by Gael Myers, Accredited Practising Dietitian


Keep the kids entertained and out of mischief this school holidays with our DIY backyard Royal Show ideas. All the fun of a day out without the hefty pricetag!

Sideshow alley

There are so many options to create your own sideshow alley at home. Take the excitement level up a notch by purchasing some small items to give away as prizes (e.g. bouncy balls, novelty stationery items, stickers or jump ropes).

  • Apple on a string: You’ll need one apple per player. Tie a piece of string to the stem of each apple and hang them from a tree or clothesline. Each player must put their hands behind their back and try to bite into the apple. The first person to take 3 bites is the winner! Don’t throw them away after the first 3 bites though! Untie apples and give to players to munch on as a Crunch&Sip snack.
  • Ring toss: For a homemade version use paper plates with the middle section cut out for the rings, and a piece of dowel pushed firmly into the grass for the target.
  • House of cards minute to win it: How high can you make your house of cards before the timer runs out? Be careful! Any player whose house topples during the judging will be disqualified.
  • Bowling game: Line up full water bottles and see how many each player can knock down.

Apple on a string

Ring toss

Backyard bowling

House of cards

Cookery competition

Turn up the heat with a Junior Masterchef competition in your kitchen. You can print your own chef hats here. Challenge your kids to come up with a recipe featuring a hero vegetable or make one of these classic show snacks:

The competition winner could win dish washing immunity! If you have a large brood, see if they can work together to make dinner for the family.

Tutti Frutti popsicles

Banana smoothie

Mexican street corn

Dog show

Test your furry friend’s agility, speed and precision and see if they have what it takes to be a champion. Help your kids to use household items like cardboard boxes, a washing basket, hoops, play equipment or chairs to setup an obstacle course in the backyard or at the park. Make sure you have some treats handy to help motivate your pup (or cat or rabbit) to go for gold!

Dog show 1

Dog show 2

Dog show 3

Dog show 4


Capture the thrill of a ride on the roller coaster or a spin around the ferris wheel with adrenaline-filled adventures in the great outdoors.

  • Wind your way through the trees on one of WA’s many mountain bike trails
  • Grab some cardboard boxes and go sandboarding down the dunes of Lancelin
  • Switch off the screens and encourage the family to get back into nature for a good old fashioned tree climb.
  • Find a nearby park for some flying fox fun

Wood chopping competition

Build a giant tumbling tower set!

You need to make 54 blocks to play this game. Ideally use timber that is approximately 35mm high and 7 cm wide. Each block will need to be cut so that the length is 3 x the width of the post (e.g. 210 mm if your timber  is 70mm wide).

After doing the maths, cut the timber to the required length. Some hardware stores will cut timber for you, or, if your kids are a little older, it’s a great opportunity to teach them how to use a saw. Then sand the edges and voila – your homemade giant tumbling tower set is ready to go!

Build the tower by placing three blocks together so they form a square, the next three blocks will go on top of these but rotated by 90° (see picture below). Continue doing this until all the blocks are used up. Each player takes it in turns to try to remove a block from the stack using one hand only. The removed block is placed at the top of the tower. Blocks cannot be taken from the top two levels. The game ends when a player causes the tower to topple while trying to remove a block.

Giant tumbling tower

Yellow Brick Road

Can your kids check off each of these fruit and vegetable activities by the end of the holidays?

  • Taste a vegetable you’ve never had before
  • Research bush fruit and vegies and share this information with the family during dinner
  • Find a funny vegetable pun
  • Find out why eggplant and apples start going brown after you cut them with this science activity
  • Grow a vegetable like celery, spring onions or potatoes from scraps

Yellow Brick Road


Keep your kids entertained over the holidays with a lucky dip bag of craft items and activities. Fill your showbag with items to inspire their creativity like origami paper, pipe cleaners, a template for making a nature mask, watercolour pencils and a pad of paper, a template for making pompoms and some wool, crepe paper or some small stones, paint and paint brushes.


Making pompoms

Rock painting

Animal displays

One of my favourite things to do at the Royal Show is to wander through the pavilions and check out the cute and cuddly animals in the nursery, the beautiful bovine, sassy alpacas and majestic horses. Get your dose of animal cuteness this year with an excursion to one of WA’s other great animal sanctuaries. There are loads of options, here are just a few:



Nothing brings the family together after a busy day of activity quite like looking up in awe at the fireworks. Bring the magic of a light and colour show to your home with some of these ideas: 

  • Once the sun goes down, turn out the lights and head outside. Use glow sticks to create beautiful patterns in the air. You could even choreograph a glow stick dance routine or take some creative photos. As glow sticks aren't recommended for young kids this activity is best saved for school-aged children.
  • Take a night time car trip away from the lights of the city to gaze up at the night sky. See if you can spot any constellations or make up your own. If you’re very lucky you might even see a shooting star!
  • Create a fairy den. Help your kids to make a cubby using couch cushions, blankets, chairs, or whatever you have handy. String up some fairy lights and the whole family can crawl in for story time.

Glow sticks

See the stars

Fairy den

We’d love to hear your family-friendly adventure ideas – add them to the comments section below!

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