Are you looking for some fun things to do on school holidays with your kids? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a list of 100 school holiday activities that will help keep the boredom away. From things to do at home to things to free and cheap things to do when out and about, for summer break, winter break, spring break and everything in between!
This is your ultimate school holiday bucket list to help you create some memorable family moments over the school break together!
When Are The School Holidays?
Here in Australia, we have our end-of-school-year summer break from approximately mid-December to late January or early February, Easter break in March or April, winter break from June to July and spring break from September to October.
Each year these dates change slightly and they differ from state to state too. You can find the updated Australian school holiday dates here.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite so the long summer break tends to fall from June to August when the weather is at its warmest. This also marks the end of the school year and the start of the next as Autumn prepares to arrive.
So, whether you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, we have put together some great fun school holiday ideas for kids of all ages to help make your school break memorable!
School Holiday Activities At Home
There are so many fun things to do at home over the school holidays! Things that don’t require spending any money or even leaving your backyard!
Make sure you’ve got plenty of lunch ideas for kids at home ready and prepare for excitement!
Put together a family picnic lunch and head outside to enjoy the sunshine! This is such a simple activity but one that the kids always love.
Sometimes the most simple change of scenery is enough to turn an average day at home into something special!
One of the all-time favourite things to do at home during the holidays is having a movie marathon! Whether it’s watching all the Harry Potter movies, a Marvel Cinematic Universe binge watch or bringing out some old Disney classics to introduce to the kids, it can be so fun!
Make some popcorn, get comfortable on the couch and enjoy some quality screen time together. This can be a single-day movie marathon or a movie a day to wind down your evening.
Build A Sheet Fort
This is a classic rainy day activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family! All you need are some bed sheets, chairs, clothes pegs and some imagination. The possibilities are endless with forts!
You could even make an indoor camping setup complete with sleeping bags and flashlights. Our kids sometimes make their own overnight sheet tent in the loungeroom and have their own indoor campout.
Take it to the next level by setting up your tent in the backyard and spending a night under the stars! This is a great activity to do in the warmer months. You could even roast marshmallows or make S’Mores over the fire pit or over the BBQ for some extra fun.
Plant A Vegetable Or Herb Garden
Keep kids busy outside and spend some time in the garden with this fun activity!
Plant a few different vegetables or herbs that they can then help to care for and watch grow. Not only is this a fun way to spend some time together, but it’s also educational and you get the added bonus of fresh produce.
This is great if you are looking for things to do during spring break especially as it’s perfect growing weather!
Play Board Games
Get some friendly competition going with your favourite family board game or take this opportunity to try out a new game instead.
These classic board games are always a great option. Other favourites we have are Rummy-O and Triominos, which are both relatively easy even for younger kids with a little extra help.
On a clear night, head outside and spend some time looking up at the stars. See if you can find the Southern Cross or Orion’s Belt.
If you have a telescope, this is the perfect opportunity to get it out and do some amateur astronomy together as a family!
Make A Time Capsule
This is a fun activity to do at the end of the holidays as a way to document what life was like during this time.
Get everyone to put together some items that represent their current interests, life events or anything else they want to remember about this time and then bury it (or store it away in your home) to be opened at a later date.
Play Dress Ups
Pretend play is such an important part of childhood development and there are endless possibilities when it comes to dress-ups.
You can either pull out some old clothes from your own closet or rummage through a local op shop for some fun costume ideas. If you want to get really creative, you could even make your own costumes for the kids to model in their fashion show!
Check out these homemade Halloween costumes for kids and book character costumes for plenty of inspiration!
Bake Something Yummy
What better way to spend some time together than by whipping up a batch of your family’s favourite treats?
Whether it’s cookies, cupcakes, brownies or something else entirely, this is a fun activity for all ages. It’s also a great way to teach your kids basic cooking and baking skills that will build their confidence in the kitchen.
Have A Cupcake Decorating Competition
Take your baking fun one step further with a cupcake decorating competition!
You could make some simple vanilla cupcakes and then set out a bunch of different toppings and decorations for the kids to choose from. Then let them get creative and see who can come up with the most creative or delicious design. The possibilities are endless!
Make Friendship Bracelets
This is such a simple activity for kids of all ages and one that can easily be done at home.
All you need is some colourful string or yarn and a few simple supplies like scissors, tape and a ruler or measuring tape. Then it’s time to get creative! Check out this tutorial for instructions on how to make multicolour friendship bracelets.
Set Up An Obstacle Course
If you have the space in your backyard, or even indoors, setting up an obstacle course is a great way to burn off some energy.
You can use whatever you have on hand to create the obstacles, such as jumping into Hoola hoops, climbing under tables and over chairs, and weaving between bricks. This is a fantastic way to develop your child’s gross motor skills as they move their bodies in different directions.
An indoor obstacle course might take them through each room of the house, with a different task to complete once they get there.
This is a fun activity that can be done both inside and outside.
All you need is some rocks, paint and a few other supplies like brushes, sponges, and sealant (if you want to use them outdoors). Then it’s time to get creative!
You can either let the kids paint whatever they like or set up a specific design for them to follow. Then if you want to take the fun an extra step further, you can leave the rocks at local parks for other children to find, as a random act of kindness.
Make Playdough Or Slime
Messy play is always fun for kids, especially when they get to make their own play dough or slime!
There are plenty of recipes online for both of these activities and they’re usually quite simple to make. Just be sure to supervise your children closely if they are younger, as some of the ingredients can be dangerous if ingested.
Find loads of great homemade playdough recipes and homemade slime recipes to get you started.
Try Some Easy Science Experiments
Science experiments are not only fun, but they’re also educational.
You can find plenty of easy science experiments online that can be done with common household ingredients. Just a few things you might need include food colouring, vinegar, baking soda, and water.
Learn A New Skill From YouTube
Learning something new together as a family is a wonderful way to connect with your children.
There are YouTube videos on just about everything these days, so you’re sure to find a tutorial on whatever skill you’d like to learn. You could even make it a weekly activity to watch a new video and learn something new together.
Some cool ideas are drawing or painting tutorials, craft tutorials, playing a musical instrument or gardening tips.
Start A Puzzle
We often start a new jigsaw puzzle at the start of each school holidays. This is a simple activity that the kids and I can do between other things as a quick boredom buster.
You can leave the puzzle out on a table or dedicated space and then work on it whenever you have a few spare minutes. It can be a great way to keep the brain active too!
Make Sock Puppets
This is such a fun activity for kids of all ages and it’s one that can be done with items you probably already have around the house.
All you need are some socks, scissors, fabric glue or a hot glue gun, googly eyes, and any other materials you want to use to decorate your puppets. Afterwards, have the kids put on a puppet show to entertain you.
Decorate Your Own T-Shirt
This is a creative activity that can be done with items you may already have around the house.
All you need are some old t-shirts, fabric paint, and brushes. Then it’s time to get creative!
Another option is to get a tie dye kit and make your own tie dye shirts. We did this as part of a birthday party activity for my daughter when she turned 9 and it was so much fun for the kids to choose their own colours and how they rolled up the shirts. They all loved the end results!
Things To Do On Summer Break With Kids
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather! There are so many fun things to do when the sun is shining and the water is warm. This is the ultimate time to make some memories with your kids!
Visit The Beach
Not much compares to a beach trip to combat school holiday boredom!
There are so many things to do at the beach – swimming, building sandcastles, playing beach cricket, flying a kite, and collecting shells are just a few.
Make sure you pack everything you need for a day at the beach, including snacks, sunscreen and shelter. This is sure to be a fond memory for the kids when they head back to school!
Have A Water Balloon Fight
Water balloon fights are always a hit with kids! They’re super easy to set up and only require a few supplies.
You will need water balloons (of course), a hose or tap, and something to put the filled balloons in. Once you have your supplies, simply fill up the balloons and get ready to have some fun.
For a quick fill option, check out these lots of balloons that allow you to fill bulk balloons in one go.
Or if you’re not keen on the balloon mess all over your backyard, you can also get some really cool reusable water balloons too. We love these ones. They are magnetic for easy sealing and can be refilled over and over again. They don’t hurt when they hit you either.
Make Homemade Popsicles Or Ice Cream
This is a delicious activity that the kids will love! And it’s perfect for cooling down on hot summer days!
There are lots of recipes online for both homemade ice blocks and ice cream, so you can experiment with your favourite flavours. You will need some popsicle moulds or an ice cream maker (or find no churn recipes), but other than that, you can just have fun with it!
Run Through The Sprinklers
Unless you have a backyard pool (lucky you!), a backyard sprinkler is a great alternative to cooling off at home!
It doesn’t require much set-up and you will soon have the kids squealing with delight as they cool down and get some fresh air!
Have A Water Pistol Fight
Get those super soakers ready for an all-out water fight! Do you dare take on the kids? Or leave them to their own fun as they squirt each other in their attempt at victory.
Go For A Swim
Head to a friend’s place, the local pool or a safe swimming hole near home and take a dip to cool off.
Swimming is great exercise, so it’s perfect for getting the kids moving during the holidays. Just make sure you pack your sunscreen, hats, and towels! And don’t forget those snacks. Swimming is tiring fun!
Go Kayaking or Canoeing
Get out on the water in a kayak or canoe and explore your surroundings. This is a great activity for families to do together as it gets them active and outdoors.
If you don’t have your own kayaks or canoes, many camping and sporting stores or water sports companies will hire them out by the day. Some also offer lessons if you are new to the experience.
Stand-up paddleboarding is another fun idea to try!
Spend A Day On A Boat
Whether it’s a hired boat, or you have your own, spending the day out on the water is a great way to relax and enjoy some quality time with the family.
Pack a picnic lunch and head out for a few hours. Make sure you have all the essential safety gear, including life jackets, for a day of safe fun in the sun.
This doesn’t need to exclusively be a summer activity, but there’s something about spending a day fishing that just feels like summertime fun!
If you don’t have your own gear, many tackle shops will hire out rods and reels by the day.
Visit A Waterpark
If you are lucky enough to live near a waterpark, make sure you add it to your list of things to do over the summer holidays!
With slides, pools, and water rides, there is something for everyone at a waterpark. Just make sure you pack sunscreen, towels, hats and swimsuits so you are prepared for a day of fun in the sun.
Free Things To Do During School Holidays With Kids
There are plenty of fun things to do that won’t cost you a cent! These are excellent ideas if you are on a budget or just looking for some free activities to do with your kids for some family fun.
Visit Your Local Library
Many public libraries offer free school holiday programs, such as storytime or book-themed activities for kids. This is a wonderful way to encourage kids to love reading more too!
It might even get them excited to read lots of books over the school break too if you borrow some exciting titles for them!
Have A Scavenger Hunt Or Treasure Hunt In Your Neighborhood
This is a great way to explore your local area and have some family fun at the same time!
Put hidden treasure around your own backyard for the kids to find or make a list of items for them to find on a nature walk around the block or through a local park. Things like an insect, a tree taller than you, and a smooth rock are easy for younger kids to spot.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. It’s a great way to explore new places with the family!
To get started, all you need is a phone or other GPS device and the free Geocaching app. Once you have the app, simply find a geocache near you and enter the coordinates into your device. Then, go find it!
Geocaches can be found all over the world, so there is a good chance there are some near you just waiting to be discovered. Often people leave little gifts, such as painted rocks or trinkets to be found so you might like to take some items with you to leave for the next person.
Play In The Park
There’s nothing like good old-fashioned playtime at the park! Kids will love to run around, explore, and play on playground equipment. And it’s a great way for them to burn off some energy too!
If you don’t have a park near you, any open space will do. A vacant lot, an empty soccer field, or even your own backyard can be transformed into a makeshift park. Grab the frisbee or football for some active activities together.
Go For A Bike Ride
Jump on your bikes and explore your neighbourhood or local area! This is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while spending time together as a family.
If you have little kids, you might need a toddler trailer or bike seat attached to your bike to make it easy for them to come along for the ride. And don’t forget your helmets!
Visit A Free Museum Or Gallery
Many museums and galleries offer free entry or have at least one day a week where admission is free. This can make for an entertaining, educational activity during the school holidays!
Do some research online to see what’s available near you. You might be surprised at how many interesting places there are to explore in your local area.
Go For A Nature Walk Or Bush Walk
If your family loves spending time outdoors, conquering a new nature hike or walking trail at nearby National Parks might be exactly the day out you will all love.
Wear your comfortable walking shoes and sun protection, and bring plenty of water and snacks to keep the whole family happy as you enjoy your time in nature.
Fly A Kite In The Park
This is such a classic activity and one that the whole family can enjoy! All you need is a kite (they are often quite cheap to buy or make) and some open space. If there’s even a little bit of wind, you’ll be surprised at how well your kite will fly.
If you don’t have a park near you, any wide open space will do. A beach is a great place to fly a kite, or you might even try it in your own backyard on a breezy day.
Visit An Animal Shelter
If your family loves animals, why not spend a day visiting your local animal shelter? You can help socialise the animals by playing with them, or simply spending time cuddling them.
This is a great activity for kids as it helps teach empathy and responsibility. And you might even meet your new furry friend!
Our kids always want to adopt every animal they meet but even going home without a new friend always leaves them with the biggest smiles on their faces after meeting some new furry friends. It’s a lovely endorphin boost for the whole family!
There are many organisations that would love some extra help, and what better way to spend time together as a family than by giving back to your community?
Do some research online or ask around to see if there are any organisations near you that could use some volunteers. It’s a great way to make new friends, learn new skills, and feel good about giving back.
And there are so many different types of volunteering opportunities available, so you’re sure to find something that interests everyone in your family. This is especially a great idea if you have older kids who can assist with a lot of different tasks.
Other Fun Activities For School Holidays
There are so many fun things to do outside of the home that will cost a little but bring plenty of great memories and excitement! Things that will get you out and about exploring your local area or even further afield.
These are great ideas if you are looking for an exciting adventure during the school break.
An affordable way to spend the school holidays is to go camping! You can either camp at a nearby campsite, or explore different camping spots around the state or country on a longer trip.
Camping is a great way to connect with nature, unplug from technology, and spend quality time with family and friends. And there are so many different activities to enjoy while camping, from hiking and swimming to fishing and campfire cooking.
Take A Road Trip
One of our favourite things to do as a family is to jump in the car and explore different parts of Australia. We love planning road trips, packing up the car, and hitting the open road.
There are so many beautiful places to see within your own country and taking a road trip is a great way to see them! It doesn’t need to be an overnight road trip either.
Take a day trip to a city a few hours away, stopping at places that look interesting along the way.
Visit A Trampoline Park
If your kids are bouncing off the walls with energy, why not take them to a trampoline park? There are now many different indoor trampoline parks and inflatable centres, and they’re super fun for all ages.
Spend a few hours jumping around and burning off some energy, then relax in the cafe with a well-deserved snack and drink afterwards.
Go Rock Climbing
Another active activity for kids (and grown ups!) is rock climbing. There are many indoor rock climbing centres around and they’re a great way to stay active during the school holidays.
Rock climbing is also a great workout for your mind as well as your body, and it’s something that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Play Mini Golf
Mini golf is always an enjoyable activity, no matter your age! It’s perfect for spending time with family or friends, and often an affordable activity that will keep you all entertained for an hour or two.
Visit An Indoor Play Centre
If it’s raining outdoors or on a really hot day, the air-conditioned comfort of an indoor play centre is a perfect option.
The best part is, if you are a working parent trying to get things done over the school break with kids at home, you can take your laptop and set it up at one of the tables while the kids get some fun. It might not be the most peaceful working environment, but at least you know the kids will be having a good time.
More Activity Ideas For School Holiday Entertainment
Still not sure how to keep the kids entertained when the end of the school term arrives? These school holiday activities are instant boredom busters!
- Ice skating
- Roller skating
- Laser tag
- Arcade games
- Learn to sew
- Cooking classes
- Visit a farm
- Make homemade pizza
- Have a picnic in the park
- Build sandcastles
- Visit local attractions & theme parks
- Learn a new language
- Read a book
- Colouring in
- Write and illustrate your own story
- Create a music playlist of favourite songs
- Play balloon games
- Do a craft kit
- Chalk drawing on the driveway or footpaths
- Make homemade cards or wrapping paper
- Make a collage
- Play card games
- Building with Lego or blocks
- Have a play date with a friend
- Go to the cinema
- See a play or theatre performance
- Attend a free festival or market
- Start a journal
- Make a scrapbook
- Do leaf sketches
- Give your bedroom a makeover
- Declutter unwanted toys to donate
- Do a kids subscription box activity
- Make a family bucket list
- Feed the ducks at a local park
- Plant some flower seeds
- Bake cookies
- Do a random act of kindness for a neighbour
- Finish a family project that you’ve been meaning to do
- Play PokemonGo and see how many you can find on a walk
- Try a new food or recipe
- Learn about a new country
- Listen to a podcast or audiobook together
- Have a silly photoshoot
- Set up a sensory box or sensory activities
- Paint a picture (you can make your own paint at home)
- Learn origami
- Watch family home movies
- Film your own movie
- Practice photography
- Set up an I’m Bored activity jar
- Play a cleaning game
- Do household chores for pocket money
- Go on a colour hunt to find items of different colours
- Blow bubbles
- Have a pamper session
- Make a photo book
- Visit the zoo
Level up your holiday fun with this printable school vacation planner bundle available in my store:
No matter what your interests are, there’s likely an activity out there that will keep you entertained during the school holidays. With over 100 different school holiday activities to turn your school holidays into a blast for the entire family, you’re sure to find plenty of ways to keep the kids happy during the school break!
How do you plan on spending your school holiday break? Share what you’re most looking forward to below!
For more school holiday activity ideas:
- 101+ Things to do with kids at home
- 100 Things to do with kids in the backyard
- Screen-free activities for families
- Family date ideas for Valentine’s Day
- Free mindfulness colouring pages
- Best gratitude journals for kids
- Creative play ideas for toddlers
- Sensory play activities
- Water play activities for kids
- Homemade play recipes
- Snack ideas for kids
Holiday House Management Northern Beaches
Tuesday 4th of December 2018
There's so many things to love your bucket list. A lot of enjoying activities. This seems so fun. Thanks!
Wednesday 27th of June 2018
Excellent ideas and as a retired teacher/principal many of these things are brilliant in helping kids learn.. but not in a formal way. Learning alongside Mum and other adults is a gentle introduction to many new ideas. I also liked that much of what you wrote could be done for free. Thanks for sharing. Denyse #teamIBOT
Wednesday 27th of June 2018
That was definitely a lot of my motivation - holiday activities that have learning opportunities as well as fun! My eldest is only prep aged so we try and squeeze in lots of extra learning.
Natalie @ Be Kind 2 You
Wednesday 27th of June 2018
I reallylike this idea. I often get to the end of the holidays and we haven't done muc (usually working but can still spare a few minutes here and there). I think I might challenge myself.
Wednesday 27th of June 2018
Oh yes, I hear you! Last holidays flew by and it feels like we did nothing! This time I plan to make it a total blast for the kids... and work less!
Wednesday 27th of June 2018
I'm always looking for some fun stuff to do with my nieces and nephews when they visit, and to be honest, I can't believe I've never thought of some of these! Gosh. Keep it simple, right? Pinned for later!
Wednesday 27th of June 2018
So glad to help! I'm planning to have 2 of my nieces come stay over the holidays too. A house full of 4 little girls calls for some planned fun!