Best Screen-Free School Holiday Ideas For Kids At Home

When we were kids, we spent our school holidays keeping out of our parents’ hair, playing with friends at each other’s houses or roaming the neighbourhood for hours on end.  Kids’ holiday programs were rare and family vacations were limited to once a year, so we had to make our own fun around the home.

Nowadays, there are countless holiday activities on offer, and you could book into a paid activity every day if you wanted.  But there’s something to be said for lazy days in and around the home – kids need time for unstructured play, to explore their creativity and to unwind.  Not to mention home-based activities can be easier on the parent’s wallet.

But what do you do when that inevitable chant of “I’m bored” starts up?  And how do you keep the kids from spending hours on their screens?  Here’s a list of fun, easy boredom-busting school holiday ideas for you to enjoy at or around your home…with not an electronic screen in sight.

Be A Master Chef

Cook up a storm in the kitchen.  Kids of all ages can tackle pizza making, fruit kebabs or cupcake decorating.  For really little kids, buy ready-made pizza bases, cut up the fruit yourself and pre-bake the cupcakes.  For older kids, teach them how to make it all from scratch.  Invite a few friends to join in the fun and you’ve got an instant lunch or dinner party afterwards.

Learn A Craft

Take a trip to your local craft or sewing store and check out their pre-made craft kits for inspiration.  You can buy the kits or gather the individual supplies yourself, and let your child use their own creativity.  School holidays are also a great time to pass on your own crafting skills, teaching your child to sew, crochet, knit, paint, scrapbook, or whatever else you enjoy doing.  This can be a lovely bonding activity for you both.

Camp Out

If the weather’s nice, pop up a tent in the backyard and let the kids camp out for an afternoon – or even overnight.  Add to the fun with a carefully built fire and toasted marshmallows.  This is a great opportunity to get kids used to sleeping out, while not being too far away from the comforts of home.

Camp In

Alternatively, have a sleepover indoors.  Slumber parties don’t have to be just for birthdays and make for a fun school holiday activity too.  Make your sleepover special with a gorgeous teepee setup, like our bright and cheerful Wonderland Whispers theme.  Hiring someone else to do the work means you get to give the kids an amazingly memorable school holiday treat, without much effort on your part!  Combine your sleepover with one of the other activities in this post, and your entertainment will also be sorted.

Have A PJ And Games Day

Trapped inside with rainy weather?  Make it fun with a PJ day!  Turn your lounge into a snuggle-zone with cushions, doonas and even a blanket fort, and bring out the board games.  Or take a look at our party game ideas. Activities like the chocolate tasting game will be a big hit.  Be sure to wear PJs all day – you might even like to join the kids in that.

Make A Fairy Garden

Introduce the kids to gardening by giving them their own gardening project to work on. You can keep this small scale by making a fairy garden in a pot – a few succulents, some colourful pebbles and fairy statues are all you need.  Or give the kids their own plot in your garden to transform.  Get them to draw what they’d like their fairy garden to look like, then take a trip to the local garden centre to pick out some plants.  Show them how to plant them, then gather interesting rocks, branches or statues to decorate their fairy garden with. Make some fun signs and even consider a little fence to complete the garden.

Go Rock Hunting

Rock hunting – it’s a thing.  Children paint up rocks, hide them in the local neighbourhood, then post on Facebook with their approximate location.  Other kids then go hunting for the rocks and, when they find them, post a photo.  They might then take the rocks, hide them elsewhere and post their new location.  And so, the endless rock-hunt goes on.  It’s an easy activity suitable for kids of all ages, and a great excuse for getting out and about.  To find your local rock-hunting group, search on Facebook for ‘<your state> rocks’ (eg: VIC ROCKS for rock-drops in Victoria), or ‘rock drop <state>’.

Visit A New Playground

Playground design just keeps getting bigger and better, and it can be great fun exploring a new one. There are many playground blogs online to guide your choice – just search ‘best playgrounds’ and your local town and see what crops up.  Pack a picnic, pick up a coffee, and enjoy a pleasant afternoon of outdoor fun.