We’ve all been there. The kids are whining about being ‘stuck at home’ for the holidays.

“But ALL my friends are going away…” or “Why do we have to stay home? Why can’t we go away and do something cool” are all too familiar complaints in many households across the country each and every time school holidays roll around.

Tourism Australia is urging Aussies to stay local and take an Aussie holiday instead, so, why not?

Being at the beach or going camping is great… But when the school holidays last anywhere from 2 weeks to 10, there’s only so much beach and bush time a kid can take. So what else do you do?

It’s hard to be creative about what to do when you’re home on ‘staycation’. Have you ever thought, maybe I should just ask the kids?

No, don’t just ask them what do you want to do today/tomorrow/next week – you’ll get the usual response ‘go to the movies’ or ‘see my friends’.

If you frame the question around what they might like to experience during the holidays, you’re much more likely to gain a more useful response.

The best ideas for things to do actually come from the kids themselves, when they’re armed with knowledge and feel empowered.

So here are some tips for holidaying at home:

1. Remember where you came from

How did your hometown or city come to be? What makes the place you live great is often it’s history and foundation. Take the time to rediscover your roots. Your local Information Centre has a ton of free maps and information on tours and activities to be done.

Don’t be afraid to play tourist for the day.

2. Animals are always cool

Whether it’s what they look like, the sound they make or the strange position they just happen to be lying in, animals are endlessly fascinating to kids. Visit the local zoo or take inspiration from your family pet and get out into the great outdoors with them in tow.

Check out a walking track you’ve never done before or take a picnic to a park you don’t regularly visit and see some of the local wildlife.

3. Make education fun

Museums and galleries often sound hugely boring to kids. But if you visit the websites of the ones in your area you can always find out about special displays or events happening over the holidays that may actually get your kids interested.

Don’t say you’re going to the ‘museum’ – get them excited about what they’ll actually see and do rather than the name of the place you’re going.

4. Go on a scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are a fantastic way to engage kids in exploring your hometown. Give them a challenge or a bit of fun competition and kids go crazy! There are a number of great apps to help you build your own or if that all seems a bit too hard, how about you create a simple treasure hunt for your kids at a known destination?

5. Burn some energy

It’s a burning issue in our medical community and one that the media consistently wants to remind us of – Australian’s are among the fattest people in the world. Our sedentary lifestyle doesn’t seem to be helping our cause, so how about getting the kids involved in a more energetic activity?

It doesn’t have to be the usual throwing a ball in the park. Why not get them to try their hand at something more adventurous and exciting?

There are plenty of holiday events like acrobatics and circus school, indoor rock climbing or horse riding for your kids to try. Think outside the box and get them moving.

The most important thing is to make sure your kids are having fun. Take the time to get into their headspace and you’re bound to have much happier holidays.

What exciting things are you getting up to these holidays? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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