Creative School Holiday Activities

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.

Get scientific!

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

What creative activities do your kids love to do during school holidays?

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her world julieWritten 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”


  1. dawnblyth 31/03/2019 at 10:04 pm

    In Christchurch we are lucky that there are often free school holiday activites at the local malls you can take your children too. We have just started rock painting which is fun – you paint a rock and then hide it, after you have hidden your rock you can search for another. Its quite fun!

  2. kymmage 31/03/2019 at 9:55 pm

    Some great ideas. But I love the idea jar the best. I’m going to start one with the kids. I have plenty of suitable jars and last holidays my youngest did something like that but with slips of paper in a hat. So I think it could be a winner for us.

  3. felicity beets 29/03/2019 at 7:29 am

    love the movie idea – can’t wait to do this when the boys are older. I also love treasure hunts so I think that this will be another idea to do – maybe an Easter egg hunt.

  4. MuddledUpMolly 26/03/2019 at 12:11 pm

    I love these posts and what great timing with the school holidays just around the corner! For the first time my husband will be home with us this school holiday so there are plenty of ideas here for us to enjoy as a whole family.

  5. SarahBlair 19/03/2019 at 12:16 pm

    There are some really fun sounding ideas here! I like the idea of getting scientific and helping the kids to learn while they are having fun!!

  6. Mands1980 18/03/2019 at 8:06 pm

    These are such great posts as a parent you can get stuck in day to day routine and when it comes to the holiday struggle to keep the kids busy. The family fun jar sounds lots of fun, and doing science experiments my kids love things like this. They all sound great and we need to try some of these.

  7. Bevik1971 07/03/2019 at 12:49 pm

    I love these posts! It’s so nice to be able to get some ideas for the kids in the school holidays (can you believe the next lot are only 5 weeks away!!!! I’ll be working for most of them but Dad will be looking after our daughter, they seem to find lots of things to do at home and out. Luckily we live in the middle of town so lots of things on the doorstep 🙂

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