It's school holiday time again, and the kids have free days to enjoy playing outside.
Here’s your guide to school holiday fun in the sun, sure to keep them busy with a range of cheap outdoor activities.
Buy a big flat storage box with a lid, then fill it with sand, cars and toys.Your kids will be sure to have a blast. When they’re done, snap the lid on to keep stray cats and rain out. Alternatively, you can buy big plastic shells from hardware or home-ware stores, and use a tarp as the ‘lid’ to protect it.
Who doesn’t love a water fight? Even better: a surprise water fight.
Buy some water guns and water bombs in secret. Pick a nice warm day, hide the water guns and water bombs, locked and loaded, in the backyard at opposite ends. Tell ll the kids to put on sunscreen and swimmers, then give them clues that will make them discover the hidden ammo! Watch the giggles, laughter and squeals of delight that follow. Extra points if you join in the fun! The surprise element will make the water fight even more fun! Imagine the glee in those faces as they catch on!
Art and craft outside means not stressing out about the carpet or tiles getting messy. Put down an old sheet on the lawn and grab all your craft supplies. Think paints, cardboard, pencils, crayons, paper – anything you like. Then let your little ones go wild with their budding Picasso skills. Make sure you keep all your egg cartons and cardboard boxes as craft materials! One fun and cheap craft activity the kids are sure to love is to paint terracotta pots – then plant something in them!
Jumping on a trampoline can provide hours of enjoyment!
If your kids are competitive, why not host your own ‘trampoline family Olympics?’ See who can win the ‘jumping sprint’ (the most jumps in a minute), or the ‘high jump’ (who can jump the highest). And don’t forget the basketball hoop comp!
If you have a pool, buy several packs of small sponges, and write a letter on each one with a permanent marker. After throwing the sponges into the pool, let the kids swim around collecting the floating letters, then see who can form the longest word with the letters they've collected.
Get your kids to create the obstacle course using skipping ropes, chalk, hula hoops, and any other useful items that are lying around the yard (think hoses, spare tyres, etc), and then time them going through it. Make some variations after a few rounds to make it more challenging for older kids, or simpler for the little ones.
Throw down a blanket and bring a basket of snacks, lunches and yummy drinks and have a picnic in the backyard. Bonus: most of the mess stays outside to be washed away by the rain or the hose!
Whatever you do with your kids, make sure they are sun protected and wearing the appropriate clothing and SPF 30+ sunscreen. Not only will you get to spend some quality time with them, they’ll love you even more for playing with them and making their school holidays more fun!
Go to the beach, or a nearby nature walk or rainforest and enjoy a family walk together. Take the time to check out all the different elements of nature around you. If you're at the beach, rock pools can provide hours of entertainment, while bush walks do the same. Pack a picnic and you'll kill even more time!