A cheap holiday is best

Planning and a little creativity were key to keeping the kids "flat out" and happy.
Planning and a little creativity were key to keeping the kids "flat out" and happy. Sergiy Bykhunenko

SCHOOL holidays are a time for parents to have fun with the kids, even if funds are limited.

Parenting resource website Sunny Coast Kids publisher Lara Hodgson said the holidays were the perfect time for parents to dedicate quality time with their children but keeping them entertained didn't have to involve spending a fortune on outings.

The mother of two said planning and a little creativity were key to keeping the kids "flat out" and happy.

"There's still plenty to do you don't have too sit and watch television all day," she said. But be sure to also give kids time at home to play and don't schedule too much in, she advised.

To help parents and kids beat holiday boredom, the mother of two suggested the following budget-friendly holiday activities.

Check local libraries and art galleries and shopping centres for school holiday activities and workshops: Most libraries will put on craft activities or workshops which are usually free or at low-cost.

Some shopping centres host free face painting, shows and concerts during the school holiday period. Entry into the shopping centre is free but to avoid blowing the budget and spending money or being tempted to spend money at the centre leave the credit cards at home at just bring a set amount with you. Go online and find out what's happening she suggested.

Get outdoors: "Get the kids outdoors they love it. But of course don't forget sunscreen, a hat and water. With my kids we enjoy going for picnics, bike or scooter rides," Ms Hodgson said.

"Beaches and parks usually have great paths and tracks to ride along.

"To cut costs and provide an inexpensive lunch what we do as a family is we will pack plates, cups, bowls and then pop into a supermarket and pick up rolls, deli meat, a bottle of drink and maybe a treat for lunch instead of spending money on take-away foods."

The kids still see it as a treat even if you are still buying lunch from the supermarket.

Science experiments: The internet is a great place to find science experiments for the kids to do at home. Explore your garden, look and learn about what's growing and the insects and bugs that you find.

Playtime at home: There's stacks of simple things parents can do with their kids around the house both indoors and outdoors. "A lot of kids learn through play," Ms Hodgson said. Playdough fingerpainting, bubbles, ball games, dress ups were listed as some of her family's favourties.

"Pitch a tent in the backyard, blow up a bunch of balloons, kids love that stuff," she said and it will keep them occupied for ages.

"Play with them, don't expect them to entertain themselves, the mother of two advised. A lot of kids learn through play," she added.

For more information or ideas visit

Topics:  parenting tips school holiday activities smart shopper

Mayor backs parents in fight to solve youth violence

POLICE PRIORITY: Mayor Jack Dempsey said the police should be the first port of call for people who saw or experiencing physical or verbal assaults.

But victims told they must report crimes to police

Detective says murder most complex he's investigated

VICTIM: Gary John Ryan was murdered on August 23.

Five people now charged over gruesome killing

Three Rs with a difference during Day for Daniel

DAY FOR DANIEL: St Mary's Catholic Primary School students, including Ella Belluz, Oliver Boge, Ava Gardiner and Damon Broughton, will dress in red today.

Students across region to wear red today

Local Partners

A Bundy West prep teacher prepares to bid farewell

BUNDABERG West Prep teacher Heather Robinson is an icon who will be sadly missed as she retires at the end of this year.

Foot stomping, eclectic gig coming to Bucca

GIG: 8 Ball Aitken will play at Bucca Hotel this weekend.

Blues artist plays at Bucca Hotel

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Queensland's oldest pipe band needs your support

ALL THINGS CELTIC: The Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band is coming to the Moncrieff.

"Keep Bundaberg's Scottish band entertaining for many more years”

MacBook fires up: New "touchbar" will include emojis

COULD emojis help the MacBook again deliver a laptop revolution?

Angus T. Jones got miserable on Two and a Half Men

Child star's misery while shooting 'Two and a Half Men'

Bachelorette shock: "This isn't how it's supposed to go!"

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

Radio presenter's shocking joke about Dreamworld victims

Images from the scene after four people died on a ride at Dreamworld at the Gold Coast

Radio host taken off air after tactless Dreamworld joke

The Bachelorette fans rally around devastated Matty J

The Bachelorette runner-up Matty Johnson.

CALLS for reality dating show's runner-up to be the next Bachelor.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Drop in rental vacancies for Bundaberg

ALL OVER: The decline was across the state.

Encouraging signs for market

6 houses in Gympie under $200,000

$170, 000, 9 Norman St, Gympie

These Gympie houses are perfect for investors or first home-buyers

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance