With school holidays fast approaching, you’ll need a range of activities to keep the kids entertained that won’t break the bank. We’ve found four free or affordable things to keep them smiling.
Keeping the kids occupied over school holidays can be challenging and costly. Get prepared for the weeks ahead with these simple, boredom-busting ideas.
1. Make your own art gallery
Like most parents your home is probably filled with art work lovingly made for you. The challenge is what do you do with the masterpieces once you’ve covered the fridge (and the grandparents’ house). This is where the Kids’ Art Gallery comes in.
Get the kids to choose their favourite artwork to showcase in their own ‘gallery’. This can be set up in the lounge room or hallway. Encourage the kids to write invitations to family, create a name for each piece and dress up as artists for the day.
2. Do a treasure hunt
This requires a little more planning, but can be tackled in an hour. Start by writing out some clues and hiding them around the house. For example; under their pillow with ‘find your next clue where you lay your head to rest’. Depending on the age of your children, you can make it more complex and hide the objects in unexpected places like a saucepan in the garden shed.
Of course, any good treasure hunt is not complete without a treasure map. For this, you can use half a brown paper bag. If you have time and want an authentic ‘ye olde’ look, use a basting brush to paint A4 paper with cold coffee. Leave to dry overnight and then lightly burn the edges (an adult job). For added fun, create adventurer hats from newspaper and give yourselves explorer names.
3. Plant a herb garden
Whether you’re in an apartment with limited space or have a big outdoor area, a herb garden can work in either space. Start by getting the kids to choose the herbs they’d like to grow. Good, fast-growing options are chives, rosemary, mint and basil.
Your local garden or hardware store should have a range of seed or potted options (depending on how patient your kids are) and pots that can be easily decorated.
4. Build a blanket fort
Who doesn’t have fond memories of building blanket forts? For an old school look, they’ll need blankets, cushions, pegs, books and the use of the kitchen table. For a modern interpretation, they can get crafty and make it out of cardboard and foil.
The very best forts have a theme as well as a secret password. For a pirate theme, they can use masking tape on a dark tea towel for a flag. For a fairy theme, use pink or purple bin liners to create a colourful entrance.
An indoor cubby is obviously a ‘kids only’ space, so mum and dad will need to find something else to do.