5 fun outdoor activities perfect for school holidays

  • 4 minutes
  • 20 April 2018

School holidays provide the perfect chance to spend a little time together; but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, there are some super fun outdoor activities you can do in your own backyard, that’ll keep the kids busy for hours!

1. Outdoor activities should always include a scavenger hunt

No need to hunt for ideas on how to fill your school holidays; this is one of those outdoor activities that could keep them entertained for days at a time! Note: the more items they have, the longer they’ll be kept busy!

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Coloured pencils/crayons
  • Stickers or stamp (optional)


  1. Have the kids draw their lists of all the items they need to find on their scavenger hunt.
  2. Once the list is finalised, declare the beginning of the scavenger hunt!
  3. Optional: have a stamp or some stickers ready and mark off each item on their lists when they find it.
  4. Pick a fun reward for the winner!

Opportunity to: explore their surroundings, practice their investigation skills, discuss good sportsmanship in competitive situations.

2. Leaf crowns

Become the Queen of school holiday outdoor activities with this idea! From foraging in the backyard, to crafting, to dress-ups and character play — this outdoor activity offers something for everyone.

What you’ll need:

  • Leaves
  • Paint and brushes
  • Cardboard (enough to wrap around head)
  • Stapler


  1. Forage outside for interesting leaves; try to find some that have fun shapes or interesting edges.
  2. Paint your leaves in crazy colours and patterns.
  3. Make your crown base by wrapping a length of cardboard around your head (across your forehead) and stapling at correct tightness.
  4. Once leaves are dry, staple to crown base.

Opportunity to: discuss the life cycle of trees and mulch, engage creativity and look absolutely fabulous!

3. Recycled herb planters

Add some flavour to the holiday outdoor activities and create something that’ll keep on giving. This activity teaches valuable life and health lessons, as well as adds some flair to your décor.

What you’ll need:

  • Recycled cans or jars (washed and labels peeled off)
  • Fabric & twine
  • Glue
  • Herb seedlings
  • Potting mix
  • Teaspoon


  1. Using the glue, wrap your jar or can with the fabric. Tie the twine around and finish with a decorative bow.
  2. Take herb seedlings are plant in jar or can. Ensure the roots aren’t exposed and the stalks aren’t too buried.
  3. Fill in gaps with potting mix, using teaspoon to get into the small cracks.
  4. Water and watch them grow!

Opportunity to: discuss recycling, grow your own food, teach gardening skills and give them the opportunity to take care of something.

4. Rock Monsters

This idea doubles as a harmless, cheeky prank; hide a Rock Monster in a sock drawer, the fridge or even in the cookie jar to surprise someone! It’s sure to fill the school holidays with giggles and create a daily task that they can look forward to.

What you’ll need:

  • Rocks, leaves and grass
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Paint or textas


  1. Go hunting for rocks, leaves and grass outside.
  2. Glue the googly eyes onto your rock, and build the rest of the face from there!
  3. Use grass for hair, moustaches or beards, leaves for ears, and draw/paint on mouths or noses.
  4. Hide them around the house as a sneaky surprise!

Opportunity to: discuss how every face has unique features, teach resourcefulness, test fine motor skills and engage creativity.

5. Veggie gardens make great outdoor activities for the whole family

Take the herb planter idea one step further and build a DIY vegetable garden for the family! This is a great one for older kids who may not want to play games or make craft, but still like creating something. You can plant a modest garden in planters, or a whole veggie patch, depending on how much room (and energy) you have! Another great idea is to have your kids’ veggie garden hanging off your wall or fence, which will make a perfect addition to your backyard.

Holiday ideas - great outdoor activities for the whole family include creating a veggie patch.

What you’ll need and method: read our complete guide to building a successful veggie patch here!

Opportunity to: grow your own food, discuss healthy eating, introduce household chore responsibilities, teach gardening and building skills, introduce cooking skills.

We hope these five outdoor activities have inspired you and the kids to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors these school holidays.

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