Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 18 December 2017

20 things to do with kids over the school holidays that won't break the bank

Looking for free or cheap ideas to keep the kids amused over the school holidays?

The summer school holidays have begun here in Australia, and we like many grandparents across the country, help out our children while they are at work, by looking after our grandies for at least some of the school holidays. The years rush by so quickly, that before we know it our grandies won't want to come, or have reached the age when they don't need to come, to Grandma and Pop's house over the holidays, so we are very happy for them to come over for the day/s or for sleepovers throughout the holidays. I think as Grandparents we have more time for our grandchildren and appreciate these precious visits when the kids are not with us 24/7. 

This old photo you see above here is my eldest son with his grandmother (my husband's mother) was taken in 1982. It is one of my favourite photos as it shows their shared joy - making precious memories together.  I hope we can make precious memories for our grandchildren too.   

But how to keep children amused over the holidays without breaking the bank? Electronic and computer games are so much a part of our grandchildren's world, and I am happy for them to do this for a short time during the day, but not ALL day. We try to get them out to do something active or hands-on in the morning at least, and then if they want to watch a movie or play a computer game in the afternoon for a while, I am ok with that. By then I probably need a break too!

There are heaps of ideas out there on the net of things to do with kids on the school holidays, but here are a few to get you started. 

1. Reading - I am very happy to say that both my grandies love reading and always bring books with them, as well as reading books which I have at home. A visit to your local library will most likely turn up books they haven't seen before.

2 - Our library also has free holidays programs for children.  Here's a Christmas tree model from a class they have held at our library in the last couple of weeks. 
Our local art centre also has a summer school program that includes some activities for school age children. You never know they might discover a new interest by going to these workshops.

3. While you are in the library I suggest you grab a kids book of science experiments.  Here are a couple our grandies did today - 

Turning a white rose blue (just put food colouring in a jar of water), and growing salt crystals.

4.  You could also borrow a kids craft book, or go to your local craft supplier and purchase a kit. Last Christmas we made these stars from wooden clothes pegs. I have a box of craft bits and pieces to delve into for when they are feeling creative.  

5 - Get them in the kitchen and have fun baking

6 -  Get Doodling - our library also held a doodling workshop. A selection of coloured pencils and pens can help lead to creative doodling without buying a colouring book. 

7 -  Or perhaps you can help them make something on grandma's old treadle sewing machine! My grandson was keen to find out how it worked so out with the bag a material scraps and we made him a "belt" with pockets for his Pokemon cards.

8 -  We had lots of fun this afternoon making and flying paper planes. We just used recylcled (printed on one side) A4 paper which I keep in a box under my computer.

9 -  It is amazing the fun they had painting and decorating these refrigerator boxes last summer when we bought a new fridge and freezer. This is probably a "shirts off" activity!

10 - Don't forget outdoor activities like the park which are free!   

11 -  The beach is a great place for outdoor play or perhaps you have a boat for fishing or towing the kids around in a tube. Don't forget the slip slop slap wrap - slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses.
Making sandcastles is for any age, and my friend who is on holidays just posted about making Christmas wreaths with her children on the beach from found bits and pieces. 

12 -  jetty fishing -   but I hope you do better fishing than we did on this particular day. Pop is always on hand to tie on a new hook. Follow up with a couple of dollars worth of hot chips for lunch.

13 -   If it is not too hot you can go bushwalking, but you might need to buy an ice cream at the end of it. With so many kids living in cities and suburbia it is great to get them out in the bush for bush play and camping.  

14 - Bonus points if you happen to have access to a farm with old drums they can bang as loud as they like and bits of old machinery to climb on!

Or if you live in a fruit or vegetable growing area, some growers have a "come and pick your own" day. It's a great way for kids to find out where their fruit comes from. 

15 -  Ok this one isn't free, but if you have a bird or animal park in your area, you can easily spend several hours here. Take a picnic with you instead of buying lunch.

16 -  Check out your local art gallery or museum for the latest exhibitions. This was a fascinating interactive display, where the children pressed the buttons on the computer pad to bring in different parts of the orchestra.   

17 -   Whilst you are in town check out the street art or have fun with street photography, perhaps with a theme - there are shapes, patterns, reflections, signs, stairs, doors, windows, everywhere!  

18 -   Back at home there are always board games or a jig-saw puzzle or puzzle books. 

  19 - I almost hesitate to say that we did this ....but there is even helping Pop paint the fence, but you probably need to give them a "reward" at the end of it. But it doesn't need to be an expensive reward - an icypole or a swim at the beach or watching a movie at home are all cheap rewards.
20 - Is there a Gnomesville near you? Take your gnome out to join in. Check out my blog on the Ferguson Valley Gnomesville here  -   Down in the woods today

21 - And more! Happy to spend a bit of money? - there is always the movies (or put a movie on at home, don't forget the popcorn - they can make it in the microwave), or go tenpin bowling, or go to a maze, or theme park or tourist attraction, or start learning to play a musical instrument! 

This was at Amaze'n in Margaret River.

 Here are some more ideas I found on the net -  

Stay at home mum.com -50-cheap-school-holiday-activities
Be a Fun Mum.com - 100-school-holiday-activity-ideas 

 Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope my little list will give you a few ideas to get the ideas flowing for school holiday activities. If you have girls, your list might be totally different to this. Have you got any school holiday ideas you'd like to share in the comments? 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

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  1. Thanks for the great holiday ideas for grandies. One to add is cherry picking on the farms nearby where we live.

    1. Thanks Rosie. Yes that is a great idea! Earlier this year we picked olives on a friends property. And I know friends who went apple picking during the year. And years ago there was a strawberry farm where you could pick your own.

  2. Jill - we are nowhere (I think!) close to having grandies, but I loved your list anyway because it brought back so many pleasant memories with our own kids. Other ideas? Playgrounds. Drawing with chalk on a sidewalk. Running through a sprinkler in the garden - invite other kids for more fun. A campfire in the garden with marshmallows. Looking through a telescope at the stars.

  3. Smile - On listing all the things to do with kids I can see you are definitely a grandmother! Thank you for sharing these experiences! You left a comment, only you forgot to leave your thumbnail pic on the linky list. Hope you read this before the link list closes on Wed. 7pm, pacific time.
    In any ca, wishing you a very merry Christmas and a great time with the family. See you back for New year's eve (but for you it will already be the New Year)at All Seasons1

  4. Even though I haven't any grandchildren to share the holidays with I really enjoyed reading your list of ideas and activities to keep the young 'uns occupied/busy/entertained.
    Merry Christmas from Normandy, looking forward very much to seeing more images from Jill in 2018.

  5. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas holiday and enjoy the time off together.
    Thanks for joining us at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/12/a-word-ful-wordless-wednesday-on.html

  6. These are great ideas for keeping the young ones happy and busy over the vacation. Most are easily adaptable for the northern hemisphere, although there will be no fruit picking or swimming! Merry Christmas!


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.