School holidays can be hard on the wallet – a day at the zoo, the aquarium or even the cinema can wreak havoc with the weekly budget. But there are economical ways to keep the kids entertained without resorting to Peppa Pig and Pokemon on repeat. Here are six ideas to try over the Easter break.
Getting children to grow their own vegies and herbs is a fantastic hands-on activity – with educational benefits to boot. Whether you have a large garden or space for only a pot or two, you can find something suitable to plant based on your area’s climate. Some ideas for autumn are root vegetables and herbs (parsley is a good option if you don’t have much of a green thumb). For added fun, get the kids to make nametags for the plants using paddle-pop sticks and permanent markers.
Cook up a storm
Here’s a school holiday activity the whole family can get involved in: baking. For an easy Easter-themed afternoon tea, add sultanas, mixed peel and mixed spice to your favourite scone recipe. Decorate with a cross using a paste made of flour and water, and you’ve got delicious hot-cross scones. Kids will love kneading the dough and watching it rise in the oven, not to mention the obligatory taste test.
Visit your local library
If you haven’t seen the inside of a library since you last watched The Breakfast Club, you might be surprised by the range of activities and entertainment on offer. Most libraries run story-time sessions all year and schedule special workshops for the holidays – we’re talking everything from cardboard craft to computer coding. The programs are usually free but may require you to book a couple of weeks in advance.
Appreciate the arts
Your local gallery or museum probably has school holiday activities, too. Nurture budding artists with ceramic and block-printing workshops or buy tickets to an exhibition you’ve been meaning to see and take advantage of the kids’ audio guide.
Direct a play
Purchasing theatre tickets can be expensive, but creating your own play at home is completely free – and fun. Encourage the kids to act out their favourite book or come up with their own narrative. You can help them build a set from items around the house and, if you’re brave, let them loose in your wardrobe to find costumes.
Make and fly a kite
A day spent in the great outdoors mastering kite flying is sure to make the schoolyard news. Start at home with some wood dowel, paper, string, glue – and maybe even an instructional video. Once you’ve assembled the kite, let the kids decorate it with textas and add a tail with crepe-paper streamers. Then it’s off to the park, beach or local sports field for the inaugural flight.