Burnie Families -School Holiday Ideas

Burnie Families -School Holiday Ideas

Do you have any great ideas to share?  Please get in touch! 

The School Holiday Flyer has come to life from group discussion at the Burnie Families Community Circle, that meets at the Burnie Child and Family Centre monthly (all welcome).  From little things big things grow.  This idea first sprouted when families discussed the need for school aged children to have free activities to do and additionally, where was a centralised place that families could access, to find out what’s on (because as it turns out, there’s a lot of free stuff on, but it’s not always easy to find out about it or get to it)?   The flyer has been funded by CatholicCare, Communities for Children.  We would love you to join us monthly to champion Burnie Families, contact hello@burnieworks.com.au if you would like more information. 

9 july to 24 July - Winter in Burnie!

15 APRIL to 1 MAY 2022 - EASTER in Burnie!

December 2021 to February 2022 - Summer in Burnie!

September - october
Spring school holidays in Burnie

Things to do at home 

Make a simple recipe book

Using your favourite family foods, create your own recipe book with drawings to illustrate.

Food Theme Day

Try foods from different cultures (eg. Mexican or Turkish).

Design a Place Mat

Get the children to make place mats, decorate the table or set out the cutlery.

Make your own fast food

Get the children to make their own hamburger or pizza using food set up on the table so that they can create their own mix.

The floor is lava

Is a game where players pretend that the floor is made of lava and must avoid touching the ground.  Players stay off the floor by standing on furniture, cushions or chairs.

Build a fort inside 

Choose a location and start building, bed sheets, pillows, mattress or mattress topper (for the base of your fort), seat cushions (to use as building blocks for the walls of the fort), chairs (these will act as the skeleton of the fort), blankets (to place on top of mattress or mattress topper, more for comfort and snuggle factor), clothes pegs or binder clips (to create a door flap and build a less flimsy fort), tape, wooden dowels or a broomstick (to increase the height and sturdiness of the fort), heavy books (to keep the sheets in place), string lights (for decoration)

Make puppets and put on a puppet show

Find some old socks and draw on some eyes and nose and make a puppet, or make it out of paper bags or wooden cutlery.

Use a cardboard box and cut out a window and colour in or decorate box in ready for your puppet show.

Carboard city – boxes, toilet rolls

Supplies: a few small to medium sized cardboard boxes, toilet rolls, paper towel rolls, craft papers, sticky tape, markers, crayons, texters, glue stick, scissors

Turn the boxes inside out to create the bases for your buildings.

Draw brick patterns onto the boxes, add different shaped and sized windows and doors and then draw some people or animals on paper and glue in the windows and doors.  Green up your city block with carboard trees add a cardboard road through your city

Now its time to start bringing your box city to life and tell some fun visual stories and create bits and pieces that will make the neighbourhood your own.

Collect and paint rocks

Supplies: smooth rocks, paint, small paint brushes

Collect some rocks and wash them and allow to dry.

Paint your rocks then allow time to dry – overnight is best

Simon says

One person is the leader and calls out the actions.

Everyone else must follow the leader and do the action, but only when Simon says.

Then the leader has to try and get everyone to do an action without saying Simon says.  If someone does the action and the leader did not say Simon says, that person is out of the game.  The leader can try to make things more difficult by speeding up the pace of calling out the actions.


Supplies: pad of paper, texter or marker, slips of paper with words written on them and a hat or a bowl to put these in.

If you are playing with little kids, easily illustrated nouns like sun or bear would probably be good.  If you are playing with teens, throw in some abstract nouns like honour, some adjectives or verbs like upset or dance.

Divide your players into two teams, then players take turns silently drawing different things while their team tries to guess what the drawing is.  Teams compete against each other to have the most guessed words and win the game.


Without spoken words, one person dramatically acts out each syllable of a word or phrase in order, while the rest of the group tries to guess.

Hide and seek

Choose one person to count to 20 with their eyes closed, while others go and hide.  When finished counting yells “ready or not, here I come” and then attempts to find those who are hiding.  The last player found is the winner.

Twenty question guessing game

One person (the thinker) starts the game by saying “I am thinking of something (or someone) that is…

The thinker then tells the other players the category they will guess from (try and choose something all players would know), for example:

  • An animal
  • A plant
  • A food
  • A household object
  • An occupation
  • An historical figure
  • A famous actor

Then other players ask questions to see who can be the first to guess what the ‘thinker’ has in mind.  Before trying to guess the exact answer, players ask questions to narrow down the possibilities.

The challenge is that the ‘thinker’ must answer truthfully, but will only answer yes or no (sometimes they may also give hints, if necessary). 

If thinker says “I am thinking about an animal” players can ask:

  • Is it brown
  • Does it eat meat
  • Is it bigger than a dog

The person who guessed the right answer is the winner of the round and will be the next ‘thinker’.

Freeze dance

Everyone dances as the music plays, when the music stops, each player must freeze immediately and hold that position until the music begins again.


Shopping with children

Write a shopping list and find the foods in the shop, young children may want to draw items that you want to buy.

Have a picnic in your garden or cubby house

Visit the local producers at the farm gate, Farmers Market or ‘pick you own’ farms are great activity for children.


Plant some edible flowers to add exciting colour to a salad or make pretty crowns with.

Design your own signs and labels

Get your children to help make signs and plant labels or painted rocks to decorate the garden.

Make a scarecrow

Grab some old clothes and stuff with straw or material and tie to a wooden frame.

Cloud spotting

Lie down with your children and look at the clouds.  What shapes can you see?  Maybe you can see fluffy clouds, stretch clouds or the shapes of creatures.  Enjoy a few quiet moments as your imagination takes you on a journey!

Leaf Threading

Find some leaves and twigs in the garden.  Take a piece of twine and tie a knot around a twig – this is your needle and thread.  Punch a hole in each leaf and start threading.  Hang your leaf garlands by the window as a seasonal decoration!

Creating Nature Wands

Find a stick and gather some leaves, flowers or grass.  Use twine or tape to attach.  You can enjoy this activity any time of the year in your backyard or at the park.  Let the magic begin!

Mix a Potion

Grab a bowl and a spoon and head outside to create a magical garden potion.  Gather leaves, grass, petals, flowers and sticks to create your unique recipe.  Have fun mixing and stirring and making magic at home.

Scavenger hunt

Write a list of items to find outdoors:

  • Piece of bark/wood
  • Spider web
  • Fly, lady bird, dragon fly
  • Snail
  • Feather
  • Leaves
  • Bird
  • Something prickly
  • Smooth rock
  • Flowers
  • Ants
  • Butterfly
  • Grass

Head to West Beach, Guide Falls or Fern glade Reserve and explore

Write a list of things in nature to look for to play Nature Bingo.  Can you find something…….

Make a kite then go fly it


Alphabetical Nature Walk

Write a list then try and find the items.

Camp in your backyard

  • Get a run of the mill pop up tent, sleeping bags or bed rolls, a backpack and torch.
  • Get kids to pack and bring everything they would need for a real overnight trip, this means PJs, change of clothes, toys, camera, compass, books, canteens, binoculars, drinks, snacks and food to BBQ.
  • Put on your backpacks and hike around your neighbourhood, with the compass and map or even a GPS on your phone plot a course and see if your kids can navigate it.  Pull out the binoculars and see which birds you can identify.  Take nature samples by picking up leaves, flowers or rocks to analyse later.  Take some photos along the way but be sure to be back at your campsite about an hour before sundown.
  • Get the kids to help put up the tent, unroll sleeping bags and set up interior of tent – make sure you have everything you need to spend the night, this is a good time to make one last trip inside for any necessities you may have forgotten.
  • Start the BBQ and cook and eat dinner.  Ask the kids how they are enjoying their adventure with questions such as ‘what’s your favourite part so far?’ and ‘what are you looking forward to later?’  pick some favourite songs for the time-honoured tradition of singing around the campfire.
  • Not a lot of sleeping happens, especially if you have more than one kid.  Aim to keep them outside as long as possible, if they are cold, grab another blanket.

Make art from things you find in nature

Go for a walk in your backyard or park, bring treasures back in pockets and make art with, or inspired by nature.  Try and draw your treasures on some paper, glue leaves or sticks together making a picture, colour in your treasures with paint


Look for bugs at the park or in your garden

Go for a walk and search for bugs, use a magnifying glass search for the small insects.

Build an obstacle course and time yourself

Ideas for obstacles:

  • Draw a map of the obstacle course
  • Water balloon pinatas – hang two or three balloons filled with water from string in the air and the kids must break one balloon before moving on.
  • A water fill relay – a large bucket at one end, kids scoop up a cup of water and then run down and dump it into a plastic jug, they run back and forth scooping up water and dumping it again until jug is full of water.
  • Lay some hula hoops on the ground in a circle, kids have to jump around the circle of hoops three times before moving on
  • Have a water pistol filled with water, place three paper shapes in a tree/bush, kids have to squirt all three with water before moving on.

  • Set up some goals and have the kids kick a ball three times to see if they can get it in the goals.
  • Hang some balloons under a table and have the kids crawl through the balloon obstacle course
  • Sit five buckets of water on the ground in a straight line and kids have to go as fast as they can, weaving in and out the buckets.
  • Balance on a retaining wall
  • Newspaper walk – kids are handed three sheets of newspaper and must place one beneath every step they take.
  • To finish, kids sit on the grass, bend their knees, lean back and lock their elbows, then crabwalk as straight and as fast as they can to the finish line.

DIY percussion – use kitchen equipment and utensils

  • Drums- grab some pots from the kitchen and turn them upside down.
  • Wooden spoons – use these as drum sticks or just bang them together to make a noise
  • Plastic bottles – fill bottles with sand, rice, pasta and tightly shut and shake
  • Create your own musical instruments

Anything else?

Take your dog for a walk

Throw a frisbee in the park

Go fishing

Go on a bushwalk

Climb a tree

Fly a kite

Lie on grass and look up to the trees and clouds

Climb a mountain and look at the view

Go birdwatching

Go on a picnic at your local park

Water games- balloons, water pistols, floating toy boats in buckets

Ball games – piggy in the middle, catch, roll ball, poison ball, backyard soccer

Chalk drawing – outdoor chalk and draw on concrete

Wash toys

Paper planes – competition with family

Blow bubbles

Dinner picnic

Mud kitchen

Parachute play – wave a large sheet up and down

Musical daydreaming – play music, lie down and look at the clouds

Musical hoops – once music stops, stop dancing and stand inside hoops

Musical water play – ducks, boats, fish and sing nursery rhymes

Expressive dance – dances around with scarves, streamers, ribbons

Nature bingo – tick off a list

Alphabetical nature walk – find objects with names that start with each letter

Share your creative ideas with your friends!