Entertaining the kids during the school holidays can get the creative juices flowing – and it doesn’t have to cost the earth! Try some of our ideas for creative school holiday activities.
Trash to treasure
During the term collect up odds and ends like coloured card, ribbons, egg cartons, bottles, etc into a ‘treasure’ box. Add some craft essentials like paint, crayons, glue and stickers, then kids can make all sorts of wonderful creations from the contents. Extend the fun by creating games, ie create your own ten pin bowling game from plastic bottles, or make a super-sized marble run using empty foil and cling film tubes.
Put on a home movie night
Choose a favourite movie or a new DVD for a special film screening for family and friends. Kids can create their own movie posters and tickets for entry. Bake some yummy movie snacks (don’t forget the popcorn!) and sell for play money at a concession stand made from a large box or small table. You can even have a theme and dress up for added fun. Or share around a few funny props like hats, glasses and wigs, for fun pre-movie selfies of your guests. Then lower the lights and show guests to their seats by torchlight.
Family fun jar
Buy a large glass jar or repurpose one from home (just wash and remove the labels). Using a piece of paper, create a ‘Family Fun Jar’ label and glue this to the jar. Choose a range of fun activities; a picnic, hopscotch, trip to the zoo, pizza making, play a card game, etc. Write each one on a small piece of paper so you have one for every day of the holidays, fold them and pop into your decorated jar. Each day, take turns at choosing an activity to do together and get the kids involved in the preparation, ie making sandwiches for the picnic, planning the route around the zoo, or learning a new card game.
There’s nothing wrong with sneaking in some learning during the holidays! Science experiments that your child can do at home are great for developing their curiosity and the learning possibilities are huge. Kidspot’s Activity Corner has a huge amount of science experiments that use basic things that you will likely already have at home or can pick up cheaply. Get them giggling with a taste test, thrill them with a balloon rocket, or try some simple kitchen experiments.
Many hands make light work
It may sound a bit unfair to get the kids involved in housework during their holidays but there’s lots of ways to make chores fun and the quicker it’s done, the faster everyone can move on to having more fun! Try a cleaning up challenge – time the kids to see how quickly they can put all the LEGO away or put on a favourite song and encourage the kids to tidy away all the toys before it finishes. Make a game out of matching socks from the laundry or get the kids to wash the car with water pistols. Encourage the kids to do a clear out and help run a garage sale, making posters and price tags. Anything that doesn’t sell, fill a box with items that are in good condition and donate it to a local charity.
Make a mini movie
This is an awesome project for kids and they’ll be learning while they play. Start by writing a basic script – kids need to think about what the plot will be, who the characters are and what will happen in the movie. Then, using action figures, dolls, play dough, LEGO, etc, put together your movie ‘sets’. Set the tablet or smartphone to video, get up close and begin filming! Either use a stop-start process (shoot a short scene, then stop filming, move the characters, etc then film again) or just get those hands in there to move the characters around as you film. Don’t forget the silly or dramatic voices and make it fun!
Try something new
Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same old activities these school holidays. Mix things up! Get the kids learning a new skill (anything from painting ceramics, to rollerskating, to sewing), explore a new playground, take a road trip to a nearby town and have the kids navigate using a map, or give them the challenge of learning a few new recipes.
More creative ideas
Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”