• Gifts & Holidays

Ah, the Christmas holidays… A kids’ best friend and the potential to be a parents’ worst nightmare. It’s great to have more family time around the silly season, but six weeks (or more!) is a long time to keep things fun and fresh for little ones. Not to mention, things can get expensive very fast! But never fear, here are a few budget friendly activities you can do with your kids.


Teach the gift of giving back

Chances are you already clear out old clothes, toys, and furniture and drop donations to the Salvos, so why not get your kids involved? Start a conversation about people who are doing it tough in the community, and instil a sense of doing good in your little ones. Clear out old items and pass on good community values at the same time - it’s a win-win!


Hold a garage sale

Similar to the prior point, if you have a lot of items you don’t want to bring into the new year, some impulse lockdown purchases perhaps, a garage sale is a great way to keep the kids busy for a day or two, instill some business know-how, and get rid of some clutter! Get your kids involved in selecting the pieces they no longer fit, want, or need, and train them up as mini shop assistants. With the money you make from the sale, you could consider dividing it up amongst the family, allowing your kids to keep the money made from their items, or pick a charity or cause together.


Get creative before Christmas

School finishes up just in time to have a weird stretch of time before Christmas festivities begin. But not to worry! There are plenty of Christmas crafts you can do before the big day. 

  • Make your own wrapping paper with butchers’ paper and paints, crayons, or pencils
  • Decorate and personalise plain Christmas baubles with paint - these could also be a cute gift for family
  • Make outdoor table decorations (one idea is to use shaped hole punches and leaves to make biodegradable confetti - no clean up required!)
  • Craft your own Christmas crackers - this one is better for older kids and will require a trip to a craft store to buy the crackers. Or make them silent crackers for sensitive ears!


Play restaurant

Going out to restaurants can add up quickly, but after 18 months of intermittent lockdowns, eating at home can get a little dull. But not to worry, there is some middle ground. Have a ‘restaurant day’ at home. Depending on the age of your kids, this might require a little (or a lot of) help from an adult, but you can make it fun for the whole family with multiple courses, decorating menus, dressing up, and making the table look great. 

Road trip entertainment on a budget


Spending some time in the car with kids this holiday season? Worried about how you’re going to keep your kids entertained without spending big on portable devices, handheld games, and possibly even some straight up bribes? Panic no more! Here are our best tips for keeping your little ones entertained on a budget.


Save some ‘special’ toys and activities

Sure, your kids already have their favourite toys and activities, and we know they will be right there in the backseat on a long drive. But there’s something very appealing about a new toy, gadget, book, or activity. So use that to your advantage - pick up a couple of new things for your little ones (or give them as Christmas gifts before the road trip), and present them when you first get in the car - the novelty will keep your kids interested for a while! On extra long road trips, you can use this method at multiple points during the trip, ie. every three hours, your kids get a new book or toy to play with.


Foster some excitement around landmarks

If you’ve got a long trip ahead of you, you’ll need to stop at some point, so why not make it part of the fun! Take a look at what’s on your route and stop in at a zoo, monument, park, or beach. This activity could be free, or just cost the amount of admission - and it could create a lifelong memory for your little ones.


Bring back car games

They’re a little bit 90s, but a game of I-Spy can be massively underrated! Bring back the old school fun and games with a free observation game, or, better yet, make up your own game! Give your kids a list of things to ‘check off’ when they see them, eg. a green car, 12 lampposts, a lake, etc. This will foster a bit of friendly competition between older kids as well.


The humble activity bag

The activity bag is a parents’ travel day best friend. Fill it with a new novel, a hobby book, a colouring/puzzle book and pencils, a puzzle, a card game… The options are endless! The goal is to have enough individual activities to keep the kids busy for an extended time. You could even encourage your kids to trade activities or items with each other to keep things interesting!


Outsource your playlists

We know… Listening to 5 hours of non-stop Wiggly Party mix isn’t ideal, but there might be a way to keep the kids and the adults happy and occupied on long drives. Whip up a roster giving each member of your family a slot where they’re in charge of the aux cord (of Bluetooth connection), or investigate the wonderful world of podcasts for kids. There’s no need for 6 back to back hours of the full Wiggles anthology, or, let’s be more realistic, three of their top songs on repeat. There is a plethora of podcasts for kids nowadays, and some of them might even teach parents a thing or two as well!


Snack bribery

It’s a necessary evil… Bring a bag with your little ones’ favourite snacks, keep them up the front with the grown ups, and distribute them periodically when hunger strikes, or when there’s no book, game, or puzzle that will keep them entertained. Sometimes the only thing that will do it is a sweet or crunchy treat!


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