10 budget-friendly Ideas to keep the kids busy during the school holidays


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The reality is that as much as we would like to take our kids somewhere every day during the school holidays, we can’t. It is expensive and exhausting.

Honestly, I think that it is okay to let them feel “bored” as well. That’s when they use their imagination and makeup games.

 ‘Children need time to themselves – to switch off from the bombardment of the outside world, to daydream, pursue their own thoughts and occupations, and discover personal interests and gifts’, says author Teresa Belton.

Technology should not always be the answer too. Our kids need to have a balance. I am not against technology because I think that it is the future – however it is important to use it in moderation. Download apps or let your kids use websites that will add value to their lives and education – websites like Vodacom’s e-school website.

What is Vodacom’s e-school website about?

It is a curriculum-aligned digital education portal which gives you a guideline of what you can expect your child to be learning in school and how you as a parent can assist your child at home. The platform is FREE and has educational content available for Grade 0 -12. There are also a ton of video content available for kids to watch and understand the modules in depth.


10 budget friendly Ideas to keep the kids busy during the school holidays:

1.Create an activity bucket

This is such a fun activity to start at the beginning of a long weekend or school holiday.

How to do:

Get a small bucket or jar and write activities you would like to do with the kids/ask them for suggestions as well. 


  • Build a fort
  • Movies
  • Learn opposites
  • Learn how to spell
  • Create a game
  • Write your own storybook

I love creating “activities” around Vodacom’s e-school website modules. So, it is play and learn at the same time!

Every day let one of your children “pick” a note from the jar and do the activity written.

2.Visit museums

Most museums are free and only take donations. This could be a good history lesson for your child or even just a day out to release some of that energy.

ideas for kids

3.Create a craft station

My daughter is obsessed with crafts at the moment so I decided to create an arts and craft box for her that she can take out and use whenever she wants. It keeps her busy for hours and she loves using the bits and bobs she finds around the house to create something.

ideas for kids

4.Setup play dates with friends

A friend once said to me; “Playdates are the cheapest way of letting your kids have fun”. It is also the best way to let them socialize.

5.Create theme nights

My cousin and his wife do this often and it works for their kids. They have movie theme nights (like a Frozen night) or do candle light picnics in the garden at night.

6.Bake cookies together

Kids love getting involved in the kitchen especially when it comes to icing the cookies. Invest in a few cookie cutters and make a few during your “theme” nights or days.

7.Play dress up

Who says moms can’t play dress up as well? My daughter is a huge fan of dressing up so we would normally get all done then host our own “high tea” or ball. 

8.Have a treasure hunt

This never gets old in my house. My kids love treasure hunts, so we do it often and they don’t always find a present or a chocolate. Try and make it educational for them by asking them to find a different shape or alphabet.

9.Make an assault course

My boys do this everyday but if you want, you could make some crazy obstacle courses for the kids (inside or outside). The summer obstacle courses are always a hit!

10.Camp in your backyard

Camping is always fun, right? 😉 But what is more exciting is roasting marshmallows outside on the braai and telling a story around the “camp fire”. Earth hour is coming up, so I am considering doing this with my kids for that hour.

There are so many activities you can plan at home that will cost you close to nothing. Holidays are supposed to be exciting, but we also need to remember that our kids are always learning and soaking up information so try and include some educational activities wherever you can using Vodacom’s e-school as a guideline.

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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