Sometimes school holidays can be a stressful time trying to work out how to keep the kids entertained. This year might look a little different to years gone by and perhaps it’s a chance to explore the things right at your back door.

Here are ten ideas to keep the kids busy at home or have fun being a tourist in your local area:

1. Rediscover local museums and galleries

The museum never goes anywhere… but how long is it since you dropped by? It can be refreshing to learn the history of your local area or to view works by artists who live in your community. If you’re in Melbourne, you can experience Disney Magic at ACMI.

2. Get out in nature

Pack a picnic or take a hike. The kids will love to help choose what to take for the picnic and your local National Park is a great place to feel like you’re getting away from it all. Most parks have trails of varying distances and difficulties… you can plan a short walk or an entire day trip.

3. Create a Scavenger Hunt

When the kids start getting restless, get creative! Scavenger hunts are a simple way to create a day’s worth of entertainment for children of any age – from pre-schoolers to teens. With a little imagination and some common household items (Or take it outside to various locations), you can design your own scavenger hunt for kids.

Rhyming treasure hunt riddles work well, and they will make the kids think before setting out to find the next clue. The kids can search for the clues on their own or as a team, it will depend on the size of the party and the kind of scavenger hunt you’re playing.

4. Get wet, wet, wet

Being summer, perhaps taking a trip to a water park as a fun family day out. Jamberoo Water Park in Sydney, Wet n Wild in QLD or Funfields Theme Park in Melbourne … It could also be a trip to the beach to build sandcastles, a picnic lunch and an ice cream as a treat.

5. Arts & Crafts

Kids love art and crafts because they get to be creative, make a mess and produce a masterpiece! Try your hand at pasta art, making playdoh, potato stamping, making your own wrapping paper for gifts or make a mask. For more ideas click here.

6. Get into the kitchen

Start by getting the kids involved in the planning – what do you need to shop for ad perhaps what’s already in the cupboard. Then comes the shopping – let the kids take the lead to find the ingredients at the shops. Then comes the cooking and a little (or a lot of mess) – follow the recipe or make it up as you go. And finally, the best part… the taste tests. Everyone’s favourite part!

Need ideas? Try some of the recipes from our Christmas gifting special.

7. The next Picasso

Get out the paints and use different utensils as paint brushes. Use things from nature, hands & fingers, traditional brushes, sponges or kitchen utensils. Disclaimer: This is more suited as an outdoor activity.

8. Plant some seeds and grow something

Who doesn’t like a trip to bunnings! Sausage in bread for lunch, head inside to choose some seeds, soil and pots then head back to the house to plant and water. A great way to get the kids involved, looking after their own seedlings and watch them grow.

9. Experience the local tourist attractions

It might be a historic house, a treetop zipline adventure or even panning for gold! Just because you live in a town doesn’t mean you can’t experience what the visitors come to check out.

10. Camp out

Get adventurous by setting up a tent in the backyard. If weather conditions permit, you can even have a little cookout fire with hot dogs and toasted marshmallows.

If you’re able to take time off over the holiday season, or have a spare weekend, be sure to book in some time to do something you enjoy also. It might include the kids and it might have them looked after by a sitter, aunty or grandparent. It’s been a challenging year for most and taking time out for some R & R is important … after all, you deserve it!

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This article is prepared based on general information. It does not take into account individual financial objectives or needs and is not financial product advice.