5 family activities to do with kids at home on the school holidays

With a spread of ages of 10 years across our five kids, finding an activity that we can all participate in and enjoy can be tricky. And sometimes no matter what the activity their will be one child who might not feel like hanging out with the family.

There are moments though when it works and everyone is happy and participates in an activity. Over the years here are some family activities we have enjoyed:

Family feast


The evening meal is a big part of family life for us. This school holidays I have on the plan for us to have a family feast. It means everyone will make something to go on the evening dinner table for us to share and enjoy.

How fancy or detailed the component of the feast is will depend on the age and enthusiasm of the kids, but here are some ideas by age group:

3 – 5 year olds

  • garlic bread – the kids can do the buttering of the bread
  • meat balls – the kids can help shape the mixture into the balls and you can cook them
  • peas – the kids can shell fresh peas which you can cook
  • juice – the kids can squeeze oranges to make a drink for everyone
  • nachos – the kids can build the layers of corn chips and cheese

6 – 10 year olds

  • make a plate of veggie sticks – the kids can cut celery, carrot, capsicum, cucumber into sticks
  • make an ice cream cake – I have a number of fun ice cream cake recipes on the blog which involve softening and refreezing the ice cream which is easy and lots of fun. You can find the recipes here – ice cream cakes
  • cook rice in the rice cooker – super simple but the kids are still getting food organised for the family. If you are having a Mexican feast you can see my rice cooker Mexican rice recipe here
  • peel and grate veggies – carrot, potatoes, zucchini what ever veggies you may want to have at your feast
  • rice paper rolls – once you have made the mixture the kids can get rolling and make rice paper rolls for everyone. You can find my rice paper roll recipe here.

11 – 15 year olds

  • make taco meat – they can even make their own seasoning from my recipe here
  • chicken wings – they can either make a marinate themselves or coat them with some butter and salt and cook them in the oven
  • make a stir fry – stir fries are simple to make even if you need to give guidance on the herbs / sauces that you use, but they can certainly chop and cook the veggies on their own
  • baked potatoes – they can prepare the potatoes put them in the oven and check on them to see when they are ready.
  • make a cake – I have a few super easy one bowl cake recipes that would be perfect for kids to cook and you can find them here banana cake, chocolate cake, butter cake, rice malt syrup cake

Family canvas

Family Canvas

Over five years ago we went to our local community arts centre and created a family canvas. It is still hanging in our kitchen. It is not the prettiest painting in the world, but I still remember working together with all the kids to create it. what it represents and I love that.

To make this task as enjoyable as possible here are my key tips:

  • Have an over arching idea on what you want the painting to be about but get the kids to interpret how that will look. For example our painting was to be a snapshot of our family at that time. We are all represented by birds. Each child decided on what type and colour of bird they were to be and where they would be on the canvas.
  • Do it outside and with old clothes on so you don’t stress about mess.
  • Don’t expect it to be beautiful and perfect, because there is a pretty high chance it won’t be but enjoy the beauty and joy of the process not the outcome.

Family collage


Again we have attended our local community arts centre and created a family collage. Before we went I decided to photocopy items from all of the family members that represented a little something about them. There was words, pictures, copies of passports, copies of photos, trophies and medals etc. We then cut them up and paste the collage together. The kids then decided that it needed more colour and used paper provided by the centre to place a home over the top of our cuttings. Or you could simply use family photos to create a collage on a canvas as in the example above.

The tips above also apply to this activity to ensure it is enjoyable as possible. Also so the canvas doesn’t warp while drying use weights on each corner.

Obstacle course


As you may have read in this post, I have started doing some obstacle course races and love them. The younger kids did the Spartan Kids race with me in June and they loved it too. It is easy to create an obstacle course of your own in the backyard.

Obviously you will need to make your own decisions on safety etc but here are some ideas on some obstacles you can have on your course between the running:

  • Filling buckets with dirt and carrying them on a loop of the backyard then emptying the bucket again
  • Commando crawling on the ground for a distance
  • Climbing up and down a tree
  • Climbing over a fence
  • If you had a pool it could be a lap in the pool regardless of how cold it is!
  • Constructing some homemade hurdles to jump over

Make a movie of your last holiday


Often we take photos and video but leave it on our phones or computers. Allow the kids to get creative with your last school holidays even if you stayed home and make a movie out of it. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot or no video to work with, you can just use photos to put together a movie in iMovie or like products.

The kids can add titles, sub titles, music and voice over commentary. You can then make copies to give other family members who might find it entertaining!

What activities do you do as a family at home?