Budget Friendly Spring School Holiday Ideas

Today is the last day of term 3 in NSW. Term 3!! What?! I know Queensland have already been on holidays for a week now, but I feel like it’s just much too soon! Didn’t the term just start?
We are heading away for a few nights at the end of next week, but other than that we don’t have a lot planned. I have exams coming up so I will be spending as much time as I can studying. We will take advantage of the beautiful weather though and get outside as much as we can, even if I have to take my books with us!

To view my other posts with school holiday ideas click here.

Go on a nature walk – Spring is the perfect time to get outside in the sunshine and explore! Check out your local area’s website for bush walking tracks near you and see what you can find.

Spring school holidays 3Plant some seeds  – In my 5 Ways to Save This Spring post, I mentioned now is a great time to plant a veggie garden. Why not get the kids involved and put them in charge of their own little project these holidays? Let them pick what they would like to grow and who knows, it might even encourage them to try a new veggie or two come harvest time (I can always dream right?).

Rock painting – I use the term “painting” loosely here. You can  use a few different mediums to create beautiful rocks; paint, chalk, decoupage, even textas. Collect a few rocks from your backyard or pick up one or two when you’re out on your nature walk (be very careful you don’t disturb any critters though), get the craft box out and see what the kids come up with. You can then use them to decorate your new garden, if you’re planting one!

Spring school holiday ideas 2Chalk Drawing – Another great idea for getting creative outside is chalk drawing. You can pick up chalk for only a few dollars, set the kids up outside, preferably in a shady spot, and let them go nuts! The best part is clean up is simple, it will wash away next time it rains. Just make sure you snap a picture before the masterpieces disappear!

Learn a new talent – My son got a thumb chuck for his birthday and is slowly learning how to do tricks with it. Maybe your kids would love to be able to juggle? Solve a Rubik’s cube? Or do magic tricks? Check out YouTube for how-to videos or Google tutorials for their chosen skill, and let them go for it!

What do you have planned for the school holidays? I’d love to hear some more ideas in the comments.

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Budget Friendly Winter School Holidays Ideas

Yesterday was the last day of term 2 in NSW. This post was supposed to go up then but apparently I was already in holiday mode and it just didn’t happen. Better late than never though right?

Be sure to have a look at some of the school holidays activities I have posted previously.

  1. Whale Watching – If you are fortunate enough to live on the East Coast of NSW (or you somehow find yourself there these holidays), make sure you spend some time whale watching. Rug up warm, check out this website for the top spots in your area and enjoy a great day out.
  2. Play ‘The Floor is Lava’ – Some days it is just too cold to venture outside but the kids still need a way to get their sillies out. Tell them that the floor is now lava so everyone has to stay off it for the day. This seems to be everywhere on the Internet right now, but it’s also a great way to amuse the kids. Spread some pillows around so that there are safe areas to jump between and spend the day hopping around the house. Make sure to have a good giggle when someone inevitable forgets and “melts” in the lava.
  3. Make hot chocolate – Hot chocolate is a great way to warm up when it’s chilly outside, and is a great treat to enjoy for morning or afternoon tea. Whip up some cream, get out the sprinkles, and let the kids go to town.
  4. Have a pyjama day – These are my son’s favourite days. The days when he gets to wear his jammies ALL day, no matter what we do. I don’t always participate but some days it is just too tempting to stay snuggly and warm in my pyjamas and slippers.
  5. Make soup – Soup is another great way to warm up when it’s cold. Add it to your meal plan one night and then get the kids to help measure ingredients and chop vegetables. They’re more likely to eat it if they helped make it!

What do you have planned for the school holidays? I’d love to hear some more ideas in the comments.

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More Budget Friendly School Holidays Ideas

Today is the last day of term 1 in NSW. I feel like the last 11 weeks have gone by in a flash! These holidays I have my youngest brother coming to stay with us for a week. Fun fact: My youngest brother and my son are actually the same age! The two of them are like chalk and cheese and so this week I’ve been trying to come up with a few extra ideas to keep them both entertained and I thought I’d share them here. I’m sure we’ll also get up to a few of the school holidays activities I have posted previously.

  1. Check out the local shopping centre for free or cheap activities. Our local centre usually has some great holiday activities for kids. Sand art, Lego competitions, petting zoos, and scavenger hunts are just a few things we’ve participated in. Most of them are free or just a few dollars so we’ll have a look and see if there’s anything that interests the boys.
  2. Play board games. I’ve posted before (in this post and this one) about how awesome board games can be. We have quite the collection these days so I’m hoping there is enough variety that they will keep them entertained for a while.
  3. Build a blanket fort. I think this is an awesome idea for those rainy days when we’re all stuck at home inside.  I can throw a blanket over the dining table and rearrange the couches a little so both boys can have their own little base. Bonus points if I can set it up just right so that they can both see the TV and then they can double as snuggle nests for a movie night.
  4. Try GeocachingThis has been on my list of things to try for a while and I think both the boys will get a kick out of it. For those of you who don’t know what it is it involves real life treasure hunting using GPS. If it’s a hit I might do a separate post of how we go.
  5. Lego. When all else fails I’m just going to get the Lego out. Both of the boys love Lego (Let’s be honest, even I love Lego!), and they can then play with their creations once they’re built. Two activities for the price of one!

What do you have planned for the school holidays? I’d love to hear some more ideas to keep these boys busy in the comments.

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School Holiday Activities

We’ve now moved into the second half of the school holidays here and I can sense the boredom growing. So far my son has been fine finding things to entertain himself with, needing little guidance from me, but he’s starting to look for something new to interest him. So I thought I’d share a few ideas I will be suggesting to him over the next couple of weeks before school goes back. Also if you haven’t already be sure to check out my Budget Friendly School Holidays Ideas.

  1. Make your own book. Fold pieces of paper into 4 and staple a few together. Get out the art supplies and let them go nuts. For younger kids draw pictures and then help them fill in the words.
  2. Make a movie. Most phones these days have video capabilities. Show older kids how to use it and let them film their own movie, using either younger (hopefully willing) siblings or toys as characters. Once they have finished filming, upload the video files to a computer. Windows 10 comes with video editing software (Movie Maker) and I’m fairly certain most Mac’s come with something similar. Find a straight forward YouTube video to teach them the basics and off they go. Organise a special movie night to premiere their masterpiece!
  3. Rediscover a love for play dough. Now that my son is 9 he sometimes tells me he’s too old for play dough but I find if I just get it out without saying anything he doesn’t complain and can spend hours making and playing with his creations.
  4. Head to the Park. Sometimes a change of scenery is all they need. Take bikes or scooters, hats and a drink bottle, and spend a morning enjoying the fresh air.
  5. Get out the paddling pool. When all else fails set up the paddling pool and splash around. If you don’t have a paddling pool, let them play in the bath. There is just something so wonderful about water that I find makes the whole day feel awesome.

What are you doing to fill in the last few weeks of school holidays?

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Top 5 Family Christmas Movies

Two more sleeps until Christmas! I’ve mentioned before that my family loves a good movie night. One of my favourite family traditions is watching a Christmas movie then laying out the sack and setting up a snack for Santa before tucking my son into bed.  So I thought this week I would share my Top 5 Family Christmas Movies.

  1. Arthur Christmas
    We only watched this one for the first time this year and my son loved it. It’s a sweet story about Santa’s youngest son Arthur, who goes on a mission with his Grandsanta and an enthusiastic elf to deliver a misplaced present. It’s very funny and a great choice for the whole family to enjoy.
  2. Rise of the Guardians
    I know this technically isn’t a Christmas movie but it does feature the big guy in the red suit and my son tells me it’s his favourite Christmas movie so I’m including it.  It features the four Guardians , The Sandman, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny (voiced by the delightful Hugh Jackman), and Santa Claus, who must join with Jack Frost to save the children of the world from the nasty Pitch Black.
  3. Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
    Based on the story by Dr Seuss and starring Jim Carrey, this movie is a hilarious family favourite. The Grinch is a green, Christmas hating, outsider with a plan to ruin Christmas for the town of Whoville.
  4. The Polar Express
    This magical movie stars Tom Hanks and follows a young boy who is beginning to doubt the existence of Santa on a journey to the North Pole aboard a train called The Polar Express as he learns about bravery, friendship, and the spirit of Christmas. I think this is a great movie for kids at that age who are starting to question the existence of Santa but still wanting to keep the magic alive.
  5. Santa Buddies
    Another sweet story about the spirit of Christmas but this time it includes puppies! The fate of Christmas everywhere is at stake as the world forgets the true meaning of Christmas. It’s up to Puppy Paws, with the help of his new friends, the Buddies, to save Christmas.

Bonus mention: The Nightmare Before Christmas
I enjoy this movie but it’s not really appropriate for little kids. Jack Skellington, the hero of Halloween Town discovers Christmas Town and is fascinated by this new holiday. He attempts to bring his newfound joy to Halloween Town but it doesn’t quite go according to plan. My sensitive 9 year old still thinks the characters are too creepy and won’t watch it but I’m looking forward to the year he will sit down and enjoy it with me.

So there you have my favourite Christmas movies. I’d love to hear your suggestions for what to watch this Christmas. Please leave a comment below telling me what your favourite Christmas movie is.