Time to find some school holiday activities for the colder weather. Another school holiday is here and I am so ready for it. I love the slower mornings when we don’t have to rush around looking for missing gloves and taking forever just to put on a pair of shoes! It’s so nice to spend some time together, but my son needs to be busy and he likes to have activities to look forward to. So we always decide on some activities he wants to do before the school holiday begins and make sure we have anything that he’ll need to do them ready and waiting.
These are some of the school holiday activities I have done with my children or plan to do with them when my daughter is old enough. These activities are all relatively cheap to do, a lot of the resources can be found around the house or if you plan in advance you can collect them a few weeks before the holiday begins.
1. Movie night at Home
You can buy a new film or watch an old favourite. Get the blankets and pillows out, put on your pyjamas and slippers and get comfy. Put out some snacks in bowls, so the children can easily help themselves. Pop some popcorn in the microwave to make it smell like the cinema and you’re ready to go.
2. Home spa day
3. Visit the Library
Pick a book to bring home and then find activities to do around the theme of the book.
4. Go swimming
Take the children to your local Leisure Centre for a swim.
5. Go for a walk
Go to the woods and collect a bag of bits (leaves, twigs, stones etc.) to use in a craft when you get home. Or use the bits to make a picture on the ground and take a photo (less mess at home!). Take your bikes or scooters and have a good ride round.
6. Have a craft day
Get out the playdough, paint a picture or make a car out of a cereal box. There are so many fun craft ideas and printable activities on Pinterest you can do at home. Making crafts can be such a fun and cheap activity, look through the recycling for things to use, go through the cupboards for items you don’t use anymore. Children love anything that’s a bit different and will create the most amazing crafts. Try some of these items – buttons, beads, plastic lids, different size boxes, straws, string, wool, bits of material, old wrapping paper or cards, catalogues.
7. Build an indoor fort
Get out some blankets and pillows, an indoor play tent and a play tunnel. Children will have hours of fun setting up and playing in their own den. I like to set up a picnic lunch for my son to have in his den – he loves it!
8. Board games
Invite some friends round and have a board game afternoon. Everyone can bring their own game, so they get to play different games without having to buy lots of new ones. Set up a snack station and buy some small prizes for the winners.
9. Dance party
If they need to burn off some energy try a dance party. Put on some music and play musical statues. If you have any balloons left from a birthday get them out, grab some glow sticks or torches to add to the fun.
10. Visit an indoor shopping centre
This can be a fun day out if you set the boundaries before you go. We always talk about which shops we are going in and what we are going to buy. It is a great trip out for a rainy day as you stay warm and dry. Try looking around the toy shops, asking them to look for a particular item or giving them a set amount of money to spend.
11. Visit a garden centre
We love a visit to the local garden centre. There is so much to do, have a run around outside, there is often a playpark, look in the sheds and summer houses, visit the animals in the pet section, look at the toy and gift section and our favorite visiting the restaurant for a drink and a snack.
I love to bake with my children. They have to use so many skills – following instructions, measuring, time, watching how different ingredients react together, health and nutrition. My son is really good at baking because we have done it from when he was really small. He can follow instructions and loves to weigh out and mix ingredients.
13. Play Lego
We love Lego. It is my son’s absolute favourite thing and he would happily play Lego all day if I let him. He has his own Lego cupboard and creates the most amazing things and then he tells his own stories. His new favorite thing to do is ‘do a show’ he sets all his Lego up and then we tell a story together and record it on my phone. He will then watch it back and decide what needs improving before recording another one. This is really developing his imagination and confidence.
14. Visit Friends or Family
We try to visit at least one person each holiday. It can be a change of scene for the children and is a great opportunity to spend the day with someone they care about and create new memories. We usually make a card or picture when we get home to tell them how much we enjoyed our visit and send them a photo that we took while we were there.
15. Go to the play park
A great place to meet up with school friends and burn off lots of energy. Take a flask with your favourite hot drink to keep you warm while you’re watching.
16. Play dress up
Get out the dressing up box or just look through yor wardrobe for any old clothes or accessories you aren’t using. Let the children play dress up, pop on some music and let them do a fashion show. Take photos of them in their different creations and then you can print them and let them create their own scrapbook.
17. Soft play
This is always a great place to go when you need to let them have a run around and you need a bit of a break. They will find other children to play with and you will be able to sit down and have a nice hot drink.
18. Create own small world
If your children enjoy playing with little people or cars let them create their own small world. Give them a large cardboard box or a roll of wallpaper or wrapping paper. Together you can draw roads, houses, and places that are familiar to your child like their school or shops they like to go to. Get out the cars and people and create a fun small world.
19. Make a treasure hunt
Choose an item to hide in the house, this could be a treat or a small prize. Then depending on the age of your child you can draw a map, give clues or give directions to the hidden item. When they get the idea they can try hiding the item and creating their own map.
20. Toy swap
Try swapping a toy or box of toys with a friend or family member. This can be for however long you feel comfortable with – a day, a week or a month. This is a good way to have new toys to play with without having to spend lots of money.
I hope this has given you some ideas of school holiday activities you can do with your children. Have fun!