Jimmy Rees gets the struggle. It’s been a long decade year, and it feels even longer when you’re trying to entertain kids. He recently shared on Instagram that he was trying to find a helpful parenting hack to survive the school holidays.

But it all went a little sideways. After trying to find a parenting hack that he’d never heard of before, he resorted to the old faithful, rainbow rice. “I was making colourful rice. I had, like, that big, huge, massive 10 kilo bag of rice, and then you know you put it in a tray and then the kids make a farm or whatever,” he shared.

Things got really messy though, “I dropped the bag of rice. Then rice went everywhere, all over the kitchen floor,” he laughed.

“Everyone laughed for a very long time. So I dropped it again, and the rice went everywhere and they were playing with it for ages,” he shared openly in an Instagram video. “The vacuum cleaner got a good workout afterwards.”

Jimmy then suggested that we try making parenting hacks go wrong on purpose, because it was actually hilarious and a little more fun, “Parenting hack gone wrong, actually went wrong end in the end!”

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A post shared by Jimmy Rees (@jimmyrees_)

Messy rice aside, Jimmy does have other good ideas to entertain the kids,“Parenting is full on. The addition of lockdowns, cancelled holidays, WFH and kids testing the boundaries has left parents exhausted. I’m thrilled to team up with Kinder to celebrate the launch of Applaydu, which brings a whole new layer of fun – and sanity – to families.”

“Another lockdown here in Melbourne for example means that we are REALLY having to get creative in our household, continuously thinking up fun activities for the kids that are also educational. These hacks include some seriously smart ideas that will keep the kids entertained, happy and learning through the holidays,” Jimmy shared.


1. Create a popsicle activity jar so you never run out of kid-friendly fun! Simply write different activities on each stick [plus any chores!]. Each day the kids can select a new activity… from building a pillow fort or reading a book, to washing the car – every day is a surprise!

2. Next time you’re in the kitchen, get the little ones involved! Use number or letter cookie cutters to practice while you eat… From maths with fruit to spelling with cookies, learning has never been so much fun!

3. Did you know gaming apps can aid a child’s learning progression? Kinder Applaydu is a new educational experience which teaches maths, motor skills, reading, writing and more. It’s free from the App Store and can be enjoyed by the whole family… Plus it works with some delicious treats – Kinder Surprise!

4. Sick of buying expensive herbs? Grab an empty egg carton and some seeds, and the little ones can grow their very own herb garden! Not only will this teach kids where food comes from and what plants need to survive, they’ll love watching their herbs grow big enough to eat!

5. Is the recycling building up? Then your kids’ next activity is sorted! Get them painting empty egg cartons, cereal boxes and any other cardboard. Kids love the interesting shapes and textures and you save on buying more paper!

6. When floors are dirty, call out “Magic Scrap!” and get the kids to search for it, picking up the rubbish on the floor constantly asking ‘is this it?’ before collecting all the rubbish. The clever trick, just chose the actual magic scrap when the floor is nearly all clean.

7. For outdoor play lay down a big sheet of plastic on the grass or even a shower curtain. Then, make a bucket of warm soapy water and give the kids sponges, little brooms and mops and ask them to clean it. Lots of slipping and sliding fun for all!

8. Hide 5 of their favourite toys – making sure to write them down so you don’t forget – and the first one to find them all wins. As a timekeeper you can lounge on the couch while the rest of the family continues the search!

9. Create fun for the whole family with a nightly dance party. Everyone gets to pick 1 song each but to enjoy the game they need to do as they are told! From having a bath, getting into their PJs or eating their veggies!

10. Take a small treat, like a couple of Kinder Surprise Eggs, and wrap them in wrapping paper. Then, give it to the kids and ask them to wrap it neatly in more paper or even the latest newspaper. Then it’s time to unwrap. It’s like an extended game of pass the parcel with a tasty treat at the end.

11. Looking for some more outdoor fun? Spin a ball of wool around branches in the garden or any other items you have to make a “spider web” obstacle course fit for the whole family.

12. Double the fun and bonus pocket money. Simply throw (or hide) some 5 or 10 cent coins (or higher value if you feel generous) in the garden and whatever they can find they can keep. Kerching!

Have you ever done a hack with the kids, only to have it end up in a disaster?

  • These are some great tips and definitely needed in this time


  • genius hacks! Twin parents unite! Def love the idea of hiding stuff in the garden for them to find (and me to sit on my sofa for some rare peace while they do it!)


  • Haha, these are all great tips and activities. We did the jar one where we’d put a heap of activities in there and my son had to choose when he was ‘bored’. But all great ideas.


  • I actually love all these ideas, I am definitely gonna put some of them to practice!


  • The best way to have fun is to be messy lol……..


  • Sounds very messy but still so fun haha.


  • The best thing we ever invested in was a kitchen helper, our toddler loves to get involved with cooking and I regularly give him a potato, peeler and safe knife, it keeps him occupied while I’m cooking dinner or doing other chores. There may be potato peel all over the place, but mess can be cleaned up.


  • Mess can always be cleaned and it’s totally worth it to give your child memories and experiences they will remember


  • I always get messy when cooking with kids.


  • Love all these ideas I have made rainbow rice recently gosh it is messy stuff. I have also made coloured Spaghetti that’s the colour didn’t stick too so ended up on everything my daughters where rainbow


  • That “magic scrap” idea is hilarious if it works! My toddler is too young for many of these but I have found that he loves going through my recycling bin and playing with plastic bottles. Who needs toys?


  • messy play done right by the sounds of it


  • He certainly has a way of showing the logger side of life and situations


  • Only Jimmy Rees could make something like a 10 kg bag of rice all over your kitchen floor sound like fun. Funny funny guy.


  • Love his videos lol
    There are some good activities there. I’ve never had one go wrong though


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