Here is Australia, the mid-year school holidays almost upon us. With that in mind, below is a list of cost-effective activities you can do with the kids to occupy their time:
1) Take them to the museum. Museums used to be all boring ol’ exhibits, but now most feature a section for children along with commentary for less-advanced readers.
2) Go swimming. With heated pools, swimming in winter can be as much fun as it is in summer. Just remember to bring and apply sunscreen so no one gets sunburnt.
3) Have a picnic or BBQ in the park. They can burn off excess energy on playground equipment or scoot along in their mini-scooters on paved walkways while the adults indulge in some non-child-related conversation with other parents.
4) Have a home bake-off. You can make cookies and tea cakes to share with neighbours, family and friends, while teaching your child simple measurements. Make sure they wash their hands properly before and after and remain supervised while handling sharp objects or the oven. To simplify proceedings, you can buy pre-mixes for them to make.
5) Have a night at the movies. Go to the video store together on cheap Tuesdays to borrow a whole heap of DVDs for a dollar each. Then go home and make pop-corn together to enjoy with your selection.
6) Organise a play-date. Most kids enjoy just hanging out with their friends. It’s a fuss-free option that can fit around most other holiday plans.
7) Go on a road trip. With younger children, the road trip has to be shorter otherwise there will be plenty of whining and “Are we there yet?” in the car. It pays to get them excited about where they are going by telling them what they are going to see beforehand.
8) Attend a sports clinic. Most sports clinics for children start from $50 a day, lunch excluded. You can either phone up community centres to ask about their school holiday programme or perhaps like me, your child has already come home from school with brochures to events.
9) Use your yearly pass. All the theme parks on the Gold Coast and places like the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary sell yearly passes. If your kids enjoy frequenting such places, it might make sense to get one. Get together with friends to save by bulk purchasing passes.
10) Explore interesting parts of the neighbourhood. What’s interesting? You’ve got to remember that children see the world with untainted eyes. We see flowers on bushes as flowers on bushes. They see flowers on bushes as pretend food for their dolls, hair accessories, home decorations, parts of a necklace…even taking them out for the fresh air is good.