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Cheap Winter School Holiday Activities

Cheap Winter School Holiday Activities

15 Cheap Winter School Holiday Activities

School holidays… are you ready?

As wonderful as children are, as much as we love them, it can easily get expensive to entertain them in the school holidays.

Here are some free and cheap school holiday activities for winter.

1. Head to the Museum

Some are completely free, others you can get an annual pass that often includes other attractions.

Aside from looking at the exhibits, there are school holiday activities run daily at most museums as well.

Look for theme museums for something different too.

For example, maritime museums, dolls or special collection museums.

2. Rollerblading/Skateboarding/Bike Riding

If you get a sunny day, head out and rollerblade/rollerskate/ride bikes or whatever you like.

Some cities have free bikes you can use, others you can rent for a small amount.

Pack a picnic and head off somewhere or play games requiring speed.

If you don’t have anything like this, you can often pick them up for fairly cheap at department stores or on Marketplace.

3. Build Forts

My kids will spend hours playing in their forts or cubby houses.

Get some sheets, some string and pegs to easily construct a fort anywhere.

Pop it all in a pillowcase and they have their own fort kit they can use anytime.

Or let the kids use the lounge cushions and their own blankets.

Yes, your house will be turned upside down.

But it’s not the end of the world to have your house filled with forts for a day or more.

4. Movie Marathon

Hours of screen time aren’t great. Do this in moderation. A

sk the kids to put together a list of movies they love to watch, invite a few friends over and pop some popcorn and settle them on the couch to disappear into other worlds for a while.

Make sure they’re movies you like too, as you’ll probably be roped into sitting with them every now and then, answering their questions and commenting on storylines you’ve seen a million times.

Another option is to watch a series together or look for documentaries you might be interested in.

As my kids got older, there were more options we were all interested in that prompted interesting discussions.

5. Indoor Games

Use masking tape to mark out a hopscotch game, play snakes and ladders or any other board game, cards like Uno, snap or Go Fish are all great ways to have fun inside.

To build up your collection ask friends and family to give them to your kids as gifts (or you could do it for birthdays and Christmas).

Cash in points from reward programs (a full list of some here) or online surveys to buy the games.

Favourites in our house have been Uno, Cluedo and Snap.

Monopoly and similar games can also be a great way to teach kids about money.

6. Get Messy

Paints, glitter, glue, cardboard, crayons, paper, tinsel, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, get out everything you’d hoped wouldn’t see the light of day is great for winter.

Let the kids go crazy with their imaginations, crafting up a storm.

Not only does it stimulate their creative centres, but provides a means of expression and a way to connect, teach and admire their uniquely brilliant minds.

Some ideas include using soft drink bottles to make jetpacks or glue to make slime.

Use Pinterest to find some ideas or just let them do what they want.

7. Bake Together

Bake cakes, cookies, slices, things for lunchboxes or just special treats.

Find out your kid’s favourite recipes and make them.

Get them involved, teach them how to cook and have fun doing it.

Look up your favourite recipes from childhood and introduce them to your kids.

Decorate cupcakes or cookies after baking them and give them as gifts for something nice to do.

8. Library

Check to see what school holiday programs are running at your local library.

Authors could be visiting, they might be doing readings, movie days or other fun activities and they’re usually free.

Some libraries have toy sections as well so you can borrow toys and return them in a few weeks.

It gives kids a lot of options without clogging up your home with things they only play with a few times.

9. Shopping Centres

See if your shopping centre has any visiting shows on during the holidays or if your shopping centre is a big mall, it might have a free indoor playground for kids to have fun in.

We’ve seen virtual games, treasure hunts and live action shows, along with crafts from painting pots through to face painting.

10. Science Experiments

Pinterest can be your best friend here.

Look up fun science experiments to see what you can do. Make play dough, create clouds, change the colour of flower petals or grow crystals.

All these and more can be found with a quick search and often done with things you have at home already.

11. Dress ups

I loved playing dress-up as a kid. We had a box with all sorts of clothes, accessories and fabric Mum collected over the years for us.

Two items I remember we loved the most were a ballgown/dancing dress and a long piece of blue silk.

For my own kids, I managed to find numerous outfits for under $2 including Disney Princesses, Superheroes and a bunch of Halloween ones.

12. Lego

Best. Investment. Ever! My kids lots of Lego that they bought it themselves or got as presents.

They spend hours creating, inventing and playing. It is worth the price. Look for Lego at garage sales and online to get it cheaper.

When we went travelling, they made their own little kits using a container, a large Lego base some pieces so they could make and play with it anywhere.

It was great for keeping them entertained without devices.

13. Paper Plane Competition

Get some paper, look up designs and see who can make their plan fly the furthest.

There are actual competitions for this kind of thing!

14. Make Movies

If your kids have an iPad, let them make movies with iMovie or create tunes with Garage Band.

Not all screen time is bad and these skills will help them in the future.

If they are old enough, get them to write a script, storyboard the movie then film it.

15. Let Them Decide

Get your kids to write down all the activities they like doing when the weather is cold, put them in a jar and select them when they whine “I’m bored!”

Bonus tip: if my kids say they are bored, I tell them to clean. They don’t say it anymore!

What activities do you enjoy during the winter school holidays?

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