School Holiday Boredom Busters That Won’t Break the Bank


School holiday boredom bustersRecently my nearly 5-year-old uttered the phrase “I’m bored” for the first time ever. I’m guessing it won’t be the last, and with three more weeks of holidays before he starts school I’ve got a whole lot of time to fill in!


Daily trips to the aquarium, zoo or play centre aren’t exactly in our budget, so I’ve been researching ideas for school holiday activities that won’t send me broke.

Mr 5 has also jumped on board and we sat down together and wrote up a list of things he’d like to do over the next few weeks. Given this is my last bit of time with him before “big school” starts, I’m also feeling a bit sentimental and wanting to create some memories.

If you’re stuck for ideas too, here are some of the boredom busters we’ve got planned for the next few weeks.

Fun school holiday ideas at home

Backyard camping

Late last year we tackled our first family camping trip. It was fun (much more so than I’d imagined) but I’m not planning to repeat it in the heat of summer!

Instead, I’m letting the kids go camping without me, in our yard. We’ll set up a tent, they can stay in it overnight, we’ll play card games and turn off all technology. It will be like camping, without the drive and with easy access to a fridge and toilet. Win.

Related Content: The Ultimate Guide to Camping in Your Backyard

Water fight day

water balloons

A few packs of water balloons, a bucket or two and let them loose! Just keep the windows closed…

We’ll also be pulling out the slip and slide and making good use of the sprinkler. The grass needed a good water anyway.

Create a veggie patch

I got given an awesome self-watering potting system for Christmas. It even came with its own shade cloth cover so it is like a mini green house. I’m planning to get the kids involved in creating a veggie patch. A trip to the nursery plus some time in the dirt and my boys will be very happy chappies.

Craft wars

cardboard boxes

What do five cardboard boxes, tape, paint and various craft supplies make?

A super fun day of craft wars.

I can pretty much guarantee my boys will be using them to create some kind of spaceship and armour, but anything is possible. Doll houses, doctors surgery, the options are endless.

Bake up

Maybe it’s that he gets to lick the bowl when we are finished, or the fact I let him sit on the bench top while he mixes, but Mr 5 loves baking.

Over the next few weeks I’m planning to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and do a bake up for school snacks to freeze. Things like muesli bars, banana bread, muffins etc all freeze well, and last a month or more in the freezer. We’ll probably make some after school snacks too. Fruit ice blocks and peanut butter cookies are favourites at our place.

Out and about school holiday ideas

Be a tourist in your town

When was the last time you went into the visitor information centre in your city?


Up until recently neither had I, but it turns out they are all kinds of awesome for finding fun, free activities to do close to home. We’re planning to visit some local museums, check out an art gallery or two and go on a bush walk. All things we found for free at the tourist information centre.

Mystery public transport adventure

I have to admit that a day exploring via public transport isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, but I know my boys will love it. They never travel by train or ferry so we are planning a day of adventures exploring on both!

If your kids are old enough you could get them to plan it all out. Learning and fun… parent of the year anyone?

Beach treasure hunt

Grab some cheap plastic dinosaurs, coins and other random bits and pieces and mark out an archeological site on the beach. Peg some markers into a square and then bury the treasures. Let the kids go crazy digging… Morning sorted!

Fruit picking

fruit picking

I’ve always wanted to go fruit picking and I’ve discovered there is a few orchids within an hour or two of our house. We’ll be grabbing our buckets and picking a harvest. Berries are plentiful in Summer but we also found a nut farm that looks like fun. Google “fruit picking in [your city] and see what you find.

What do you have planned these school holidays? Any budget friendly ideas to share?

More summer activities that keep everyone happy:

Images: Pixabay