How it’s mid-July already is a little beyond me. I swear we just finished Christmas. And yet, here we are. And with it – for those of us with little ones – July brings winter school holidays.
In some ways, school holidays are my favourite. With the forced break in routine, there’s a chance to rest, to roam free and reconnect, and to do the things we’ve no time for in the flurry of term time. Lunch boxes need not be packed, and there is less of the chaotic hurry out the door in an effort to get everyone where they need to be, on time.
As a working mum – running a small business and also juggling the demands of two small girls – they also serve as a bit of a challenge, too. And so, as we crawl into the second week of holidays down here in Victoria, and try to fill our days with a little less aimless moping (and a lot more fun), I thought I’d share this little list we’ve been compiling of helpful, easy, and fun ways that these holidays days can be filled.
To simplify your lives, here’s a bank of straightforward – but hour-filling activities – you can do with your little ones on those days when the hours stretch ahead endlessly, and the minutes need filling with things that are simple, and (mostly) digital free.
Because we’re all about easy, we’re all about connection, and we’re all open to a little daily inspo, from time to time.
Here’s what I (and our Arlo & Co team, full of mums) found:
- Go to a museum or gallery
- Visit your local library, many offer free school holiday activities for kids
- Visit an airport
- Catch or watch a train or tram – go anywhere!
- See what’s on at your local shopping centre
- Visit friends or family
- Have a sleep out in the family room
- Create Blu-tack animals
- Make sock puppets and put on a show
- Decorate empty toilet rolls to make indoor skittles, knock them down with a rolled-up sock
- Make a pillow nest or blanket cubby, curl up and watch a wintry movie
- Make pom-poms and have a pom-pom-snowball fight
- Use masking tape to create an indoor maze, a racing track for toy cars, hopscotch
- Make a ‘laser beam’ maze by taping paper streamers across a hallway
- Have an indoor picnic
- Have a proper tea party
- Make play dough, different colours, and add glitter and sequins
- Make a sculpture out of marshmallows and toothpicks – toast them afterwards
- Dress up and act as your favourite character for an afternoon
- Listen to audio books
- Put on a play by acting out audio recorded stories/fairytales
- Use chairs and blankets to build indoor cubby houses
- Buy plain white pillowcases or t-shirts and let the kids decorate them with fabric markers
- Use pipe cleaners to create sculptures/constructions, add beads to make bracelets and crowns
- Buy some paint pens and draw on the windows
- Buy a plain white lamp shade and let them decorate it with permanent markers
- Create a winter story tub with a range of winter-themed story books borrowed from the library
- Grow a simple plant, like a bean
- Visit the beach to show them what it looks like in wild weather
- Visit parks and gardens when the plants are all wet and glossy
- Dress up in raincoats and boots, go on a hunt for big puddles to jump in; warm up with a bubble bath when you get home
- Create or download a nature scavenger hunt, get them outside to find things
- Do some simple cooking together – pikelets, muffins, pita bread pizzas
- Bake or buy plain biscuits and let the kids decorate them
So slow down. Embrace the chaos. Ignore the mess.