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A to Z of Fun School Holiday Activities

Posted on August 28, 2021

Fun & Games   

#26 Ways To Take School Holidays to the Next LEVEL


With many school holiday camps and attractions still closed, or not at capacity, finding new ways to entertain the kids can be tricky. So here are 26 sure-fire ways to keep boredom at bay for the kids during these school holidays. This is the “A to Z” of fun school holiday activities that are budget-friendly and can be played at home. 

  • A is for Acrobatics in the Backyard 
  • B is for Baking some Cupcakes  
  • C is for Camping in the Backyard 
  • D is for Diamond Art 
  • E is for Experimenting in your Home Lab!
  • F is for Feather Painting
  • G is for Gardening on the Deck 
  • H is for Hopscotch 
  • I is for Investigating the History of your House
  • J is for Jump Rope! 
  • K is for Karaoke at Home 
  • L is for Laser Tag at Home!!
  • M is for Mud
  • N is for Ninja Warriors
  • O is for Origami 
  • P is for Picnic in Your Local Park 
  • Q is for Quoifing like there's no tomorrow! 
  • R is for Recording Your Family Tree
  • S is for Story 
  • T is for Trivia Games 
  • U is for Using Boxes to Build a Maze 
  • V is for Volcano 
  • W is for Watching Movies 
  • X is for X-Marks the Spot
  • Y is for Yodelling 
  • Z is for Zoom
a to z of fun school holiday activities for kids

A. A is for Acrobatics in the Backyard

Have the children lie on the floor, or on the grass or yoga mats. Then use their bodies to form the letter “A”. 

Let the children in each group switch places and re-form the letter “A”, so each child gets a turn at being a different part of the “A”.  

Take a photo of each of the “A” shapes and get the kids to compare them afterwards. 

Want to extend the fun? Try some different letters! 

The kids could also try doing somersaults and hand-stands for some fun acrobatic exercise! 

What you will need: 

Acrobatics at home

B. B is for Baking some Cupcakes  

Time to get messy in the kitchen! 

Bake some yummy cupcakes and then enjoy eating them. 

Decorate them as you wish, that way you can feed your hungry munchkins with some fun themed cupcakes. Make it even easier with a cupcake mix. 

HINT: check the ingredients to ensure you get Australian made. 

What you will need: 

• Baking utensils

Cupcake mix such as this one from Coles 

bake at home cupcakes

C. C is for Camping in the Backyard

Camping is amazing for families. 

It gets you all into the great outdoors, connecting with nature and spending time together. And it is even easier if you camp in your own backyard! 

Forget the long drives with the chorus of “are we there yet” from the back seat. This way you only have a 5-second commute. 

As a night-time activity try star-gazing. 

Can you spot the Southern Cross constellation?

What you will need: 

camping in the backyard

D. D is for Diamond Art 

Combine paint-by-numbers and cross-stitch and you'll get a good idea of what Diamond Art is all about. 

The kids apply brightly coloured rhinestones onto a template. 

And voila! 

You create artwork that sparkles, shimmers, and shines! 

diamond art

E. E is for Experimenting in your Home Lab 

Remember the science fair models you made as a child? 

Rekindle the fascination with science with some simple STEM experiences in your kitchen (also known as your “Home Laboratory!”). 

KiwiCo offers a "Camp from your Couch" program. 

This is a series of free DIY activities, printables and videos that are age-appropriate. 

For example, they have a worksheet about how to design a water pistol

What you will need: 

  • Sign up for the free ‘at home’ summer camp program at KiwiCo 
water pistol

F. F is for Feather Painting 

Painting with feathers is not like painting with paintbrushes, so don’t expect a super-realistic outcome. 

Rather it is all about colour and texture and fun. Not sure what to paint? 

Take the kids out to the backyard and ask them to paint a plant from the garden. 

Or paint the view from the back verandah. Or if that doesn’t appeal then simply get the kids to draw, or paint, a picture of daddy! Or other family members.  

What you will need:

  • Paint, paper, and of course feathers! Order your feathers from art shops like Eckersley 
feather painting

G. G is for Gardening on the Deck  

Watching something grow from seed to seedling, to a plant is fascinating for kids. 

There is nothing like growing your own pretty flowers! 

Or if you don’t want to grow flowers then you can also get seedling kits for herbs or vegetables. 

What you will need:

growing a seedling

H. H is for Hopscotch

First, draw out a traditional chalk hopscotch ladder on the driveway with 8 squares. 

Or if you want to play inside, and if you have tiles in your kitchen or house, use them as default hopscotch squares outlined with painter’s tape. 

You will also need a “shooter” which is like a milk bottle lid or small stone. 

Each child stands at the bottom of the ladder and throws the shooter into the first square. If the shooter lands on a line or outside the square then you lose your turn. 

Each player hops and lands one foot in each square, where there are two squares next to one another land with both feet. 

Once you get to the top turn around and come back! When you reach the square with the shooter, pick it up (while still on one foot) and complete the course. 

If the kid falls, jumps outside the square or touches the lines then that round is disqualified and they need to wait till the next round to try again. 

Not sure of the exact rules? Watch this quick video that describes the rules of the Hopscotch game.

What you will need: 

  • Chalk (or painter’s tape) + Milk bottle lid 
play hopscotch

I. I is for Investigating the History of Your House or Address

What is the story behind your address? 

Ever thought about tracing the history of your home? If you live in a century-old house, imagine the stories it could tell! 

If you live in a new-build then consider researching the story of your grandparents’ house or your school's story. 

Either way, you can build up a dossier: plans, old photos, the people. 

Loads of info can be found at State Libraries, State Archives, or your local city council. See below for some links to get you started.

What you will need: 

queenslander homes

J. J is for Jump Rope! 

Whether it's "Jump Around" by House of Pain or "I like to Move It, Move It" by Reel 2 Reel or whatever your favourite song now get your Smart-Speaker and a skipping rope and some friends for a jumpin' fun time! 

Here's a simple jump to start: Two kids turn a long skipping rope and one child jumps in. The turners call out actions (like "touch your nose" or "jump on one leg") for the jumper to complete while jumping. They keep shouting out actions until the jumper makes a mistake. Then the person who called out the action gets to be the next jumper. 

And that's just the start! 

What you will need: 

skipping rope game

K. K is for Karaoke at Home 

This puts a whole new meaning to "garage band". 

No need to travel to your family entertainment centre to give your vocal cords a workout these school holidays. 

Now you can sing your heart out to your favourite songs anywhere, anytime in the comfort of your own home. 

All you need is a smartphone you can turn it into a karaoke machine in an app like SMULE. (App User Recommended age: 13 years+) 

What you will need: 

  • Download an app like "Smule" or other sing-a-long app and use it with your Smartphone 

karaoke at home

L. L is for Laser Tag at Home!! 

Transform your place into a theme park, without the queues. 

Laser Tag is like a "live" video game that gets the kids out and about. It’s high-tech hide and seek! 

Laser Tag in a Box delivers laser tag fun to your door. 

No need to battle through traffic or fight over a car park. You can rent a 4 pack, 8 pack, 12 pack etc this will keep the kids busy for hours. 

The Laser Tag in Box equipment can work indoors or outdoors, day or night. 

As the day cools off and twilight approaches then there are even more opportunities to extend the fun times. The light effects of the laser tag equipment seem brighter in the dark. This can make your gaming even more thrilling.

What you will need: 

Rent a laser tag set from Laser Tag in a Box (nationwide delivery) 

laser tag at home

M. M is for Mud. Simple Mud 

Simple fun. 

Good old-fashioned fun. 

No need to over-complicate it: just add water to some dirt and hey presto! Mud pies. 

What you will need:

  • Dirt + Water 
mud pies

N. N is for Ninja Warriors  

Inspired by the latest TV series Ninja Warriors you can create an obstacle course in the backyard. 

Obstacle courses are great ways to get kids active. 

They will hardly realize that they are really exercising. Hand-eye coordination and macro-and micro-movements are part of the drill. 

Here is a video with some ideas for a ninja warrior course at your place.

australian ninja warrior TV course

O. O is for Origami  

This is an affordable and easy holiday activity. You'll need some brightly coloured square pieces of paper. 

There are so many options! 

The BBC has a simple step-by-step guide on how to make an origami butterfly. So that's a good place to start. 

What you will need: 

origiami for kids

P.  P is for Picnic in Your Local Park (or Backyard)

Enjoy an outdoor meal together. 

Hosting a picnic in your favourite park or in your backyard is a fun way to finish a family day. 

A picnic blanket on the grass or a BBQ on your deck, either way eating outside is a great holiday tradition. 

Check out some of the fabulous parks around your city. For example, the Sherwood Arboretum in Brisbane is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2025.

What you will need:

picnic in the park

Q. Q is for Quoifing like there's no Tomorrow!

Just like a “Crazy Hair Day” at school, this is a fun way to unleash your inner celebrity stylist. 

Raid the bathroom and see what you can find: curlers, bobby pins, combs, etc. 

Go wild with some coloured hairspray. (NOTE: It’s best to do this school holiday activity at the beginning of the vacation period because the hair dye might take a couple of washes to get back to normal.) 

What you will need:

  • Coloured Hairspray – like these from Coles – Hot Pink
  • Whatever else you have in the bathroom! 
crazy hair day

R. R is for Recording Your Family Tree 

Hatched, matched and dispatched! 

Holidays are often times for family clan gatherings. As the wider family comes together it is a special opportunity to learn about your roots. 

There are lots of websites to help your research, like or The Genealogy Guide. See if you can discover old photographs or films of your family's special times.  

What you will need: 

  • Old photographs or films
  • Info about your family tree 
  • Access to the internet for research 
colonial australia

S. S is for Story 

This is a fun activity with a group of children. 

Each child takes a turn in coming up with one sentence in the story. 

If you have trouble getting started, then begin with a theme – such as “circus” or “space” and go from there. 

It is amazing how quickly the kids’ imagination will start firing! 

You might also want to video this activity so you watch it again later. 

What you will need:

  • Your Imagination! 

T. T is for Trivia Games  

How long has it been since you played a board game like “Trivial Pursuit”? 

If you don’t have any actual board games to play at home then try playing “20 Questions” instead. 

Each child has a turn. First, they think of an object, something that is either an animal, a vegetable or a mineral. 

And then they let the others know which category this object falls into. Then the others have can ask up to 20 questions to try and work out what this mystery object is. 

The child can answer either yes or no to each question. If someone guesses the object then it's their turn next.

What you will need:

  • Trivial Pursuit which can order online from MYER 
  • Various board games or puzzles 
trivial pursuit game

U. U is for Using Boxes to Build a Maze 

What better way to prepare the backyard for your fun? 

Better still you can re-use the maze for your ninja warrior games (see N is for Ninja) or for your Treasure Hunt (see X is for X-marks the Spot) or even for your laser games (see L is for Laser Tag at Home). 

Collect some cardboard boxes from your local hardware store or Bunnings and paint them up. 

You can choose a camo pattern or bright colours. It’s hours of fun! 

What you will need: 

  • Cardboard boxes 
  • Paint & paint-brushes 
cardboard box fun

V. V is for Volcano 

Try this famous "Mentos + Coke" experiment. 

It is a simple science experiment that your kids will love.  

Simply drop a Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke and "WHOOSH!" a geyser is formed. 

Get imaginative: try different types of soft drinks and flavours of Mentos to see if you get different results. 

The kids can create a paper mâché volcano shape around the soda bottle. Here’s a quick video on how to make the paper mâché glue at home.

What you need:

  • 1 x bottle of cola (diet coke works best)
  • 1 x packet of mint Mentos• Plain flour (for the paper-mâché) 
  • An outdoor area you can hose down afterwards
coke and mentos experiment

W. W is for Watching Movies

Why not create a pop-up home cinema. 

All you need to do is to get some comfy cushion and popcorn and relax. 

It is a great way to wind down. 

If you are also doing other activities, such as laser tag at home then you can choose a film that’s in theme, for example, the latest action movie or the newest sci-fi series on Netflix. 

What you need:

  • Popcorn
  • Netflix or other streaming service or borrow a DVD from your local library  
home movies with popcorn

X: X is for X-Marks the Spot: Treasure Hunt!

Try a classic treasure hunt that's fun and gets the kids moving. 

A treasure hunt game encourages children to be active and explore the backyard. 

Beforehand you'll need to draw a map of the garden and strategically place some treats or treasure for the kids to discover. 

If you draw a Treasure Map of your backyard show landmarks like the driveway or that huge gum tree out the back. 

Or if you are playing in your local park then include landmarks like the swings, the water fountain or the car park. Use an ‘X’ to mark the spot where you’ve hidden the treasure. 

Take the experience to the next level, get the kids to use a compass to tell in which direction to go. 

What you will need: 

  • paper and pencils to prepare the clues in advance•
  • compass like this one from Dick Smith (optional)
  • 'treasures' such as a small toy or treats/lollies 
boy with compass

Y: Y is for Yodelling

Take turns in Yodelling. 

Who has the best/the longest? 

There are lots of videos on YouTube on how to yodel, such as this one. Post the video clip of your attempt to Tik-Tok or Instagram! 

You won't be able to stop giggling!! 

What you will need:

  • Your voice!
  • Social media (optional) 
kids having fun

Z. Z is for Zoom

Haven’t need Grandma or Grandpa for a while? Tee-up a Zoom conversation! 

Or are missing your best friend from Soccer? Get together via Facetime! 

These school holidays you might not be able to meet up in person with your friends and family, but you can still keep in touch. 

What you will need:

  • Laptop or Smartphone 
zoom call with family

Best Party We've Had

My grandson had been to one at a centre but he wanted to be able to run around. We made our own barriers out of chairs and drop sheets. The best party we have had in 10 years. Strongly recommend it. Absolutely brilliant. For the price of 6 children, it was money well spent. 4 hours of non-stop entertainment.
Mary Miller, Sandgate

In Conclusion: It's the A to Z of Holiday Fun 

There you have it: 26 fun ways to combat holiday boredom.  

Sometimes it is good to keep away from the hustle and bustle of school holiday destinations. Away from the argy-bargy of shopping centre car-parks. And away from the noise and hassle of getting to a theme park or entertainment centre. 

Instead, it might be better to enjoy a staycation these school holidays.  

The good news is that you don’t even have to leave your place to enjoy some fun with the kids. 

Enjoy these 26 ways to take school holidays to the next level. Whichever you choose will help create some happy holiday memories.  What other 'stay-at-home' school holiday activities do you and your family enjoy?


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