100 School Holiday Activity Ideas

100 school holiday ideas
School holiday are here! And I like it. Mind you, there is always an adjustment period at my place, when the children are settling into a new routine and getting used to being around each other more.  Three days it usually takes for us all to adjust.

This school holidays, I’m looking forward to lazy mornings, no school lunches and the flexibility to do things with the children when I want.  The trick to fun school holidays is to keep the kids busy with enough down-time so Mum isn’t worn out.

To help you get the most out of this school hoidays, I’ve put together this MASSIVE list of 100 school holiday ideas. I’ve broken the list down into categories to help you find ideas that will suit you and your kids.  If you want to plan the weeks out, The Organised Housewife has a free School Holiday Planner Printable . Have fun!

100 School Holiday Activity Ideas

  • Home: Inside
  • At Home: Outside
  • At Home: Arty and Crafty
  • Out and About
  • Adventurous
  • At Night
  • When It’s Raining
  • Quiet Time

At Home: Inside

1. Make an ant farm.

2. Bake cupcakes.

3. Make a cubby house under the table.

4. Invite friends over to play.

5. Make homemade pizza.

6. Dance to music.

7. Have a theme day. This may be butterflies, pirates, princesses, fairies, dinosaurs or a particular colour.

8. Make an inside obstacle course with cushions, pillows, boxes, chairs and blankets.

9. Ice biscuits.

10. Play dress ups and do a play.

11. Make a themed play space: in a large rectangle bucket or tray create your own play scene. For example: use a smaller container (like an empty margarine container) filled with water, and in the rectangle bucket place rocks, small twigs, bark or sticks from trees for an outdoor scene.  I love this one from Picklebums.

12. Go on a colour hunt in your house. Collect objects of a certain colour and take a picture of your finds to make a collage. Also an idea by Picklebums.

13. Buy a note book and get the child/ren to write a school holiday diary (or draw pictures every day for young children).

14. Reorganise the children’s room (with their help).

15. Make fruit Kebabs.

16. Write a letter to someone.

At Home: Outside

17. Hang a sheet from a tree to make an outside cubby house.

18. Fly (cut to length) crepe streamers in the wind.

19. Eat outside.

20. Do general gardening or plant a vegetable or herb garden.

21. Make an outside obstacle course. Click here for ideas.

22. Play Backyard games.

23. Blow bubbles. Frills in the Hills has a great recipe for homemade bubble mixture.

24. Do an outside treasure hunt.

25. Create an outdoor play garden. Create a small space of dirt and fill with pots, small rake, bucket, spoons, utensils and solid plastic toys like animal figurines. I like this one from The Imagination Tree.

26. Make a flower head wreath.

At Home: Arty and Crafty

27. Make fairy wings.

28. Make a Zorro mask out of a strip of black material with two eye cut outs.

29. Create a family artwork on a large canvas.

30. Make recycled paper.

31. Collect flowers and press them inside book between baking paper.

32. Colour-in. You can print a variety of colouring in sheets online.

33. Face painting.

34. Make Photo Paper Dolls.

35. Make a robot out of cardboard boxes.

36. Make a treasure map out of brown paper.

37. Make a musical tree. See here for details.

38. Be crafty at home: knit, paper craft, play dough, cooking or painting.

39. Make up a travel drawing box.

40. Paint toe nails. (Boys like this too!)

41. Make boats out of milk bottle lids, a straw (for the mast), paper (for the sail) and blue-tack to stick the sail on to the boat.

42. Make a leaf collage picture.

43. Glue cut out pictures from a magazine or junk mail to a piece of paper.

44. Make a photo book: take photos of your favourite things and collate them into a book.

45. Make sock puppets by gluing wool on the top of an old sock and using a permanent marker to draw eyes, nose and a mouth.

46. Do a self-portrait. Stick a large piece of butchers to the wall (or lay on the floor) and trace around your body.

47. Make a long paper-clip chain.

Out and About

48. Visit a museum

49. Go Geocaching.

50. Go window shopping and have a special morning tea.

51. Go see a movie.

52. Eat a big ice-cream.

53. Visit a library.

54. Fly a kite.

55. Have a picnic outside.

56. Visit a park or playground.

57. Look out for butterflies and birds for a day.

58. Go fruit picking.

59. Plan a day trip:

  • animal farm
  •  new town
  • historical village
  • market
  • environmental centre
  • hiking
  • bush walking
  • drive up a mountain
  • visit the beach
  • the country
  • theme park

60. Visit someone lonely.

61. Collect shells on the beach.

62. Go ten tin bowling.

63. Visit a planetarium.

64. Feed ducks at a pond.

65. Go fishing.

66. Look for organised school holiday opportunities at art schools, museums, shopping centres, national parks, libraries and councils.

67. Go swimming. (If Winter, look for a heated pool).

68. Visit and share something of your own childhood with your child/ren. This may be a home you lived in as a child, where you honeymooned or favourite place.

69. Look for free activities at a shopping centre.

70. Go for a walk.

71. Visit Dad or Mum at work.

Adventurous

72. Go Bike-riding

73. Catch a train.

74. Go Ice-skating or roller-skating.

75. Catch a bus.

76. Go on a bush walk or hike.

77. Go on a nature hunt.

78. Make a cubbyhouse from items from a second hand shop.

79. Catch a ferry.

80. Allow your kids to learn a new skill. Look for workshops in horse-riding, pottery, art, rock climbing and drama.

81. Have a quest. This may be photographing butterflies for a day, hunting for cool letterboxes, looking for street signs for the names of the people in your family or tasting 3 different types of cookies and cream ice-cream.

At Night

82. Look at the stars.

83. Walk on the beach at dusk

84. Go on a nature walk down your street with a torch.

85. Have a movie night. You can make your own popcorn cups by making a cone shape with a piece of paper and taping it together.

86. Toast marshmallows in the oven before threading them on to sticks (parent would do this).

87. Eat at a family restaurant.

When It’s Raining (also see At Home: Inside)

88. Go to an indoor play centre.

89. Play with umbrellas in the rain.

90. Collect rain in a bucket.

91. Play inside games like hide and seek or duck, duck goose.

92. Photograph the raindrops on the window and include them in a photo book.

93. Go for a drive in the car.

94. Visit a friend’s house (or invite a friend over to play at your place).

Quiet Time

95. Play board/card games like Monopoly, Dictionary, Pictionary, Snap, Taboo, Hungry Hippo, Scategories, The Old Maid.

96. Watch a DVD at home.

97. Stay in your PJs all day.

98. Make a “city” with cars, toys and boxes for buildings.

99. Lie on the grass and watch the clouds.

100. Have “rest” time where everyone plays quiet games like reading or puzzles on their own bed.

If you have more ideas to add, leave them in the comments below.

Family Holiday Links

Planning a Family Holiday

Entertaining Kids When Travelling

Printable Holiday Packing Lists

The Car Box List

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Comments

  1. Meegan says

    As soon as I saw your message yesterday about this list, I was knew I’d be reading it while I eat my rice bubbles! The list is awesome – we will checking of quite a few of these I’m sure!!! Meegan

  2. Nicole says

    If anyone says “I’m Bored” they have a serious problem!” Awesome list.
    Shall knock over a few once the novelty of our new sand villiage “Rileys World” has run out.

  3. Stacey K says

    Awesome list Kelly, we’ve still got 2 more weeks of school here in SA, so I’ve got plenty of time to get organised.

  4. Steph L says

    My girls made up their own game today – taking turns towing each other around in a cardboard box on the driveway. only needs a cardboard box (big enough for kid to sit in and a skipping rope (or other rope). 1 child stands a few feet in front of the box and wraps skipping rope around their waist, so that both handles are at the back. 2nd child sits in the box, and holds both handles. First child starts pulling forwards and hopefully they move a decent amount before the box hits an obstruction (rock, crack in pavement) and the box tips. Misses 5 and 8 liked it so much, the took the box to their Dad’s house to play it again (even though the bottom of the box looked decidedly worse for wear)!

  5. says

    Your site really is a wonder! I loved your iphone camera tips and this is a great list of things to do in the holidays. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend..Rachaelxx

  6. says

    Genius as always Kel. How about climb a tree and scare the bajingies out of Mum by how high you can get, then make her climb up and get you because you are too scared to climb down… Or was that just my brothers and I as kids? We grew up on acreage and climbing trees was always a favourite!

  7. Helen Harker says

    What a fab list, it’s great to gather ideas from others particularly with 4 kids and the summer break just weeks away! Other things i do include, beauty salon and the boys love having their sister glitter them up. Shaving foam or cornflour make good messy play or kitchen fun and clean up very easily.

  8. says

    Thanks Kel – my two boys are driving me crazy already with the “I’m bored” “Can we do something?” “What are we doing today”. I’ve pulled out the old Power Ranger DVDs and that keeps them occupied after breakfast for an hour so I can get all the essentials done but today, when that is done, we are going to sit down with your list and make a plan.

    Thanks heaps!

  9. says

    What a great list! Thanks – will link this via facebook. And yes, every holiday there is the settle in period – we find if we do something a bit different – big days out or the weekend away.. they get used to each other without the explosions.

  10. says

    hey guys, im from bangladesh and spending a long winter vacation. in bd, these are impossible for a mum and child to do. we live in apartments, no gardens, children are not allowed to go outdoor, and are given no money. the’re beaten or scolded if they just mess up in the house.

  11. Lucy Hellens says

    hey:) i’m 12 and surprisingly am not a mother. i read through your blog and i will be doing most of those things myself as i still enjoy doing all this kind of stuff. thanks a ton for making my holiday just that much more fun. xx Lucy

  12. hannah says

    I think i’ll print this page out a then cut out the ideas
    And put them in different boxes, e.g. Rainy days and then
    I’ve always got great ideas on hand.
    Thankyou so much for creating this list :-)

  13. Tierney Kennedy says

    Here are a few more that we have done these holidays:
    1. Wash the car with water balloons
    2. Shoot down bubbles with water pistols
    3. Draw targets with chalk and throw wet balls at them to score points
    4. Use chalk to draw a car track on the cement to play on (the wash it off afterwards with a hose)
    5. Turn the couches into a fort for playing knights and princesses (mummy gets to sit on the couch and come up with various missions such as saving all the teddies from the nasty dragon)
    6. Paint and colour a landscape scene then stick on coloured in pictures of diggers etc
    7. Write and illustrate a silly story together. We wrote “Grandma’s super special spy paints” about how our Grandma was no ordinary Grandma, but instead wrote invisible messages in her paintings. Grandma loved it too!

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  17. Madeline says

    you could also add in puffing billy the kids always loves it and for a family (my family is big) it only costs $166 or so,
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  18. Judy Waters says

    I enjoyed the ideas about catching the bus,train and ferries. My kids thought you actually meant use a net and catch them. Be careful how you word certain activities plus you can also include going to seesanta and make a day trip to go to gulivers

  19. says

    The kids should be the ones toasting the marshmallows and putting their hands in the fire, what were you thinking IT WOULD BE TO DANGEROUS FOR AN ADULT TO DO THIS

    • says

      Hey, are you trying to be funny? These ideas are great for small kids that would otherwise for on their computers all day. Of course any responsible adult would supervise their child roasting marshmallows near a fire, that goes without saying. Are you serious?

    • sam says

      Totally. These are way to dangerous. Someone should tell her about the fact that children cant be playing with fire