Some Cheap School Holiday Activity Ideas
Do your children appeal to you for expensive holiday activities that stretch your budget too far?
Of course, you don’t want your child to be bored during holiday periods. You want them to enjoy their school holiday, but at the same time, you don’t want their holiday activities to break the bank.
You probably already know the kinds of activities that they like, but just to be sure, sit down with them to discuss how to approach the coming holidays. Find out what they’d like to do, and see if you can work around that.
This process will likely take several meetings. In your first discussion, explain to your child how much you’re able to budget for holiday activities, and ask them to make a list before your next meeting. Make it clear that the list should include activities that they would like but that fall within the budget limitations.
Hopefully, you can end up with a list of activities that your child will enjoy and benefit from but that will fit within your budget. To motivate them to choose wisely, you could promise that any money from your proposed budget that is not used will be put into savings for them.
You can prepare a list in advance and give it to your child to serve as a jumping off point. Below are some possibilities for your list.
Ways to Make Money as a Kid at Home
Home activities will generally be relatively cheap school holiday activities. The first activities are ones that are ways for kids to make money.
Plant a garden – Designate part of your outside area as a space for a vegetable garden. You could even start this activity before the school holidays begin by starting plants in pots and then transferring them outdoors later.
This could actually be a great opportunity to teach your child how to make money. Take them to the vegetable section of your local supermarket and show them how vegetables are priced. You could then pay them for the vegetables that they produce, deducting any costs that you paid up front for seeds, fertiliser, etc.
Put all of the costs and income into a visual chart, either online or maybe on your refrigerator, so that they can see how well they've done.
If you end up with more vegetables than your family can eat, you could help your child set up a small stand to sell the excess produce. Include this on the chart as well. The visual feedback will motivate your child to work hard at this activity.
Arts and Crafts – Motivate your child to be creative. Discuss what kind of artistic hobby they might like to pursue, and invest some money in the supplies needed to get started with the agreement that if they are able to sell anything they make, portions of the initial investment will be repaid bit by bit. In addition to the supplies bought, they might be able to use things from around the house creatively.
Other Activities to Do at Home
Read books – Ask your child to pick a few books from your local library that the whole family can read and discuss.
Write a story or make a video - Your child might like to write a story or make a video with their friends. They could illustrate the pictures or make the props as well.
Have a weekly movie night – Start a tradition of watching a movie as a family once a week – complete with popcorn.
Cooking – Set aside some days to spend cooking or baking with your child. They could even ask their friends to join. And then have fun eating the delicious – or perhaps not so delicious – products of your efforts.
Make a cubby house - Whether inside or outside, put together a number of things around the house like chairs, sheets etc for inside or tree branches, logs, bins, flat pieces of wood and cupboard boxes to make a cubby outside.
Activities Outside Home
Even though the next activities involve some expense – transportation and/or entry fees – they are still relatively low cost.
Museums and galleries – Find out which days have free entry at local museums and art galleries. Some places may offer special programs during school holidays that you can take advantage of.
Library – Check to see if your local library has a free story time or other special activities for children during school holidays.
Nature – Take your child to nearby outdoor areas to enjoy the beauty of nature. Go for a bush walk or beach walk. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen for these outings.
• National park
• Local park
This list is just to get you started thinking about school holiday activities that don’t cost an arm and a leg. You’ve probably already thought of many other items to add to it. Just remember that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make sure that your child makes the best use of their holiday time.