5 Budget Friendly Ways To Keep Your Kids Entertained These School Holidays

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Keeping the kids entertained during holidays always starts out fun but if you are anything like me money becomes a bit tighter and the “I’m bored what can we do” requests become a bit louder as the days roll on.  After the hype of the Easter weekend the kids are coming down from their sugar highs and are wanting things to do.

We are always looking for fun, out of the box ideas to do with our kids that they will love and which won’t break the bank.  Over the years we have found a number of cool activities that seem to be a winner during holidays.

Geocaching

Geocaching is a treasure hunt with something for everyone. Using map coordinates and a GPS enabled device (your mobile phone), you can find a geocache near your home, in the city, in the bush or in Antarctica. A geocache is a container, normally plastic and water tight, which come in all shapes and sizes. You can find a tiny little one as small as your fingernail, or a huge geocache with exciting ‘treasures’ inside. It can be as easy or as hard as you like to make it. Our kids love it and we even made our own and looked after it in our local area.

We came to know about geocaching when some good friends of ours invited us on a cache hunt in our local area during school holidays.  They had an app on their phone which showed up at least 15 geocaches hidden in our local area with the exact GPS coordinates to take us to each one.  We jumped in the car and off we went.  All geocaches are in public areas but are hidden very well so you can only find it if you know where it is.  There are always small treasures on the inside of the container when you find it and the idea is you take something out and you put something in.  You can even log on the app that you found it for other people to see that it was recently found.

You can download the free app for iPhone here: http://apple.co/1XZwiHy

You can download the free app for Android here: http://bit.ly/1ZHDtWa

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Library and Museum Visits and Workshops

Our local council art gallery, library and museum have some great activities for kids to do on school holidays.  We live in a regional city and I am amazed at some of the awesome stuff that is available on school holidays and it is mostly free.  It ranges from craft to claymation to electronics to free skateboard and BMX clinics and more.  It is worth spending 5 minutes googling your local area activities for kids as you will be surprised by some of the awesome activities you will find.

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Colouring In

Colouring in seems to be quite the trendy thing to do at the moment for young and old.  My girls always love a bit of colouring in and it is such an easy activity to have at home ready to go for those days where you just want to chill.  Keeping it interesting and keeping them engaged in different kinds of colouring is one way to keep it fresh and enjoyable.  We have a colouring in station at our house which works a treat.  We recently had the chance to try out the amazing innovative colouring activities from Crayola called Color Wonder.

Our girls are big fans of Crayola so they were pretty excited. We also had the chance to try them out with some boys and they too loved the magic of Color Wonder.  Historically they haven’t been too interested in colouring in however they loved the technical side of how the colours magically appeared and finding the hidden designs on the different pages.  It kept them engaged longer than a traditional colouring book and they also took on the challenge of whether it was really mess free and tried colouring in on all sorts of things, but with no avail, including their hands, walls and the table!

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This product is mess-free and non-toxic so it won’t colour on skin, furniture, carpets, or clothes. This is a godsend for us at the moment with an 18 month old in the house finding drawing all over the walls, table, himself, me, and the cat, a very entertaining activity. The packs were also fantastic to take on holidays to an apartment recently as I did not have to fear the walls and couches being drawn all over. The special ink in Color Wonder markers are clear on most surfaces, yet each marker ‘magically’ shows up a different colour on Color Wonder Paper, which is very exciting for the kids.

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The great thing is the kids still get to decide what colour they want each part of the picture to be. They just choose the coloured marker they want to use – even though it appears to be clear when you look at the tip (the marker has a coloured end-cap that represents the colour for visual reference). Once they start colouring the colour will magically appear on the page. It is actually quite awesome if you think about it.

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We put together a little video showing how they work for realz if you are interested in seeing the magic happen.

This was a little something Miss 5 prepared earlier …

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Color Wonder consists of six current licensed titles including Disney Frozen, Disney Princess, Nickelodeon Paw Patrol, Nickelodeon Dora the Explorer, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Peppa Pig and is available at all leading retailers.

Make a Movie

My 8 year old daughter in quite addicted to making movies at the moment.  Which 8 year old doesn’t want to be the star of their own show lol?  It is such a simple activity for kids to do at home which encourages them to get creative and doesn’t involve leaving the house.  There are a number of free or cheap apps you can download onto an Apple or Android device to make it even easier.

They include …

Stop Motion

iOS: Stop Motion Studio – https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/stop-motion-studio/id441651297?mt=8

Android: Pic Pac Stop Motion – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=tv.picpac&hl=en

Movie Trailers

iOS: iMovie ($6.49) – https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/imovie/id377298193?mt=8

Movie FX

iOS: Action Movie FX – https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/action-movie-fx/id489321253?mt=8

Android: FxGuru: Movie FX Director – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.picadelic.fxguru&hl=en

Shopping Centre Scavenger Hunt

My husband made up this idea one day.  It was super simple and the kids loved it. The idea was that we went to our local shopping centre together with a list of things we had to find and do. Each of our girls had an old iPhone camera with them.  They had to photograph everything they found as proof that they found it plus had to write prices of things if they were requested on the list. My husband made up the list himself and printed it off.

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You can download the PDF version HERE and the WORD version here if you want to come up with your own FUN HUNT ideas with your kids.

It really was a simple and fun idea that the kids loved!!

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Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.

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