With our changed world, cancelled travel plans and cold weather, entertaining the kids during school holidays could be more challenging than ever.

With that in mind it is a great idea to have a list of activities on hand for all weather conditions to keep little minds and hands busy when you just can’t think of what to do.

Not everyone will like all ideas and that’s fine, and yes you don’t need to plan every second for them but it is nice to add some structured experiences to the holidays as well as letting them come up with their own.

Here are some great ideas to keep the kids busy during the school holidays.


There are so many different science experiments to keep kids busy. You can look up ones you like, hire a book at the library or go with the tried and tested ones. Have a volcano explode when you add vinegar and bicarb soda. Or make it a spooky spell when you add in the extra potion. Teach kids about the reactions of certain products. Go crazy and have fun but keep it age appropriate.


For older kids, challenge them to make a dinner for everyone. This is a win for all involved. You can have them find a recipe, shop for the ingredients and make the meal. For little kids get in and bake some treats to share or have them help make a meal.


I personally love art so cleaning up the mess doesn’t bother me because I enjoy it but pick an activity you’re happy to have at your place. Paint, sculpt with clay or set a project. Have a drawing challenge or a challenge to decorate something in particular or design a theme and decorations for an event.


Teach the kids about money. Give them a list of chores that need doing and a price for them. Don’t make them everyday chores but something more challenging. They don’t have to do them but if they do they get the listed price. This works well to set at the start of the holidays and you might even get some of your hated chores out of the way.

Music time

Dance, sing, have them learn an instrument if you are brave enough.


Set up a project and learn to sew, whether it is something complicated or sewing on a button.


If you have budding photographers set a photo challenge amongst the family with a theme each day and have a panel of judges (maybe grandparents, Aunts, Uncles or neighbours) who pick the winner of each category.


Get in the backyard and do some backyard sport, football, handball, obstacles courses or even a treasure hunt.


Get out and away from everyone and head off for a bushwalk. A great way to get everyone out and enjoying nature and some fresh air. You could have a specific photography challenge that each person needs to get a photo of too.


Lots of libraries are doing contactless borrowing. Grab a head of fun books and set up a reading area. Have one inside and one outside for when the weather is nice.


Even if it’s not really your thing go small. Pot some succulents or even make your own grassy heads. Put some carrot ends in a saucer of water and watch what happens.

Clear out

Have your kids go through their belongings and clear out what they no longer want or use.  Donate or sell what is valuable.

Board games and cards

Dig out all the board games and cards and have a games day. If the weather is nice, play in the yard or on the veranda.

Cubby house

Have the kids build an indoor cubby house and let them sleep in the lounge room one night. Don’t forget some cubby house furniture and decor to really bring it to life.


Get the kids to prepare a performance and perform after dinner one night.

Not all these ideas for the school holidays will be for everyone but make a list of things that will fit your family and have it on hand for when you need some inspiration. Add to it as everyone comes up with ideas and keep it safe for each school holidays.

What are your plans for the school holidays? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • If its horrible weather then indoor cubby houses are always so much fun


  • Fantastic ideas here, arts and crafts are always a favourite.


  • We did lots of scavenger hunts in the garden, so much craft, fort building. I will be using some of these ideas during the summer holidays too


  • We just do our best!


  • Lots to do. Thanks for the great ideas.


  • This is a great list. I think I may save it for the future holidays too :)


  • We do more cooking and baking.


  • Thanks for these suggestions


  • So long as you have lots of things to do at home, your children will be happy – no-one can go anywhere anyway with this COVID-19 problem.


  • It’s good to have a lot of options up your sleeve as kids can get bored really quickly or they just don’t like the sound of an idea if you don’t sell it well. So hard to entertain sometimes…


  • A lot of options there. I’m sure lots of families will be out and about these school holidays.


  • These are all really great ideas that don’t involve technology. I love blaring the music and having a dance off with my babies or going outside looking for insects. It is not common to see children playing outside anymore. I swear you would think my children were the only ones for miles as they are the onlynones you hear playing outside


  • We do lots of backyard play with obstacle courses, basket ball, trampoline, balance beam, bikes scooters and skate boards, playgrounds, walks, cooking & baking, art, craft and card making, knitting & sewing and will drive up from Brisbane to Sydney (to see friends) with some overnight stays in cottages.


  • Sounds like we are getting back to the basics of our childhood! We spent our holidays riding bikes, going to the playground and building cubbies in the backyard. On wet days we would play LEGO, watch a bit of tv or I’d spend the day playing barbies

    • Back to basics is always good ! It teaches kids to look around and do with what we have, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun.


  • If we could get through the April holidays then these ones should be a breeze!


  • Super ideas which will keep my kids busy for a while. I also intend to get them to take some photos from our adventures. Then get them to add some writing to the photos and create a My Holiday book. They love taking these to school and sharing their holiday adventures with the class.


  • Lots of play dates and sleepovers. Lots of movie watching and beach walks.


  • I agree, it’s good to plan a few activities as well as having unsceduled time.


  • Great ideas.i am looking for some bushwalking.


  • Some really nice ideas. Reluctant to leave home with the current COVID situation.


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