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Pregnancy + Parenting

12 Earth-Friendly Things to Do in the School Holidays

Discover delightful and earth-friendly ways to make the most of the school holidays with your kids.

School holidays are the perfect opportunity for a collective breather—for kids and parents alike. They’re the perfect chance to step away from the everyday hustle and embrace a bit of slow living. Whether you’re fortunate enough to take time off work or juggle the balancing act from a home office, it’s a golden opportunity to reconnect with the kids without the usual rush.

When the school holidays pop up out of nowhere (which they often do!) I just love heading out into nature and connecting with my kids at a different pace. And on days when work calls, I find joy in setting up a creative space for the kids close by, blending my worlds together the best I can (which admittedly comes with it’s challenges!)

Here are some family-friendly, sustainable school holiday activities that have become our go-to for school holiday fun without the fuss. And the best part? These activities are not only fun for the whole family but also cost-effective. Read on for 12 cheap school holiday activities (including FREE school holiday activities!)

Get Up Close with Nature on Walks

A visit to your local park or nature trail can be a real outdoor adventure. Take advantage of the beautiful outdoor spaces that Sydney (or your local city or regional area) has to offer. Challenge the kids to a leaf collection, a game of who can spot the tallest tree, or guess the bird from the feather they find. And if it rains? No problem. Throw on some boots and raincoats, and go puddle-hopping or search for little critters—nature’s own splash park!

Set Up a Simple Treasure Hunt

Turn a regular day into a treasure hunt. It could be at the beach, a nearby park, or even your living room. It’s all about finding joy in the little things, maybe with a small reward at the end or just the thrill of the hunt to keep them engaged.

Create with Eco-Friendly Art Supplies

Getting crafty with materials that are kind to the earth is a win-win. Paint, mold, and create with sustainable art supplies that are not only fun activities but also good for the planet. You can use recycled paper, natural dyes, and organic materials to create beautiful artwork. Encourage the kids to make gifts for family members or decorations for the home, teaching them the value of handmade and thoughtful creations.

Cook Up A Storm, Together

There’s something special about cooking with the kids. Pick out a recipe, shop for ingredients together, and then get your hands dirty in the kitchen. It’s less about perfection and more about the fun you have along the way. Plus, it’s a sneaky way to get them interested in food and healthy eating. You can even make it a themed cooking day, like an Italian pizza-making afternoon or a sweet treat bake-off with hot chocolate on the side. The possibilities are endless, and the memories are priceless.

Host a Tea Party

Set out a teapot (if you have one), cups or mugs, and a milk jug and host a tea party for the entire family at the dining table. Use kid-friendly herbal tea or hot chocolate instead of black tea (make sure you allow your choice of hot drink to cool down significantly before serving), or if the weather is sweltering hot, make iced tea. Perhaps serve your freshly baked goods at your tea party.

Gardening Adventures

Gardening can be a rewarding activity. Pick out plants or seeds and start a little garden project. It’s a great way for kids to learn about nature and responsibility, plus it’s incredibly satisfying to watch your plants grow. You can create a small herb garden, plant flowers that attract butterflies, or even start a vegetable patch. This activity teaches patience and care, as well as providing a hands-on lesson in sustainability.

Eco-friendly Outdoor Games

Why not take traditional games and give them an eco-friendly twist? Try using natural materials to create your own versions of games like tic-tac-toe or bowling. For example, you can use rocks and sticks for tic-tac-toe pieces or create a bowling set from recycled bottles. These games not only reduce waste but also inspire creativity and resourcefulness in your kids.

Nature Photography Scavenger Hunt

Equip your kids with cameras or smartphones and embark on an adventurous mission: a nature photography scavenger hunt. Create a list of items for them to find and photograph, like a specific type of flower, a bird or an interesting cloud formation. This activity encourages them to observe their surroundings closely and appreciate the beauty of nature. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to create lasting memories.

DIY Bird Feeders

Creating bird feeders from recycled materials can be a fun and educational project, especially for animal lovers. Use items like toilet paper rolls, peanut butter, and birdseed to craft feeders that can be hung in your garden. This activity not only recycles materials but also teaches kids about local wildlife and the importance of caring for our feathered friends.

Upcycled Crafts

Turn household waste into treasure with upcycled crafts. Gather items like old magazines, bottle caps, and cardboard boxes to create new and exciting projects. This could be anything from building a birdhouse to making jewelry. Upcycling teaches kids about the value of reuse and reduces the amount of waste your household produces.

Go on a Family Picnic

A family picnic is a delightful way to spend quality time together while enjoying the great outdoors. Choose a local park, beach, or even your backyard as the perfect picnic spot. Perhaps even invite some family friends to join you. Pack a basket full of eco-friendly essentials: reusable containers, cloth napkins and stainless steel utensils. Opt for a menu featuring locally sourced and organic foods, such as fresh fruits, sandwiches, and homemade snacks.

Bring a reusable water bottle for each family member to minimise waste. Before heading home, make cleanup a family activity by picking up litter and sorting recyclables, teaching the importance of leaving no trace and protecting our environment.

These school holiday activities are not only fun but also instil a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the environment in your children. By choosing sustainable activities over a busy school holiday program, you’re teaching your kids to value the world around them and think creatively about how to enjoy their time. Plus, these family-friendly activities provide endless opportunities for bonding and making memories together.

And if you’re looking for more inspiration during school holiday time, check out the wide-range of award-winning activities for kids from the 2023 Clean + Conscious Awards. Embrace the school holidays as a time to slow down, reconnect, and explore the world sustainably with your little ones. Happy holidays!

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