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A mum’s guide to surviving the summer holidays

Budget friendly activities to keep your kids amused

Ah, summer holidays! It’s one of the best times of the year.

Lots of family togetherness coupled with long, sunny days.

Kids are in full swing, excited to be off school for a month and playing with all the new things they got for Christmas.

And mums…

Well, most of us are wondering how the hell we’re going to balance the next month now the excitement of Christmas is over!

But some of the best memories are made during the summer holidays.

And not to mention, you’ve got to have something for your kids to write about when they get back to school. There’s always going to be the ‘On the holidays I…’ story they must write in the first week of school. The pressure is on!

To save you time, I’ve researched some of the best activities for you to check out over these summer holidays. Here they are.

Fun family activities to survive the summer holidays

With a little bit of planning, a small budget and creativity, you can easily juggle being the fun mum while not breaking your bank account.

Why not make a list on a planning board, let your kids decide the ones they want to do, and then cross them off as you go? Get them involved in your decision making – it stops you guessing what they want to do!

Here are easy to do at home holiday activities

  • Get messy in the kitchen. Let them bake cakes or biscuits, or even cook dinner or prepare fruit plates etc. Not only do they learn valuable skills, but every time they say, ‘I’m hungry’, they can eat something they’ve made.
  • Grow your veggies. If you’re finding it hard to get them to eat veggies, let them choose, and grow their own. You don’t need a huge patch of garden (you can even buy tubs), but let your kids get dirty, dig and plant seeds and then watch their creation grow.
  • Camp out in your backyard. Long, warm summer nights are perfect to set up a tent (or even a cubby house made of sheets) in your backyard to camp out. Leave the back door unlocked for pitstops, but have a family bbq followed by a sleep out under the stars. Remember mozzie bands though!
  • Set up a treasure hunt. Let’s be real – kids are always yelling, ‘mum, where’s my …’. So turn it into a game by hiding their items and giving them clues where to find them. You’ll be amazed how into it even teens will be if you’ve changed the wi-fi password and hidden it somewhere around the house!
  • Invite friends over. No matter how fun you are, kids will always want to play with their mates. Share the load with other mums by setting up play dates. Let them watch videos, do arts and crafts, play outside etc. If you’re a working mum, see if you can get the holidays covered by setting up rosters with other working mums.

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Here are some budget-conscious activities if you need to get out of your house

  • Visit your local park. Take a walk, or drive to your local park. Most parks these days have added activities like basketball hoops, skate parks and the usual swings etc. Take some lunch and have a picnic on the grass, then let your kids run riot while you sit back and take in the rays.
  • Go to a museum. Kids love exploring new things, and although you’ve probably seen the museum a few times on school excursions and it may not be your thing anymore, your kids will love it! Most will have free (or small fee) activities for school-aged kids, keeping them entertained while you watch on with a coffee.
  • Check out your local shopping centre. Yes I know – shops and kids usually don’t mix too well. But many centres have school holiday activities happening, like stage shows, colouring competitions, arts and crafts etc. Some also have big play areas next to the food court, so you can grab some lunch with your mates and let the kids play.
  • Head to the beach. Not the best idea for those scorching days (as you’ll struggle to find a piece of free sand), but most kids love a trip to the beach. Make sure you’ve all slip, slop, slapped and have hats etc. then grab some shovels and head off. Build sand castles, splash in the water and lay back for a nap on the sand (yeah who am I kidding....). 

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And here are some summer holiday activities in each State for varying budgets

Do you have any mum tips to share?

If you’ve got any further ideas or activities, you think other mums must know, please feel free to share them below.

And if you’re looking for somewhere to write all of your awesome plans, well, we can help you with that here!

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