The school holidays are almost here again!  Before we know it though we’ll be back to school and counting down until the next break. We don’t have any exciting travel plans for our upcoming break, instead we’ll be enjoying a staycation at home. So that we make the most of our break the boys and I make a list of school holiday activities we want to do.  I find that having a list means we don’t get to the end of our holidays and wonder where the time went.

Our Favourite Budget friendly School Holiday Activities

These are a few of regular favourites

#1 Play Dates

I always ask the boys who they’d like a play date with and I find it easiest to organise catch ups first. Otherwise our calendar starts getting full and we aren’t as flexible. If you have limited time, try combining playdates and a holiday activity and tick a few things off at once.  Our playdates are usually at friend’s house’s or local parks, we all bring a plate to share and enjoy a picnic together.

#2 Home Movie Date

As much as we love going to the cinema it’s not always a budget freindly outing.  The last few holidays we’ve chosen one movie we’d really like to see at the cinema and saving the others until they are released on DVD.  We’ve also made it a tradition to have our own home movie date. We have a few rules around our home movie date to make it more interesting.

  • It has to be a movie no one has seen (unless I’m introducing them to a classic and then I’m allowed to have seen it).
  • Each family member gets to choose a snack to share during the movie, this usually involves a half hour visit to the confectionary isle that they seem to enjoy as much if not more than the movie.
  • Everyone has to watch the movie from start to finish.

#3 Home Day

To my surprise, my boys always ask for a home day, and I think it’s a good idea to include rest days during the break so they go back to school well-rested and ready to tackle another term of learning.  A home day usually involves P.Js, popcorn and Netflix.  If you think a home day sounds a little boring for your kids try giving it a fun twist, build an inside cubby to watch movies from and serve breakfast for lunch or dinner.

#4 Local School Holiday Activities

I’ve noticed shopping centres are upping the anti with their school holiday activities and entertainment. Get online and see what your local centres are putting on these holidays, quite often the events are free or for a small cost. While you’re online have a look at local community and council pages for free school holiday activities and events.

#5 Park Exploring

During the term, we have a pretty full routine and if we have time to get to a park we frequent our favourite spots.  We’ve set ourselves the challenge over the last few holidays to go and explore a new park. This has even turned into a fun day trip from time to time and is perfect for inviting friends along for a play date.

#6 School Holiday Activity Box

This has become a holiday tradition that my boys look forward to. This box is for quiet or down time during the holidays. Most of our sports and after school activities break for the holidays and with no homework from school, it’s nice to have a few fun activities we can do in our spare time. The box is usually stocked with new craft activities, a new colouring book or a board game. I like to keep the activities to things they can do by themselves and that don’t make too much mess (I leave the painting for school).  This box has been a lifesaver on many occasions it’s down time for the boys and gives me a little time out.  I’m careful not to present the box all at once on the first day of the holidays, instead I get things out as I see the need.  If we don’t use it all I keep it for the next holidays.

Our Activity box for these holidays is stocked and ready to go

School Holiday activity box

  • Shrink art activity from our local $2 shop
  • Hangman magnetic game from Kmart
  • Make your own slime from Kmart
  • Colour your own stickers from Kmart
  • Mini soccer ball from a promotion at Caltex

I like to keep a $20 – $30 budget total and find the kids craft section in department stores and our local $2 shop is a great place to start. I’ve found you don’t need something for everyday of the holidays as some things take more than one sitting to do.

Here are a few of our holiday boxes from previous holidays.

Holiday activity box

What is your favourite budget friendly holiday activity?  Have you made plans for your holiday break?

Happy Holidays


Bernadette is an entrepreneur, blogger, primary school teacher and most importantly a mother. She explores various topics related to parenting, every day life (recipes, craft ideas, organising tips) and of course including fun into your life on her blog So Freaking Organised. Connect with her over on her Facebook Group So Freaking Organised Community, her Facebook Page or her Instagram account.

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