18 Quick & cheap school holiday ideas

April 02, 2019

This article was written prior to 15 March 2021, before the launch of the new Financial Advice Regime, and was published for information purposes only. It is not being actively promoted by Dollar Insurance. Dollar Insurance does not provide financial advice about the suitability of their products and cannot take into account your personal situation or goals. Before you decide to take out a Dollar Insurance Policy, you should read the relevant Policy Wording document which contains the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the Policy, and seek independent financial advice, if required, to ensure the insurance policy is suitable for you.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of kids rushing home for school holidays! This might not be music to every parent or grandparents’ ears. How are you’re going to keep the kiddos busy until school’s back in session?!

But don’t panic! We’ve got you covered with these 18 quick and easy ideas:

1. Stay home

Don’t think of it as throwing in the towel, more like betting on your mental health. Not traveling this school holidays could save you money and headaches. A book and a cuppa in the garden might even be more relaxing than a week at the beach!

2. Let ‘em be bored

You don’t have to plan every second of every day this school holidays. The littlies might grumble at first, but they’ll learn to make their own fun right quick. Plus, studies show that boredom could actually make us more creative. You’re doing their growing brains a favour, really!

3. Put ‘em to work

Still hearing “I’m bored!” every day? Giving kids a few chores helps you (less work!), helps them (builds character!) and helps nip future whinging in the bud!

4. Help a neighbour

Finished all the jobs around your house? (Hey, it could happen…) Send the kids next door to ask if the neighbours need some help. There’s always grass to mow, cars to wash and dogs to walk. And if your kids are really savvy, they could start a side gig for some extra pocket money.

5. Head to the park

Some fresh air and time away from the house could be good for the whole family. Spend a sunny arvo at the park playing on the playground, tossing a ball or relaxing under a shady tree.

6. Learn a new (old) game

Remember all those great schoolyard games you used to play? Teach the kiddos how to hopscotch, shoot marbles, play Bull Rush, throw knucklebones or hop their way through elastics. They’ll have something fun to teach the class when school’s back in!

7. Set an exercise goal

Take advantage of your kid’s competitive streak. Challenge them to play outside every day for at least 30 minutes, walk 5,000 steps before lunch or bike a total of 50 kms by the end of school holidays. There might even be a nice treat in it for them if they meet their goal!

8. Make a healthy lunch

Feeding the family every day is hard work, and kids don’t always appreciate this. But, helping you with daily lunches might make them more grateful. Set them up to make their own sandwiches or show them how to heat up last night’s leftovers.

9. Have a picnic

Hey, why not take that yummy lunch to the park? Kids love eating outside—it’s an easy way to make the same old food feel new and exciting!

10. Plan the weekly menu

Back to helping kids show some thanks for their food… Put older kids in control of the weekly dinner planning. Show them how to make a grocery list, stick to a budget and handle picky eaters! Those are some great skills they might not get in school.

11. Have a sleepover

If you’re up to having extra kids around the house, a sleepover could be a lot of fun. Set up sleeping bags in the TV room or even pitch a tent in the backyard. Just add snacks, games and maybe some spooky stories!

12. Host a movie marathon

Millions of movies are just a click away thanks to streaming services (plus, you can always borrow DVDs from friends or the library). Go for a theme like 80s teen flicks, zombie apocalypse, anime classics or old school musicals. Pop some popcorn, dim the lights and push play!

13. Have a game night

Charades? Pictionary? Hearts? Monopoly? There are heaps of ways to put on a killer game night. Go for the classics or shop online for something new.

14. Head to the library

Need a break someplace quiet? Like, really quiet. Flip through books, magazines or the morning paper at your local library. Some even put on a weekly story time to keep the littlies busy, so you can relax. 

15. Read a book together

Remember to check out a few books from the library! A new bedtime story might make the day feel extra special. If your kids are older, start a “family book club” —you can all read the same book and talk about it later. 

16. Visit the aunties

Or the uncles, the cousins, older brothers or step-sisters. Catch up with family and friends that live nearby, especially if you keep cancelling plans when school is on.

17. Write Nan a letter

You know who loves getting mail? Nan and Pop! Set the kids up at the table with pen and paper to write a good, old fashioned letter to a family member who lives too far to visit. 

18. Send a friend a postcard

You know who else loves getting mail? Kids who don’t need to worry about getting nothing but bills! Have your kids send a postcard from holiday or even the neighbouring suburb. Their friends will likely be thrilled when it arrives!

And check out these tips for getting back into the school groove when holidays end!

About the author: Dollar Insurance is all about making insurance as painless as possible, with easy to get funeral cover, for just $1 a day. 


Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal situation or goals. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and seek independent financial advice, if required, to ensure an insurance product is suitable for you.

Any product information is correct at the time this article was published. For current product information, please visit the Dollar Insurance website.