I think I've made it abundantly clear that I struggle to full time 'mum' - I went back to work earlier than I thought, I started a business, I like to have a sense of my old self.
So, obviously, school holidays are HARD! And yes, I know I'm only in my first year of it, so I'm kinda hoping I'll start getting the hang of it at some stage, but until then, there's this...
My ultimate school holiday survival guide - broken into 3 parts - no money, some money and all of the money ;)
Hope it helps! And if you need something for their behaviour more than activity suggestions, scroll to the end...
Being poor sucks, being poor during school holidays makes it suck even more - but hopefully this gives you some fun ideas that are all free or super cheap.
Scavengar Hunt - I found this idea over at Munchkin and Bear, and have since found a list of 30 printable different scavenger hunts, that you can get here. Most come with pictures so are great for any age, and you can do them in your house, in your back yard, or go for a day trip to a cute little town and do it there. We'll definitely be doing this one.
Picnic - This one ties in really well with the above, simply pack all of your food, head somewhere nearby with a good park and some bikes/scooters and you should be able to waste half a day. Go with some other families and hopefully the kids entertain each other so you can have a good catch up too!
Movie date - For this one to be completely free, you can simply get some popcorn, build a cushion fort and find a movie that no one has watched before and do it at home. It's not daylight savings until the end of the holidays, so you can even do this one late to add to the ambience ;). For a movie date that is relatively cheap, look out at your local cinemas for holiday specials. Our local does a $5 movie every day (usually the same movie for the first week and the same for the second), and you can get a $5 kids pack with it, which contains popcorn and a drink. Or, just be a terry tight arse and sneak some Maltesers in (you know other people are doing it).
The Library - this one depends on your kids, and your library, but lots of local libraries offer some really ace holiday programs, so check yours out and see if there's something that suits your tribe.
CBF leaving the house - we ALL have these days, and honestly, we all need them, especially in the holidays. I found this awesome blog on The Thud about activities you can do with your kids at home, and it's perfect! Lauren's kids are preschool age - so there are activities on there that suit younger kids but would also be perfect for older kids too.
Camping - I'm not able to give you advice on this one, but there are some crazy people out there who seem to love the idea of sleeping uncomfortably and waking up at the crack of down and not showering, I'm sure you're friends with one of them, ask them.
Craft - This one should probably go in the section above, but I've put it in here before I need to suggest that you buy the book 'Real Kids, Real Play' - it is genius! If your kids love craft, but you have NO idea where to start - this is your ultimate guide. You're welcome. And if you can't stand the thought of doing craft in your house, and you live near Kyneton, just head to Little Think Big and let them deal with the glitter aftermath.
Movies - There are some awesome movies each school holidays, and we'll definitely be heading along to Teen Titans Go! at some point. If the budget allows, we'll go and check out Winnie the Pooh as well. To keep costs down, sneak your own food, and avoid the video games room after.
Day Trips - These can be relatively free, depending on where you're going and what you're doing. Pick a town that you know at least has a good park or something to do, and even get the train or bus there for an added bit of fun for the kids. If you're in Melbourne, check out this website for a stack of playgrounds. If you're regional, we love the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, the Kyneton Gardens, and it's not a playground, but we'll also hit up the Anakie Fairy Park (my kids LOVE this place).
Bowling - My kids have never been bowling, so we might try this out these holidays while I still have my hands free to help them out. They're probably WAY too young, but it could be fun ;)
The Show - SUPER expensive to get in, but if your kids are too young to know about rides and showbags, you can pull this off. There are stacks of things for younger kids to do, we took Z when she was 2 and had a stack of fun.
ALL OF THE MONEY
Let's be honest, you're not reading this. If you are? Book a holiday to a resort with a kids club and swim up bar, pronto!
Enjoy! Or at least, try not to kill them...