5 school holiday activities for kids designed to protect your sanity.






Question: What should you do with the kids for school holidays?

Answer: Hire a babysitter – she can figure it out while you take some well-deserved time out.

I’m only half-joking. I’m not a parent, but I used to be a nanny for several different families, and school holidays was always when I was most-requested at their humble abodes.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Universal Pictures. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.

It always starts so well – the kids are home, the bedtimes don’t have to be so strict, the mornings don’t have to be so stressful when trying to get everyone out the door.

But suddenly it’s day eight and it’s been raining for five days straight and everybody has cabin fever and is sick of Lego and if you don’t get out of the house soon, you might drown yourself in a bucket of wine. And that would be a waste of perfectly decent wine.

So. Here are some of the school holiday activities for kids I used to do to entertain the ones I looked after. Why not try a few of these ideas during the school holidays coming up– it might help to keep the madness at bay…

1. Cardboard boxes are the key to happiness.

What is it about kids and going nuts for cardboard boxes? When I was four, we got a new fridge and I spent the great majority of my time playing with the cardboard box that came with it. Honestly, my life has gone largely downhill from that point.

Anyway – save your cardboard boxes, or go and grab a bunch from the local supermarket or bottle-o. With a bit of help from our old friends Paint and Crayon, these boxes become cubby houses, tunnels, cars, ships, islands… anything. Anything at all.


2. Take advantage of novelty seasonal activities.

In the summer – the beach is the way to go. But it’s winter now, and so we need winter-appropriate activities. My pick? Ice-skating. There are rinks to be found all over Australia now, and it’s easier for kids to pick it up than adults – lower centre of gravity, and all that.

If you don’t feel as though you have the coordination and/or patience for ice-skating, stick to my second-favourite seasonal winter activity: consuming copious amounts hot chocolate with marshmallows. The calories don’t count if it’s cold.

3. Faux-camping: just like real camping, without the pain.

Sacrifice your living room for a night or two and suggest that the kids go on a camping adventure… in the house. Set up your tent in a large area, fill it with as many doonas and pillows as you can spare, and there you have it. It’s just like camping in the backyard, but much warmer and easier access to bathrooms.

4. Go on a playground adventure.

I know you’ve probably been to the playground with your kids about twenty trillion times. But it’s time to venture out beyond your local playground and try something a little more exciting. It might take a trip across town, but branching out can result in some very exciting results (for your child, probably not for you). But hey, you might get to sit down for five minutes while they discover a water play area that’s not at their usual playground. If you’re in Sydney – the revamped Darling Harbour park is amazing. Get there yesterday.


5. When all else fails – movies are always a winner.

Despicable Me 2 is out in cinemas this winter and it will definitely keep the kids quiet – apart from the sound of their laughter – for just over an hour. To save on cashola, pop your own popcorn at home and bring drinks for the kids. Then settle them into their seats and sit back to watch a kid’s movie that you will actually also enjoy. Promise.




Thanks to Universal Pictures, you can win 1 of 10 Family passes to watch Despicable Me 2. Click here to enter the competition and tell us about your favourite school holiday activity in 50 words or less.




Despicable Me 2 sees an all-new comedy adventure featuring the return of former super-villain Gru (STEVE CARELL of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!), his adorable girls, the unpredictably hilarious Minions…and a host of new and outrageously funny characters.

In cinemas now, you can buy tickets here.

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What are you doing with the kids these school holidays? Have any good school holiday activities for kids you would like to share?