Make a School Holiday Kit

Over many years of school holidays, I noticed particular items were useful for a variety of play opportunities. I call it my School Holiday Kit. Most of these items are already in most homes, and they aren’t expensive.

The idea of the school holiday kit isn’t to necessarily do all the activities but rather to have a stash of fun ideas up your sleeve if you need them.

All the items cost me under $10 and they can be used in many ways. Here, I’ll show you.

make a school holiday kit

School Holiday Kit


Cotton Wool Balls



Dawing materials (paper, pencils, crayons, texters)

Crepe Streamers

Milk Bottle Lids


Balloons are always handy for the school holidays. There are many fun ways to use them (just google ‘balloon craft’ or ‘balloon games’); I’m listing two of our favourites.

1. Balloon Up

Balloons often pop when they are on grass so the idea of this game is to keep the balloons off the grass!

playing with balloons outside

2. Balloon People

This is easy to make and kids love them! Click on the picture to see exactly how we made them, including the feet template.

how to make balloon people


If I could only get one  thing for the school holidays, it would be crepe streamers. They are so cheaps and can be used in all sorts of fun ways.

1. Streamer Painting

This is just too easy. Click the picture to find out how.

crepe streamer painting

2. Decorate a Tree

It only took a few mintues to tie streamer on to a tree in our backyard.  This transformed the tree into a magical play space.

decorate a tree with streamers

3. Rainbow Mini Tree

We loved the look of the streamers in the backyard tree so decided to make a mini one to be used in an imanitive play scene. To see how we put it together, click the picutre below.

mini streamer tree

4. Streamer Kite

It’s as easy as tying lengths of streamer on to a stick to hold in the wind.

streamer kite

If you would rather not use a stick (because it can be a hazard) tie 3 or 4 pieces of streamers together with a knot and kids can run around in the wind.

streamer kite

Tip: Streamers can also be used in pretend play for bandages.

Cotton Wool Balls

Cotton Wool Balls are cheap little things and can be used in a variety of ways.

1. Cotton Ball Race

All you need for this game is cotton wool balls, straws and a table. The idea it to blow the cotton wool ball to the end of the table. The winner is the one who gets their cotton wool ball to the end of the table first!

cotton wool race

2. Cotton Ball Throw

Throw cotton wool in the air and see how high it goes. Fun? Much.

cotton ball throw

Another idea is to lie down on a picnic blanket in the late afternoon, and watch the clouds.  As you do this, play throw and catch with cotton wool balls from that position.

cotton wool ball fun

3. Cotton Ball Craft

Cotton balls are an awesome craft material. Just google ‘cotton wool craft’ for more ideas. To see how we made this snow inspired diorama, click the picture.

cotton wool ball craft


I like buying straws for the school holidays becuase they are fun to drink from (even just with water). They are also fun for craft.

1. Straw boat

Straws and sticky tape are all you need to make floatable boats and other creations. Click the picture to read more.

straw boat

2. Games

Use straws in games like a cotton wool race (as mentioned above) or to blow a milk bottle lid boats around a bowl of water.

3. Smoothie

Make a yummy smoothie.

school holiday fun

Egg Carton

1. Nature Sorter

My absolute favourite way to use milk cartons is to do a nature hunt and use the carton as a sorting tray. Doesn’t it look pretty?

egg carton nature tray

2. Paint

You can use an empty egg carton to hold paint.

egg carton use for paint

3. Craft

Egg cartons can be used in many types of craft projects. For example, we made these cute chickies for Easter; click on the picture for the tutorial.

Easter Craft: Egg Carton Easter Egg Chicky

Drawing Materials

It’s a good idea to do a quick sort through of your drawing materials before school holidays start.  Throw out any texters that don’t work and sharpen blunt pencils.

1. Paper Dolls

My kids often draw their own characters to play with. Click on the picture for the relevant post.

paper dolls

2. Drawing Activities

Drawing on paper is an easy activity.  By changing the base material, it can put a spark into this ordinary activity.  For example, allow the kids to draw on a rock with pencil, a piece of wood with crayon or a brick with paint pens.

school holidays drawing activities

3. Drawing Out and About

One of the best items I purchased to facilitate art is a box clipboard. It’s perfect for drawing on holidays and travelling. You can click on the picture to read more about them.

drawing activities for school holidays

Milk Bottle Lids

I LOVE milk bottle lids so much I have a page dedicated to them. See all the posts here: Milk Bottle Lid Crafts.

milk bottle lid boat -- finished

More ideas

  • Sidewalk chalk: draw outside
  • Decorate paper and fold to make paper planes
  • Buy pieces of timer for an backyard obstacle course
  • Paint small terracotta pots ready for spring planting
  • Bubble blowing mixture

Make a School Holiday Kit: Put a few items on your shopping list, collect the recycled materials, book-mark or pin this post and you’ll be set for heaps of ideas for the school holidays if you need them.

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  • Reply
    March 28, 2012 at 5:56 am

    You;re amazing, you know that. Can I be a Mum like you when I grow up?!

    See you soon! xx

  • Reply
    March 28, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Love, a lot, I have a giant box in my car that I use for work and I love we have similar things for arts and crafts. Wiil share now Nx

  • Reply
    March 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I’ve written my list, I’ve checked it twice! I’m off to scavenger hunt for these items. So simple, so much fun. Thank-you 🙂

  • Reply
    March 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    You have so many wonderful ideas here Kelly! Thank you xx

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