There’s no need to worry about losing your sanity these school holidays. We’ve collected a range of free school holiday activities for you, including both structured and unstructured play options, to help keep those little minds and hands engaged.
Free School Holiday Activities
We love this idea because it means your children are engaging with natural elements, and can let their creativity have free reign! First, go for a wander together, at the park, local nature reserve, creek, or even your own backyard. See what they find, what sparks their interest! Collect rocks, leaves, seed pods, flowers and discuss details like colour, texture, pattern, shape. Then, get crafting! Seed pods can be turned into boats, flowers can be pressed and laminated onto cards, rocks can be painted and turned into all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures! One of our favourite nature craft activities is turning dried banksia flowers that have fallen from the tree into a family of echidnas. Find some more nature craft inspiration here!
Help Them Find A New Hobby
Does anyone else have fond childhood memories of learning how to knit with Grandma? Or carefully ordering your rock collection? Never underestimate the power of a hobby. Hobbies teach concentration, foster self-esteem, and encourage self-directed learning. They are also a beautiful way for your children to connect with the older generation, and for knowledge and skills to be passed on, rather than lost. Perhaps they could learn how to crochet with their Aunty, garden with Grandad, or learn about photography through some free online tutorials and put together their own exhibition.
Unstructured Outdoor Play
The best ones to show us how to play are the children themselves! More and more, experts are realising that unstructured, free play is the best type of play for children. It helps them to develop their imagination, creativity and problem-solving skills. As it is self-directed, unstructured play means that children are free to discover their own passions, and move at their own pace.
Sometimes, your children will need some help directing their energies. For example, give them some rope, timber, zip ties and tarp, and see what sort of den they can create. A wonderful resource for encouraging children to engage in outdoor play is the NaturePlay website. They can log on, create their own profile, and select from a range of missions, most of which are free. (Make sure those little sun-seekers have got their hats, sunscreen and kids sunglasses on for all their outdoor adventures)
Musical and Dramatic Play
This is SUCH a fun way to engage your children’s creativity and imagination. There are a whole host of unstructured musical and dramatic options for children to sink their teeth into. They may like to dress up, and act out one of their favourite stories, or even make up their own. Younger children can engage in role-play – hairdressers or doctors. Older children may make a full production to perform for an audience. Musically, encourage them to collect a variety of natural objects that make sounds, and create a bush band.
Visit Your Local Library
A seriously underused resource, your local library is pure gold! Let your children get lost browsing amongst the aisles, because there's nothing like the crackle that comes from turning the pages of a real book! Don't forget to also check what activities the library has planned for the school holidays - they'll often have all sorts of options, from craft to coding.
A GLORIOUSLY simple way to help your children work off some energy, take them for a bike-ride, a scoot, a swim, or a play in the park. Just remember to slap on a hat, slop on some sunscreen, and slide on some Babiators.
If all else fails, teach your kids this handy acronym by heart. B.O.R.E.D? B – be creative, O – outside play, R – read a book, E – exercise, D – do something helpful.
We’d love to hear from you! What are your favourite free school holiday activities?
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