With the help of Bliss mum Kylie we have compiled a list of ideas to keep the kids busy and having truckloads of fun these school holidays.
What free activities are there to do in Canberra?
(Not from Canberra? no need to leave… just scroll down)
If it’s a sunny day then pack up a picnic and head out to one of Canberra’s great parks. Oh and don’t forget to throw the bikes and helmets in the boot if you’ve got room.
Here’s our top picks…
Kambah Adventure Playground, (Springbett St, Kambah) is a top spot for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. There’s several flying foxes, a ‘tarzan’ swing and a space net as well as a picnic area, toilets and a bbq.
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is an easy 40min drive from Canberra and a great spot for the kids to explore, with lots of walking trails, a playground and a visitor centre. Check out www.tidbinbilla.com.au for more info.
Yerrabi Pond, off Gundaroo Dr in Gungahlin is great pick for those on the Northside. Again, there’s an ‘adventure’ playground complete with flying fox and a skate bowl that caters to beginners and experts alike. If your kids get a kick out of wildlife it’s also a great place to hang out with the ducks. We were going to suggest taking some bread to feed them but on further investigation this appears to be a bad idea (not good for the duckies little tummies it seems!) So, after a quick google, we found these interesting alternatives.
• Grapes cut in half
• Cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed or other grains
• Frozen peas that have been defrosted
• Duck feed pellets available from farm supply stores
There’s also the Botanical Gardens at Black Mountain, John Knight Park in Belconnen and Commonwealth Park at Lake Burley Griffin. Lake BG is a great spot for older kids to ride their bikes along the paths.
But what if its too cold to be outside?
Let’s be honest – this is going to be the case more often than not here in the Nation’s Capital isn’t it? If you still need to get out of the house then try these options:
War Memorial – free AND educational!
Monkey Mania at DFO www.monkeymania.com.au/fyshwick
Got a dino-mad toddler? The National Dinosaur Museum at Gold Creek might take their fancy. Again, it requires a bit of $$ for adults and older kids but is free for under 4’s. Bear in mind though that they aren’t open on Fridays. www.nationaldinosaurmuseum.com.au
Now here’s the cool bit.
(Non-Canberrans start reading again here…)
Our Bliss mums’ top picks for staying at home and having good old fashioned fun!
In the Kitchen
• Ice and decorate Arrowroot biscuits or cupcakes with lollies, fruit, nuts or sprinkles.
• Grab a cheap packet cake mix from the supermarket and teach them the fine art of adding eggs and milk. (Cook it in the microwave and they will see it rise before there very eyes.)
• Using a pancake batter, make letter shaped pancakes using a pouring jug. Adult supervision required obviously but Kylie says this is her tribes all-time favourite activity.
• Use a popcorn maker or buy microwave popcorn packets and let the popping begin! There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh cooked popcorn is there?
• Play a beginner’s version of Ready, Steady, Cook. Grab 4-5 random ingredients from the pantry or fridge and have them come up with something yummy for lunch.
• Make play dough – http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/Play-Dough-L926.html
Craft / Make&Do
• Every kid loves a cubby house. Grab blankets, sheets, chairs and tables and create your very own Grand Design.
• How about paper aeroplane races?
• Use water-based paints to paint pictures on the windows. Washes off easily with Spray and Wipe.
• Raid the recycling bin and make cities/towns, animals, farms, drums, maracas etc. with milk bottles and cereal boxes. Also grab some texters, tape and scissors. A hint learned from experience here is to give them masking tape instead of cello tape – easier for little fingers to find the end.
• Balloon juggling balls = hours of fun and the chance to learn a cool new party trick. They make up really quickly and easily too. Find a great set of instructions here – www.abc.net.au/science/surfingscientist/jugglingballs.htm
• Ever made a ‘Grassy Head’ – Yet another uber cool activity. Check out http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/grass-heads.html
• Grab a bag of pipe cleaners from the craft shop and let them go crazy. Google ‘pipe cleaner craft’ for loads of inspiration.
• If you’ve been blessed with the talent of crochet, knitting or sewing spend an hour or so passing on the art to your cherubs… lots of patience and that aforementioned bowl of popcorn will possibly be required.
• Or there’s always the easier and simpler form of French Knitting for the rest of us.
• Get online! There’s some awesome ideas and instructions to get those creative juices flowing. Check out http://funcraftskids.com/polar-bear-marshmallow-hot-chocolate/
• Lastly, get them to perform a play or musical using the instruments they made from the recycling. Film it on your camera or phone and then have Movie Night and play it back on the ‘big screen’ (ie. tv or computer)
Oh and finally, we can’t go without mentioning possibly the most exciting thing to hit Canberra this season – ICE SKATING in Garema Place? Yes, it’s true! http://www.canberrayourfuture.com.au/portal/living/article/skate-in-the-city/ for more info.
Hopefully we’ve given you a few ideas to help you get through the next few weeks. We welcome little people at Bliss too so if you’re wanting to come and visit us for a browse then feel free to bring the kids. Tulips Cafe next door has a small playground so you can recharge with coffee and cake while they play.