How To: Keep Your Sanity These School Holidays

School holidays can be great times. And they can be tough times.

I think the majority of people are “getting by” and can’t afford to take their kids on daily outings to amazing places.

Sometimes we need to get a little creative, so I thought I’d share a few ideas here for you these school holidays to keep the little ones entertained without breaking the bank.

How to Keep Your Sanity and budget In Tact These School Holidays | #schoolholidays #freeprintables

Look up your local library

The local council where we live have listed all of their libraries and all of the events they have these school holidays, which include Lego making competitions and story-reading times. Not to mention free WiFi and a bunch books to borrow!


Find local markets on the weekends

Local markets are a great place to teach your children about healthy eating with all of the local produce. You can also share some knowledge on how buying locally stimulates the economic growth of the local community.


Cooking with your children

It is a great life lesson and bonding experience for you both! Making yummy treats can pass the time, and a lot of baking can be done with things you probably already have in your cupboards. Get the kids to help with dinner. If you meal plan, have on display what you are going to be making each night and engage the kids by giving them jobs that are age appropriate. Talk to them a lot while you are in the kitchen, it draws them in!

If your child helps you prepare dinner, thank them for your dinner and make sure everyone else is aware of their involvement and thanks them too! That positive reinforcement can do wonders for their self esteem, teach them about providing for a family and make them so much more enthusiastic to join in again next time.


Find some new parks – Or make some old ones more interesting!

Check with your council and find some local parks and playgrounds – preferably some you haven’t visited often or ever (the number of parks is completely up to you, but it obviously depends on the weather, your work commitments, etc. Set an achievable number). Print out a map and mark each park with an “X”.

Go on a treasure hunt to find each park and get your kids to rate it out of 5 and tell you why they liked it (if they are old enough, they could even write it down themselves). Let them circle the map when you visit that particular park, and have them hold the map on the way there to teach them about navigation (but probably advisable you don’t let them actually direct you or you may find yourself very lost!). Use my great Park and Playground Treasure Printable to fill out after you’ve finished playing at the park.

The benefits of this activity don’t just include getting your kids outside exercising and learning through play, it will also help you decide which park to go to next time your kids ask you to take them! Plus, it only costs whatever fuel you use to drive them there.

Park and Playground Treasure img   Check with your local large Shopping Centre

Most large shopping centres will be holding plenty of free activities and shows on a centre stage. Contact your local Westfield, or other large shopping centre to get a list of dates and times if you haven’t  already. My local shopping centre isn’t some huge department chain, and they are holding a loom band class completely free. They are also holding a Build-A-Bear workshop where you can take home a Build-A-Bear for just $6! These bears normally cost $25! Just a little internet research can go a long way.


Set your child a Reading Challenge

Use my Reading Challenge Printable so there is a visual reminder for them to be reading that they can see everyday. The reward is completely up to you and your child, as is the amount of books they need to read to reach their reward. Some ideas could include a special treat they have been hoping for, a play date or sleep over with a friend or an exciting outing! Take them to the library to get some new books to peak interest in this project.
Reading Challenge | #freeprintables #reading #readingwithkids
Get onto Geocaching

Okay, so I realise I am a little late to this party. But maybe you are too? If you don’t know what geocaching is, it is basically a real, live treasure hunt happening all over the world right now! People are hiding “cache’s” in YOUR local area, and you can log in to a forum/database and get the GPS coordinates to these caches. You can also keep track of all the cache’s you have found by entering them into a log book. I went to this website and typed in my postcode and found so many geocaches around my area! You will find a little more explanation over at the website.


A Visit to the Cinema

Are you a Telstra customer? Did you know that every day (except after 5pm on Saturday’s and on Public Holidays) you can purchase $11 movie tickets?! And for a small extra charge you can go to Vmax or 3D showings for a cheap price too.


Some movies you and your family might like to see at this low price are:
Transformers: Age of Extinction
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Tinkerbell: The Pirate Fairy
The Fault In Our Stars
X-Men: Days of Future Past
(just be aware, some of these may not be suitable for young children)

We also go to Coles and buy our own snacks and cans of drinks to lower the price of the visit!


Create your own Cinema

If you have a big family, even $11 movie tickets can end up being a costly trip. Have a movie date at home! Do you have a favourite movie from your childhood? I bet they will want to share that with you. Buy some popping kernels, soft drink and chocolate bars. Dim the lights and bring out the pillows and blankets. Cuddling on the lounge is good for the soul and is a perfect activity in this chilly winter weather.


And if none of these float your boat, or your community isn’t putting on many activities these holidays, do what I do and look to some of your fave “Mummy” and Teaching bloggers for inspiration!

Here are a few of mine:

Mums Take Five

Nanny Shecando

Two Little Humans and Me

30 Handmade Days

Six Little Hearts

The Organised Housewife

A Bowl Full of Lemons

School Holiday Schedules Img


When you are doing research to find some great (free!) local activities, make sure you download my FREE School Holiday Schedule Printable so that you can write in the times and dates! Don’t let your hard work go to waste by forgetting to show up. The printable is available in A4, A5, and One Week versions


And if all else fails and you just need a break, sit your kids in front of YouTube for an hour watching Minecraft videos or How to Make a Fishtail Loom Band videos. Pick your battles, and do what you gotta do to have a fun school holiday period, without becoming behind on your  bills!


I hope you all enjoy safe and happy School Holidays this winter!


Today I am linking up with

Jess at Essentially Jess for IBOT

Toni and Rachel at A Bowl Full of Lemons for One Project At A Time

Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog for Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Thanks for stopping by,

Sheridan Anne




  1. So many great tips here. And thanks for the very generous inclusion in your resources. Love your bright and fun printables!! I’ve really been wanting to get onto this activity trend of Geo-caching – so now you’ve inspired me to try it! And you’re right, libraries and and local markets really can be wonderful hidden treasures for kid friendly activities.
    Hope recently posted…How To Get It All DoneMy Profile

    • No worries, Hope!
      I’m so glad you like them! I wanted to make the fun and full of joy.
      Me too now I’ve read up on it! It sounds really cool.
      Thanks for commenting xox

  2. great tips! Im a Telstra customer as well – cheap movie tickets come in real handy especially in larger families.
    Never heard of Geocaching – will look into. My girls are book worms, we were at the library the last day of school and came home with 20 books….lol…apparently its going to last them a week!
    Songul @ Unorganised mum recently posted…Parents role in childhood obesityMy Profile

    • I love it hey?! I also cash in my flybuys points for movie tickets at Hoyts. I probably get two tickets every quarter.
      It sounds like so much fun! Geocaching is so big and I didn’t even realise it. Follow that link and there is a section called Geocaching 101 to teach you all you need to know.
      Woah! 20 books!! That is so great. It is so important to foster a love between kids and books. I’m so glad your girls are book worms. It truly is a marvelous skill to get lost in a book.
      Thanks for commenting xox

    • I only have to worry about keeping kids entertained for one week Michelle. One time where being a step mum probably comes in handy!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

    • Geez! That is an accomplishment. Good on you! I really should set the goal instead of just saying “I couldn’t be bothered”. We all really don’t need any more stuff! Plus the kids are just as happy sitting around playing Minecraft with me for hours, as they would be if I took them out somewhere.
      Thanks for visiting Jess
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