When kids have a break from school (even if you homeschool), parents and grandparents have an opportunity to make great memories.
Have a Family Meeting
Before you take a break this spring, talk with your family about what their expectations are. If you’re hoping to get organized, the kids are hoping to play video games, and dad wants to go camping, no one will be happy. You may have time for all of those things, but not without planning. After coming to some agreements, create a schedule for the week. Make sure the kids know what the limits on screen time are. If you decide you’d like some spontaneity, opt for an activity jar. Write everything you’d like to do on separate pieces of paper and draw them from a jar when you’re ready for something to do.
30 Ideas to Get You Started
Some of these options are even more fun with friends. Talk with other families taking a break at the same time you are and plan a fun week together.
1. Check a family/church events calendar. Many interesting classes and programs are scheduled to coincide with spring break.
2. Make time for fitness. Whether you exercise indoors or out, consider options like roller or ice skating, swimming, biking, hiking, and tennis.
3. Visit area attractions. Local museums and zoos are great places to spend time during spring break.
4. Have a craft day. There’s no excuse not to come up with a great craft idea. Check out my Spring Break board on Pinterest for some options.
5. See a movie. Go to the theater or watch at home. A great DVD series my family loves is Sue Thomas F.B. Eye.
6. Host a tournament. Our church has had a combination video game/ping pong tourney that is a big hit with my family, but we’ve also created our own family Olympics in past years. Come up with a list of games to compete in. We’ve done darts, Catch Phrase, cake decorating, relays and more.
7. Go shopping. It’s a fun time to check out seasonal fashions at the mall or to get a bargain at a thrift store.
8. Have a surprise a day. I did this with my kids when my husband and oldest son were on a mission trip. I found free attractions and used gift cards and Groupons that I had saved to surprise them in some small way every day and they loved it.
9. Have a sleepover. Kids love to have sleepovers with their friends or cousins and it keeps them busy!
10. Let them check out 50 great websites for kids. It’s like an amusement park online.
11. Do a unit study for a day. Homeschoolers are familiar with studying a subject from every angle (including literature, art, and field trips, for example). Take a day to study a subject of interest in depth. Here’s an example on snow–probably the last thing you want to study over spring break!
12. Go on a parkathon. Take the kids to many different parks in your area. Have them vote on their favorite.
13. Take time to freshen up the house. Sort seasonal clothing and spend time giving kids’ bedrooms or playrooms a fresh, organized look.
14. Go to the library. You can get books, movies, audiobooks, and activity kits at many branches. Enjoy the materials as a family.
15. Cook together. Most kids love to cook. Bake up some meals or goodies to put in the freezer or to give to a shut-in.
16. Take a no-limits road trip. Start heading out of town and stop wherever the kids want to stop. You may have to head straight home when you’re through!
17. Have a camp in or out. If it’s too cool outside to sleep, let the kids create their own fort to sleep in. Make s’mores over a fire or in the oven.
18. Have a picnic. Whether you eat outside or on a blanket inside, be sure to have special foods you don’t normally eat.
19. Have family devotions. It’s hard to carve out time for devotions that include fun object lessons in the midst of school and extra-curriculars, so take the time to do them this week.
20. Go geocaching. Check out this website to learn more.
21. Go fishing. There is no such thing as bad fishing weather for a die-hard fisherman.
22. Plan your own drama, puppet, magic, or talent show. Invite family, friends, or neighbors to watch.
23. Fly a kite. You can buy one or make your own. Just make sure you have plenty of string.
24. Create your own scavenger hunt. Here’s how. You could combine this with a surprise a day.
25. Work on a puzzle together. A week gives you plenty of time to finish it.
26. Garden together. Go to the garden center together and let your children have their own plants to care for.
27. Have or go to a garage sale. Teach your child to negotiate.
28. Teach your kids something you’re good at. Having a grandparent teach a skill is particularly special.
29. Volunteer together. Look for a chance to help out at church, in your neighborhood, or community.
30. Play games. Whether you play board games, video games, or outdoor games, the kids will love spending time with you.
Listen to my interview on KFUO radio on this subject!
What’s your favorite way to spend spring break or time off from school?