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12 school holiday activities to do with your grandchildren

12 school holiday activities to do with your grandchildren

School holidays are the ideal time to bond with the grandkids and reward them with some fun and exciting experiences. Kids can be interested in a whole range of things, and find anything from a simple card game at home to a movie day engaging and fun. If you’re scheduled to have the grandkids over during the school holidays, your challenge will be to organise a few different activities. These ideas for kid-friendly activities will help you get started.

Scavenger hunts

Every kid loves a scavenger hunt, as it engages their natural wonder and curiosity about the world around them. A stroll in the park, a beach walk, or a hike in a reserve – these are all opportune times to enlist the grandkids in a scavenger hunt.1 Write up a specific list for the children (for example, a yellow leaf, a grey feather, black rocks and so on) and get them to start looking. You can also have them find items by letters of the alphabet or by some other rule, such as colour or function.

Play cards and board games

Kids enjoy card and board games, and these are great activities for a rainy weekend when they can’t play outside. Whether it’s snap, bridge, Monopoly, or good old Scrabble, organise an afternoon of board games and set up some rewards for the winners of each round.

Visit the beach

A day out at the beach can be a fun way to pass the day.2 Bring beach-friendly games such as cricket sets and footballs with you, and pack a picnic and some blankets. Have the kids collect seashells and once you’re back home show them how to make art out of their shells with glitter and other craft items.

Hold an ice cream sundae party

If kids love anything, it’s ice cream. Hold an ice cream sundae party by supplying ice cream, fruit, sprinkles, chopped up chocolate bars, a few sauces, and other toppings. Invite the kids to decorate their sundae – they’ll have more fun making their treat than eating it!

Go tenpin bowling

Take the kids out for a few games of tenpin bowling at your local bowling alley.3 The kids will enjoy the excitement of getting their hired bowling shoes, picking their bowling balls and knocking down some pins. Little kids might need some guidance on how the game works if they haven’t played before.

Host a lemonade and cookie stand

If your grandkids enjoy cooking and baking, why not hold a lemonade stand on the busiest street corner in the neighbourhood? You can spend the morning baking some delicious cookies to sell along with your lemonade. Give each kid a specific responsibility such as collecting money, setting up the stand, or talking to prospective buyers on the street. This activity gives kids an opportunity to learn to follow recipes, how to measure items and how to set up and organise an activity.

Go to the library or bookshop

Encourage your grandkids to read more with a trip to the library or the bookstore.4 Have them pick out at least one book each and read a chapter a day together. Older kids can be engrossed in a book for hours, while younger ones will enjoy having their book read to them.

Go through photos or heirlooms

If you have family heirlooms, why not spend some time telling the kids about the story behind them? Kids also love looking at family photos and learning more about their parents, uncles, aunties and other relatives.

Start a vegetable garden

Starting a vegetable garden with the grandkids teaches them about the processes of nature, plants and introduces them to understanding and accepting responsibility.5 If you have limited space, start a herb garden in containers on your balcony. Kids will love watching the plants grow each time they visit and will find joy in harvesting herbs or vegetables they can eat.

Arts and crafts afternoon

Arts and crafts engages kids’ imaginations and activates their creativity. You can create arts and crafts pieces with recycled egg cartons, shoeboxes, rubber bands, and other everyday packaging items. Alternatively, you can print out some colouring pages6 from the internet, supply some crayons or colouring pencils, and leave them to their own devices.

Explore some apps

Another way to engage kids and keep them interested for the day is to download some kid-friendly apps7 to your tablet and explore them together with the kids. These can be word games, learning apps, drawing apps and other interactive apps. There is a whole world of apps out there for all ages which are both fun and educational.

Make a time capsule

Making time capsules is a fun activity which will spark the imagination of your grandkids by getting them to think about the present and the future. Have every child decide on at least one item for the time capsule and guide them by telling them when the time capsule might be opened (for example, 50 years in the future) and what the time capsule is supposed to achieve (for example, showing those in the future what the present is like).


  1. 8 activities kids love to do with grandparentsGrandparents.com
  2. 50 cheap school holiday activitiesStay at Home Mum
  3. 100 things to do with your grandchild this summerGrandparents.com
  4. 15 fun (and nearly) free things to do with your grandkids!Random House Kids
  5. Grandparent & grandchild activities | Things to do with grandkidsFamilyEducation
  6. Printable coloring pages for kidsColoring.ws
  7. Best kids apps 2016/2017 | Best free and cheap apps for kids, toddlers & teensPC Advisor