How to Keep Kids Busy: Activities During School Holidays

activities during school holidays

Summertime is here, and that means fun in the sun, but it also means our kids need something to keep themselves busy during the day. Most kids like to get outdoors and burn off some energy with their friends. Still, weather and boredom will ultimately set in, and you’ll find yourself looking for some fun and educational activities during school holidays for your little ones.

Even though we look forward to summer as a season made for fun and family vacations, that doesn’t mean we can’t incorporate plenty of learning experiences too. By developing your own list of summer holiday activity ideas, you’ll have ready made ideas to fall back on when your kid utters those inevitable words: I’m bored. Here are some holiday activities examples to get you started on building your own list.

Summertime Activities during School Holidays

If you’re going to make the most out of whatever activities during school holidays you choose, it’s important that they provide some educational value. These summertime learning activities are both fun and educational and can help your kids stay ahead of the curve when it comes time to go back to class.

Explore New Books

A great way to keep kids occupied during school holidays is to find a handful of great books for them to read during their time off. Reading a new book each week or two will keep them busy, nurture their creativity, and set them up for success when they return to school. 

Visit the Local Library

Your public library will most likely have some great summer reads for kids on display and let them see all the different types of books that are out there. Many even have summer learning plans for kids, giving your kids a roadmap to a successful summer of reading. Another huge bonus that comes along with trips to the library is that it won’t cost you a dime!

Create a Reading Incentive Program

If your kid isn’t a huge fan of reading yet, creating an incentive program is a great way to help get them in the groove. Offer to let them pick a meal, movie, or snack when they complete each book. This will help you keep them reading often enough, so they develop a love of reading. In time, it may even become one of their favorite activities during school holidays.

Organize a Book Swap

Running out of books to read? Try swapping books with friends. Kids are more likely to have a favorable reaction to a new book if they’ve heard good things from their friends who have already read it. They’ll also be able to talk to each other about the book afterward, reinforcing the themes and morals in the book. 

Arts and Crafts

Another great way to spark your kid’s creativity during their school holidays is to get them into some form of arts and crafts. Teaching them to work with their hands and minds will ensure that when they get bored, they’ll see that as a reason to get creative.

Here are some great crafts to keep kids busy:

  • Scrapbooking – Help your kids remember the year by putting some of their favorite moments into a scrapbook that highlights all the fun things they did with their friends over the past year.
  • Sketching – Sketching is an invaluable practice for young artists. It allows them to freely practice gestural strokes. It also gives them a chance to try out different drawing techniques without fear of failure since sketches aren’t always meant to be finished pieces.
  • Painting – Want to get more familiar with color? Painting takes kids out of the gray, graphite world of drawing and teaches them about color theory.
  • STEM Arts and Crafts – There are all kinds of STEM-based arts and crafts that make great learning activities during school holidays.

how to keep kids busy during summer

Plant a Garden

If you’ve got a little space to spare in your yard, try planting a garden with the kids. It will teach them about plant life cycles, sustainability, and where the food they eat comes from.  Growing fruits and vegetables is a valuable skill that can teach kids how to reduce their carbon footprint. It also provides a bounty of your favorite healthy foods.

Learn to Cook or Bake

If you’ve found yourself with a little vegetable haul from your new garden, why not teach the kids how to prepare a meal with it? Teaching kids to cook helps them learn to be more self-sufficient. Learning to make meals from scratch also reinforces healthy eating habits.

Cooking teaches kids to get creative with color and flavor combinations, while baking teaches them how to follow directions and understand the science behind their favorite baked goods.

Put Together a Game Night

Games teach us a lot about life. They teach us motor skills and strategy, as well as how to be gracious competitors. Putting together a regular game night gives kids something to look forward to each week. It also gives the whole family quality time to bond and have fun together. 

There are all kinds of great board games for families to suit any age group or skill level, so you should have no trouble finding something that’s fun for the whole family.

Night Games

If you’ve got a great neighborhood with lots of friends nearby, night games are a great activity for kids. They have been favorite activities during school holidays for generations because few things match the excitement of sprinting from behind a bush to boot a coffee can into the moonlight. The kids might be able to stay up a little later when they don’t have school in the morning, so summer is the perfect time for night games. 

Take a Trip to the Zoo

If you’re trying to figure out how to keep children entertained on their summer breaks, one of our favorite activities during school holidays for kids is a trip to the local zoo. It’s fun and informative and, in many cases, free! Lots of cities have zoos with free admission year round, and many others offer free admission for kids during the summer.

Set Up a Scavenger Hunt

Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt. They allow us to use our problem solving skills in a race against our friends. Add a little cardio to your scavenger hunt by spreading it out and having the kids ride their bikes. If you’re looking for some great educational bicycle scavenger hunt ideas to get you started, there are plenty of things you can look for in your own neighborhood.

  • Find bugs in the backyard
  • Search for different types of trees
  • Learn about the neighborhood via popular spots
  • Search for natural elements to incorporate into art projects

Let your mind run wild with this one. It’s one of the most versatile activities during school holidays on the list. Ask the kids what they’d like to do that day, and you can design a scavenger hunt to fit.

Go Swimming

If you’re asking yourself how to keep kids busy during summer, few options are as fun and refreshing as going for a swim. Many communities have pools that local kids can use free of charge, so even if you and your neighbors don’t have pools, the kids can still take a dip to cool down on hot days. Swimming is a great life skill, so you can feel good knowing that your kids are gaining valuable, potentially life-saving skills while they enjoy warm summer afternoons with their friends.

Summer Camps

If you want something that keeps your kids entertained for weeks or months at a time, summer camps can be great options. Many camps are dedicated to specific fields of study or sports, so no matter what your kid gets into, there’s a summer camp that can hone their skills and connect them with other kids who are into the same things. 

Whatever You Do, Keep Them Busy

Whether you’re looking for fun activities to do at home in the summer or to get kids out of the house for some fresh air and networking opportunities, the important thing is that you keep them busy. When kids have nothing to do, they are more likely to get into mischief or just sit around bored. Finding educational activities during school holidays can turn their annual breaks into the days they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

How to Keep Kids Busy: Activities During School Holidays