone who lives in another state or country or someone who just lives in a different area. It could be Grandma or Grandpa or an aunty or cousin that would love to receive a letter from your kids. This could turn into a special thing and they could even become pen pals.
10. Apple Bobbing
Fill a large bowl with water and a few apples and let the kids bob for apples. This can be a bit messy, so maybe play this outside and with water being involved you should of course supervise this activity very closely.
There are many more activities that you can organise for your kids and participate in yourself. Keeping your kids occupied for hours on end need not cost you much; there are loads of things you can do that are cheap and simple. Ask the kids for some of their own suggestions; you might be surprised what they come up with. Use your imagination, the options are endless and remember the most important thing is to have some fun.