40 Simple & Fun Holiday Activities – Mostly in Nature and Unplugged

It’s school holidays – a great time for getting out and about, having the freedom to explore new places and ideas and doing things we’ve been waiting for the time to do.
The kids and I just made a long wish list of things to do over the holidays. I encouraged them to think of simple, creative, local activities that include many unplugged things to do.  I’ve just had a forced week of being unplugged – because of thunderstorms and changing over of computer.
It’s been challenging but refreshing too!
I spent more time playing, more time riding my bike, more time making things. I did miss writing though.
Anyway, during the holidays we hope to find a balance of activities – between indoor and outdoor, active and quiet, home-based and out, individual and shared – and things that don’t cost the earth.
Our holiday list includes things like:
  1. Make Christmas cards and gifts for friends and family.
  2. Create gardens together – after the storms, there’s lots of places needed renewing!
  3. Plan and cook a simple but delicious meal to share with the family on Christmas.
  4. Go to the community disco at the local hall
  5. Have sleepovers and playdates with friends
  6. Visit family and invite them to visit us. Hang out with cousins
  7. Borrow the maximum amount of books from the library and read, read, read – join the library’s Summer Reading Club
  8. Make an adventure pack – a backpack with binoculars, magnifying glass, blank page notebook, clips to hold notebook open, stickytape (to stick things in book), bag (to collect things in), pen, greylead and colour pencils (to make sketches and notes), small local field guides, pen knife, hat, sunscreen, water, snack.
  9. Go for nature walks – in bushland, at the beach, through local parklands, down the street, to the river…
  10. Then write notes, take pictures, sketch what we find.
  11. Go bird watching – take a field guide to local birds.
  12. Then, write notes, take pictures, sketch what we find.
  13. Go bug spotting – take a bug guide.
  14. Then, write notes, take pictures, sketch what we find.
  15. Each find a favourite quiet spot outside where we can go to think and be alone, watch nature, cloud watch.
  16. Set up a treasure box or collection – make a box or shelf to display things found on outings and other curiousities collected throughout the holidays.
  17. Make cubbies – inside and outside – from sheets and tables, from sticks and leaves
  18. Create a free play area – a place where games can be left set up for days on end, and where things can get a bit messy. (I have fond memories of holidays as a kid where my brother and I created games and cubbies that lasted weeks and we didn’t have to pull them down till the end of holidays).
  19. Set up a craft corner – lots of paper, pens, paints, crayons, glue, scissors, wool.
  20. Go outside and do large splat paintings (like Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles).
  21. Set up a sewing corner – make some summer clothes and gifts for people
  22. Do some natural dying – using vegetable dyes from the garden.
  23. Set up a woodworking area – our first project is to make a workbench, but we also want do to things like build a microbat box.
  24. Create eco-art sculptures.
  25. Book into free local children’s activities at libraries and other community centres
  26. Start a holiday journal – a scrapbook of holiday momentos, sketches, notes and stories
  27. Create a photo exhibition – take a camera on your next outing and get the kids to take photos of what interests them – either print out and display, or make a slideshow.
  28. Make a movie – write the script, act it and film it.
  29. Stay up late and watch the stars – count the satellites and shooting stars, spot constellations – go to the local observatory.
  30. Go on a night walk with torches – wildlife spotting.
  31. Perhaps go camping in a nearby natural area, or set up a tent in the backyard.
  32. Go sailing – Grandad has been restoring his beautiful wooden trailer sailer.
  33. Swim – at the beach, at the river, at the local pool.
  34. Ride our bikes locally and organise a longer  ride.
  35. Visit local museumsVisit local artisans and galleries.
  36. Play music together and write some songs – make an instrument too.
  37. Play board games – scrabble, chess, strategic games …organise a games day with friends.
  38. Make board games to share with each other.
  39. Do puzzlesWrite stories and make little books for Monty (our 3yo)Write letters and postcards to friends and family.
  40. Host a community cafe/street party

What’s on your holiday wish list?

3 Responses

  1. Beverley Paine
    Beverley Paine at |

    Wow, that's a whole curriculum unfolding right there, a ton of learning across all areas – and all happening while on 'holiday'! Love it!

  2. Mr Home Maker
    Mr Home Maker at |

    I miss the young-child stage of life. I would do it all differently now….the above list had me mesmerised.

  3. Australian Gardening Granny
    Australian Gardening Granny at |

    Wonderful ways to spend the holidays. Set me thinking about my own list.
    Happy Christmas to you Morag and to your family.