Unleashing Creativity for Young Kids: Easy & Affordable School Holiday Activities

November 30, 2023

Hi readers! I'm Emily, co-owner of PPF and mum of three. Planning activities for my eldest two children (five and two years old) brings me immense joy (as it brings me a moment of peace & quiet). Today I want to share some simple and cost-effective activities that offer minutes of entertainment for your little ones (we can’t say hours of entertainment as almost nothing provides that). Consider these school holiday activities a mum hack—easy for you to set up, allowing you to sit back with your coffee/ wine / insert favourite drink here and watch your babies have a blast!

1. Kmart Shower Curtain Hack

Discovering this hack on Instagram was a game-changer for me. Now, a $5 white shower curtain from Kmart permanently hangs on the inside of my fence.


  • Pick up a $5 white shower curtain from Kmart
  • Attach the curtain to the fence with pegs at the top and place something heavy on the bottom to stop it blowing away (bricks, rocks, whatever you can find).
  • Grab some water-based paint and brushes (again, Kmart has heaps as well as paint pots with lids on them to keep the paint fresh and relatively tidy)
  • Let your kids go wild and unleash their creativity on the curtain (my five-year-old painted Captain Underpants the other day, whilst my two-year-old painted Spiderman)
  • Once they have finished their masterpiece, hose it down and then they a brand-new blank canvas. Points if you can get them to hose it down themselves (more time for you to enjoy your beverage of choice and foster independence and fine motor skills with your little one/s)

2. Make Fake Snow

This activity does involve you being a little more hands on, but it is very fun! I did this activity with my eldest during some of the covid lockdowns and again recently and he loved it. Creating fake snow this time of year is also a big crowd pleaser, as you could pretend you are having a white Christmas! Disclaimed: make sure to do this activity outside!


  • Mix ½ cup of cheap conditioner with 3 cups of baking soda.
  • Mould the mixture into little balls and create a magical winter wonderland.

3. The Nurso Adventure

If you're on the south side of Brisbane or up for a drive to Chandler, The Nurso is an epic spot for kids. With a café, a fenced play area, farm animals, and live music on weekends, it's a magical place for both kids and parents.

My eldest two loved talking to one of the resident sheep; they both yelled out ‘baaaaa’ to each other for about 10 minutes, and my little two-year-old loved seeing the ducks ‘swimming’ (splashing in a little plastic pool). There are also several cows to visit (if you have a young boy, they may love to tell you every time a cow poos, mine certainly did) and two very cute goats. It is a magical place where you can drink your coffee whilst it is still hot as you watch your kids run around. I didn’t even mention that they sell beautiful locally made gifts (perfect for Christmas) and a huge array of plants.

4. Gain a Workout Buddy

This may be an unpopular one, but I’m mentioning it anyway! I don’t always get a chance to work out at home with my kids finding me. Instead of getting frustrated and / or stopping my workout, I include my kids. I’ve done squat jumps with my little Lenix, held planks with my eldest lying on my back and practised push ups with my newborn. I may not get ‘me time’, however, I still get a workout in and if I have to squat holding a child I would argue that I work harder! I also think it is so important to show your kids that you do exercise; it shows that you prioritise moving your body and being healthy. 

5. Have an Impromptu Picnic

This is one of my fav activities to do with my kids, as we don’t have to even leave our house! My kids love picnics in our living room, sitting in the front yard, the back yard or even sitting at the front door with one leg outside and one leg inside. As long as I put our picnic mat down and bring some food, they are happy. It’s a great way to get my kids out of a funk if they are ‘bored’ and are starting to whinge about wanting to watch tv. Again, bring along your drink of choice. If it is a hot day I like to put on the sprinkler in the front yard and the big kids run around in it. If I’m feeling energetic I’ll bring some bubbles to the picnic (alcoholic for me & the soap kind for the kids)!

6. Helping in the Kitchen

When my big kids want to help cook, I give them both a hard-boiled egg to peel the eggshell. This will give you a few minutes and they will feel so good when they finish the process! I have been known to give the kids multiple eggs to peel (the eggs all get eaten too; we don’t waste anything due to the cost of living these days!). 

I do let my big kids help with cooking, especially baking. I like to measure the ingredients first, then have my kids pour it into the mixing bowl with several different sized measuring cups, which limits mess as well as my anxiety. You could even give one of our fabulous recipes by instructor Chloe a go!

7. Crafty Creations

Whilst colouring in books are super fun, we found our eldest kids love to pick what they want to colour in sometimes. My recent google searches include ‘robot smashing into city buildings colouring in’, ‘mummy blue whale and her baby colouring in’ and ‘electric train colouring in’. Obviously, this hack only works if you have a printer, so apologies if you do not. 

A walk down the Kmart craft aisle will also give you plenty of ideas. We have made solar systems, coloured in cardboard cars, painted dinosaurs (I must admit that my kids are suckers for painting anything that comes in plaster: easter eggs, cars, flowerpots, anything!). I especially LOVE the magic water colouring in books: no mess (except for water) and the kids love seeing the colours appear! If you give them a tiny brush this takes a lot longer 😉 We also love this Kmart easel: both big kids have one and it is such a great way to paint, with minimal mess! 

8. Your Local Library

The kids’ section in libraries has gotten so much better since I was a kid. There are Duplo walls, cool sitting areas, interactive games on the computers, projector screens filled with fish, bubbles, disco balls and let’s not forget books! Or you can climb on top of furniture, like my eldest here!

9. Make Them Clean

Give your kids simple "jobs" to keep them busy and teach them about pitching in. My eldest loves to vacuum, my middle child loves to sweep and both love to grab a spray bottle of water and a cloth and spray down the whole kitchen! Whilst the latter leaves the floor very damp, it is fun for them, exposes them to chores and nothing a big towel can’t mop up. 

Activities to Approach with Caution (aka I wish my kids never discovered these):

We all have a list of these! Mine include but are not limited to:

  • Putting Sudocream on everything: stuffed animals, figurines like Spiderman and all over their own bodies. 
  • Painting their entire bodies
  • Rubbing tanbark all over them at the park

I hope these activities bring joy and entertainment during the school holidays with your adorable, highly energetic children! If you do all these activities already, you should feel very good about yourself and maybe you can give me some pointers! Happy school holidays everyone! 

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