Winter school holidays can be the hardest! It’s rainy and cold outside, and there are only limited options to keep the kids entertained. When you look into the few options you have – bowling, cinema, indoor play-centre – they ALL cost money and if you have more than one child it can just be WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!!!

If you’re looking for ways to get busy with your kiddos WITHOUT busting the budget – KEEP READING!

1. Get crafty – there are so many great ways you can do this using what you already have at home. Painting, collage, building with boxes, play dough, magic sand. You can even get creative and incorporate some beautiful smelling essential oils into some of these activities to support your child’s mood at the same time! Talk about WIN WIN!! There are a number of sensory play recipes out there, and I even have a few I’m happy to share.

2. Bake it – whether you decide to make some biscuits, cupcakes, or teach them how to cook dinner, it’s a fun learning experience for the kids…and a great life skill! There’s also the added bonus of a tasty reward at the end! Try adding some Wild Orange Essential Oil to your chocolate cupcakes for a yummy Jaffa spin*

3. Fun & games – why not break out the old school board games and puzzles for something other than technology! Remember how much fun you used to have playing family board games? You’ll have just as much fun sharing them with your kids. Our family favourites are Yahtzee, Jenga, Monopoly, UNO & Game of Life…what’s yours?

4. Create a cubby – this is an awesome way to entertain the kids when it’s too wet and cold for outside. Use the dining table, chairs, mattresses, blankets & sheets and see how big you can build your cubby. Throw in some cushions, pillows and teddies and you’ll probably find you have a few hours to yourself while the kids play!
Why not have a picnic lunch in there and pretend you’re somewhere magical?!

5. Scavenger hunt – you can easily make up a list of items around the house for your kids to find. Depending on their age, you can make things really easy like “find something blue” or for the older kids “find an item you would use to bake a cake”. The trick to this game is having a few rounds of finding items (all worth points) and a final round where the first person to put all of their items back where they found them earns bonus points – no stress about packing away then!! I bought this great game for my kids which has all the work done for me!

6. Family movie – sometimes you need a couple of hours to just chill out, and watching a movie together is a great option. Why not make it even better by making some popcorn and cuddling up with some blankets on the couch?! No need to spend a fortune on going to the cinema – just grab a DVD or turn on Netflix and enjoy! Have you tried making your own flavoured popcorn?? You can create some delicious flavours!! This is my favourite popcorn maker – it’s quick and super easy! 

7. Lego – who doesn’t love Lego?! It would have to be the MOST POPULAR toy in our household!! Why not make it interesting and set some challenges:

  • create the tallest building you can in 1 minute.
  • build a car completely out of red bricks.
  • build a bridge that can hold something heavy.

Have you seen the Lego Life app? It’s FREE!

8. Mindfulness – “Associate Professor Craig Hassed from Monash University explains how mindfulness plays an important role in your mental & physical well-being” in this video from Smiling Mind. It can play a role in helping to:

  • Reduce the physical wear and tear on the body
  • Increase your immune system
  • Switch off excessive inflammation in the body
  • Relieve cardiovascular stress
  • Switch down cortisol and damage to your bones

9. Visit your local library – sometimes forgotten in today’s world, the library can be one of the most magical places for a child to visit. It’s FULL of exciting new worlds just waiting to be explored; and amazing information about the world we live in.

Check with your local library to see if they have any events scheduled for the school holidays that you can register for.

10. Get out there – grab your raincoats and gumboots and get yourself outside! There’s something magical about jumping in puddles that you just can’t find anywhere else! Tune into your inner child and get jumping with the kids; they will love it! If you’re prepared, you can still feel warm and dry and it’s a great excuse to have a nice warm bath or shower when you get home.

I hope these give you a few extra ideas to keep you sane these school holidays – without the need to take out a second mortgage!

*only use food-grade essentialoils when adding to food. I use dōTERRA essential oils because they’re100% pure food-grade oils. Contact me if you would like to know more.

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