Kids nagging you to take them out or keep them entertained during the holdiays or on weekends?

Here is a list of 36 budget boredom busting activities to keep them occupied, out of your hair and out of your wallet!

1. Movie day. This is a great and free activity for those dreary rainy days or PJ days. Pop your own popcorn and snuggle under a blanket together.

2. Dress up day. This means you too mum! Pick a theme or just raid the dress up box!

3. Lounge room disco. Pump up the tunes and dance your hearts out.

4. Film your kids putting on a show, dance or play. This will be a great memory to look back on as well as getting their imaginations moving.

5. Take a picnic. To the beach, to a park, to the backyard it doesn’t matter!

6. Camping. Away or in the backyard.

7. Garden. Seeds are inexpensive if you don’t have space a small herb garden gives back and is cheap.

8. Chalk drawing. Find a blank piece of concrete or black board and draw away.

9. Go to the beach. It’s part of our culture after all.

10. Explore your surroundings. Giving your child the opportunity to snap some photos of the world around them is an eye opener for both of you.

11. Travel on public transport. Trains, buses, ferries and trams are so exciting for children!

12. Take a trip to your major city and explore the many free and cheap activities like museums and historical sites.

13. Create! Have a craft day. Take to a blank canvas of paper or cardboard etc and let them go nuts with paint, pencils, textas, whatever!

14. Look out for free shows at your local shopping center and libraries during the holidays.

15. Bike riding.

16. Visit a park or oval, take a ball to kick around. Take your dog too!

17. Have a mini clean up Australia Day. Take a bag and gloves to your local park or beach and pick up some papers. This teaches your children about maintaining the environment.

18. Cloud watching or star gazing.

19. Go fishing. Hands reels and bait are inexpensive and it’s good fun.

20. Baking day. Let the kids help you bake some treats or decorate some pre-made cookies with icing and lollies.

21. Board games. Get some friendly competition happening.

22. Set up a pretend shop and let your kids run it.

23. Write a letter. Snail mail is fun to send and receive!

24. Go on a bush walk. Take it slowly and see what you can hear and see.

25. Borrow books from your local library.

26. Go to the movies. There’s usually a cheaper day and babes in arms sessions for kids.

27. Find a pond or lake where ducks or fish reside, take a loaf of bread and make some new friends.

28. Make a cubby from lounge cushions or a sheet over your dining table.

29. Get your children to write their own story. You will be amazed what their imaginations hold.

30. Bubble blowing. Always a winning idea!

31. Paint each others nails or do play make up.

32. Toast marshmallows over a fire.

33. Make paper chains or paper bunting for their rooms.

34. Print out colouring pages and let the kids colour until their hearts content.

35. Cut out felt and make 2D play food. Cupcakes, sandwiches the list is endless.

36. Paint rocks. Make pet rocks, monsters, strawberries, lady bugs etc.

Do you have any ideas to add to this list? SHARE with us in the comments below.

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  • Loving the felt idea! It’s so cheap and I never even thought to create food and the like with pieces!
    Thank you for the list of ideas.


  • Yes my little one loves putting on a concert.


  • These are all fantastic ideas and ones we considered when my teenage son was younger. We used to write up a list of activities and put them in a jar for him to draw from when he was bored.


  • Some nice ideas. Our kids ages vary from 12-3 yr old and is sometimes hard to accommodate all.


  • We often did points 11 and 12 when the children were around teenage years – they loved it.
    We also used to have a cooking competition – all the kids joined in this and we had some lovely morning teas for a few days afterwards.


  • I like to make a treasure hunt out of an outing. For example if we go to the park I might make a list with pictures of a red leaf, an insect, a blue hat etc (my daughter can’t read yet so we use pictures). It seems to give the trip a bit of focus and she is always proud when she can complete the list (also good for longish car journeys).


  • I love reading lists like this. It got my creativity going. Last night we helped the kids cook damper wrapped around green sticks over our campfire, followed by a movie night inside. Today, gardening, a game of soccer, and another campfire tonight.


  • Add singing, baking, hopscotch, playground and I spy.


  • Great rainy day games here thanks for sharing


  • They are very helpful ideas.


  • WOW you have a great mind ..wonderful list ..thanks for sharing.


  • Awesome List. So many things I had not thought of


  • Nice ideas for slightly older children.


  • thanks for all the tips…sounds like a great plan!


  • Great ideas. I also find just sitting and playing with them with the toys they already have is great too. Our girls love it when we pull Thomas out into the lounge room and all build together, or get out the blocks and do something together. They are only little so one on one time is really important to them.


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