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Top 10 beneficial holiday activities for kids without breaking the bank

School holidays are a wonderful time for kids to relax and have fun, but they can also be an opportunity for growth and learning. Finding the right balance between play and productive activities can make the holiday season both enjoyable and enriching for your child.

How can you keep your kids entertained while also encouraging their development?

In this guide, we’ll explore a variety of beneficial activities that will keep your kids engaged, active, and learning throughout the holiday. From creative projects to outdoor adventures, these ideas will help make the most of their time off. 

Let’s dive in and discover some great ways to keep your kids happy and thriving during the holidays!

1. Cooking and baking

Getting kids involved in planning and preparing family meals is a fantastic way to teach them about nutrition and cooking. Not only do they learn about healthy eating habits, but they also acquire essential life skills. Start with simple tasks like measuring ingredients, stirring the batter, or decorating cookies. As they become more confident, you can gradually introduce more complex steps.

Cooking together can be a fun bonding experience. It’s a chance to spend quality time as a family while also turning meal preparation into an educational activity. Discuss where different foods come from, the importance of balanced meals, and even basic kitchen safety. Plus, kids are more likely to try new foods if they’ve had a hand in making them!

Encouraging your children to cook and bake not only keeps them engaged but also sets the foundation for lifelong healthy habits. It’s never too early to get them used to the kitchen, and who knows, you might be nurturing a future chef!

2. Arts and crafts

Encourage kids to dive into their creativity with arts and crafts. Whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpting with clay, or making jewelry, these activities allow them to express themselves and develop fine motor skills. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy with paint or other materials. Kids only get to be kids once, so let them enjoy the creative process!

For example, my niece really enjoys making her own bracelets with those colorful plastic beads. It’s a cheap and fun way to have fun at home! Set up a dedicated space for their art projects, filled with various supplies like colored paper, markers, glue, and beads. Give them the freedom to experiment and create whatever their imagination inspires. Join in the fun and create something together – it’s a wonderful way to bond and make memories.

Arts and crafts not only keep kids entertained but also help them learn problem-solving skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and boost their confidence as they see their creations come to life. So, roll up your sleeves and embrace the messiness of creativity!

3. Explore the outdoors

Studies have shown how beneficial it is for us to indulge in nature. So, let’s get outside! It doesn’t have to be an expensive holiday to faraway jungles – not at all! A trip to a nearby park or even just spending time in the backyard can do wonders. Let your kids soak in the sunlight and enjoy the fresh air.

For the adventurous out there, consider taking your children camping. It can be a simple overnight trip to a local campsite or even a fun backyard camping adventure. Hiking, nature scavenger hunts, or just running around and playing games can make for an exciting and memorable experience.

Exploring the outdoors helps kids develop a love for nature, encourages physical activity, and provides a healthy break from screens and indoor routines. Whether it’s a simple walk in the park or a weekend camping trip, these outdoor activities can create lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the natural world. So, pack some snacks, put on those walking shoes, and head outside for some adventure!

4. Museum visits

Take advantage of the school holidays to visit museums, science centers, or historical sites. These trips offer a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn about various subjects in an interactive and engaging way. Museums often have hands-on exhibits and activities designed specifically for children, making learning fun and memorable.

Museum visits are a great way to combine education with a fun day out, offering a break from the usual routine and expanding your child’s horizons. So, plan a trip to a local museum or historical site and watch your child’s eyes light up with excitement and wonder!

5. Reading challenge

Set up a holiday reading challenge to keep your kids engaged and learning during the break. Create a list of books tailored to their interests and reading level, and set goals for them to achieve. You can make it even more exciting by offering rewards for completing each book or reaching certain milestones.

Involve your children in selecting the books to ensure they are excited about the challenge. Turn it into a fun competition by including the whole family, or pair up with friends for a group challenge! 

Reading challenges not only improve literacy skills but also foster a lifelong love of reading. They provide a productive way to spend time and can transport your kids to new worlds, fueling their imagination and curiosity. So, grab a stack of books and embark on a reading adventure together!

6. Physical activities

Give your kids a chance to try out new sports or partake in activities they already enjoy, such as swimming. Physical activities aren’t limited to just traditional sports – you can have a little dance party at home too! There are plenty of YouTube videos with fun dance routines for kids to follow. If you have a Nintendo Switch, the “Just Dance” game can be a great way to get everyone moving, and you can hook it up to your TV for a family dance-off.

For a more relaxed activity, consider doing yoga with your kids. There are many YouTube videos designed specifically for children, making it easy to get started. Yoga can help improve flexibility, strength, and mindfulness, providing a nice balance to more energetic activities.

Incorporating physical activities into your holiday routine keeps kids active, healthy, and happy. Whether it’s trying out a new sport, dancing, or practicing yoga, these activities can be both fun and beneficial for their overall well-being. So, mix it up and enjoy some active time together!

7. Game nights

Host family game nights to bring everyone together for some fun and bonding. Board games, card games, or puzzles are great ways to engage kids and encourage family interaction. Choose a variety of games to keep things interesting, from classic board games like Monopoly or Scrabble to fun card games like Uno.

Puzzles can also be a great group activity, providing a quiet yet engaging way to spend time together. Working on a large puzzle as a family can be both challenging and rewarding, fostering teamwork and patience

I know it’s not 2020 anymore, but it’s still fun to play “Among Us” with your family. Those game nights we started during the lockdowns have become a cherished tradition in our home!

Family game nights are not only entertaining but also help kids develop important skills like strategic thinking, problem-solving, and cooperation. Plus, they create wonderful memories that your family will cherish. So, set aside a night each week for some game time and enjoy the laughter and connection it brings!

8. DIY STEM activities

Engage your kids in DIY STEM activities to spark their interest in science, engineering, and technology. For instance, you can get involved in building projects like LEGO sets, model kits, or DIY robotics. These activities help develop problem-solving skills, creativity, and fine motor skills. Working on a project together can also be a great bonding experience, as you collaborate and see your creation come to life!

Another exciting option is to introduce kids to coding through fun and interactive games and apps. There are many kid-friendly platforms that make learning to code engaging and accessible. Games like Scratch,, and various coding apps can teach the basics of programming in a playful and intuitive way.

These hands-on projects are not only educational but also incredibly fun! By incorporating these projects into your holiday routine, you can help nurture a love for learning and innovation in your children!

9. Gardening

Gardening is a wonderful activity that involves digging, planting, weeding, and watering, helping children stay active while developing both fine and gross motor skills. It’s an excellent way to teach children about the environment, ecosystems, and the importance of caring for the planet. Through gardening, they learn about plant life cycles, the role of insects, and sustainable practices.

Taking care of a garden requires regular attention and care, helping children learn responsibility. They also develop patience as they wait for plants to grow and produce. Gardening provides hands-on learning experiences in various subjects: science (botany, biology), math (measuring growth, counting seeds), and even literacy (reading seed packets, keeping a garden journal).

Beyond the educational benefits, gardening can be a relaxing and calming activity, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. It gives children a sense of accomplishment and pride when they see their plants thrive. Engaging in gardening can be both a peaceful retreat and a rewarding learning experience for kids. So, grab some seeds and start a garden with your children – it’s a fantastic way to spend quality time together and learn about nature!

10. Volunteer activities

Involving children in volunteer activities is a fun and meaningful way to spend their holidays. They can lend a hand at food banks, clean up parks or beaches, visit nursing homes, collect and donate unused items, or create cards and crafts for hospital patients. 

These activities help children develop important skills and values, such as teamwork, communication, and social responsibility. Volunteering not only provides a satisfying experience but also fosters empathy and a sense of caring for others. By incorporating volunteering into the holiday routine, parents offer children the chance to learn and grow while positively impacting the community. So, pick a suitable volunteer activity and start making a difference with your kid

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