It can be challenging to keep the kids entertained during the Winter school holidays when warm weather options like swimming at the beach are out. Here are some ideas to make a happy Winter holiday:

Make a plan – think about how to make the holiday stand out – you don’t need to schedule everything, the aim is just to set some intentions. You might make a list of places to visit, make a reading or watching list or aim to spend some time outside.

One useful way to think about this is to ask family members: what do I want to do more of these holidays? What do I want to do less of? Holidays are meant to be a break from the busyness of everyday school and sports activities so some rest is important.

Invent a family holiday tradition- it could be something simple like, on the first day of school holidays we eat dessert before dinner. Or in the holidays, the kids have pancakes for breakfast.

Get outside everyday- take a trip to the beach to make sandcastles (just rug up beforehand), a short hike is good exercise, add a picnic and you’ve got a great day out.

Or simply go for a daily walk around your neighbourhood. Visit somewhere in your area you’ve never been to- it could be a park, a gallery, a café, a local shop. Or try a walk at night with beanies and torches.

Hit the books – visit your local library and borrow books for free. Kids not into reading? Try audio books, you can download for free through your library. You could choose a novel that the whole family is interested in and listen to a chapter or two every night.

Clear out the cobwebs- it sounds boring but the holidays are a good opportunity to go through your kid’s room, their wardrobe, clean and clear out, ready for the next school term. Collect unwanted items for donation or for those older kids, it might be a great way to make a few dollars by selling good quality items on sites like Facebook MarketPlace or Gumtree.

Op shop crawl- it might undo some of the good work you’ve done on de-cluttering but an outing to an op shop can be a welcome diversion as well as a source of inexpensive books, games and clothes.

Get busy in the kitchen – put the kids in change of planning and creating some family meals and baking some treats. If you don’t eat them all, you could freeze them for when school goes back.

Plan a housekeeping huddle – kids can take on extra jobs around the house- like doing the washing, ironing, loading and unloading the dishwasher. Payment or rewards for service can be negotiated like a trip to the movies for the cleaning crew.

Have a pyjama day – no one has to get dressed! Plan a movie marathon, make some popcorn and settle in.

Designate a screen free time each day- it’s easy to fall into the trap of too much screen time, especially if the weather isn’t great. So, lock in some screen-free time, everyone can be on screens all day, except for this hour or two. Turn the wifi off if you have to!

Write a letter or send a postcard – it’s such a novelty to receive something personal in the post, someone in your life will be delighted. It could be a grandparent, a friend or distant family member. Do the whole process from writing the letter or buying the postcard, writing the address, buying a stamp and posting it.

Start a mini business – older kids could offer a service to the neighbourhood- dog walking, mowing the lawn, raking up leaves, taking bins out and in. They will learn valuable entrepreneurial skills and (maybe) make some pocket money or just get to know some neighbours.

Good luck and enjoy the holidays!