When Spring Break is approaching most parents get really excited…. at first! Suddenly half-way through we hear the dreaded “I’m bored” from one or all of our children. Since our kids are usually in school all day they are used to structure and routine and when faced with unlimited free time for some reason they can’t always figure out how to fill it. This is a great opportunity for us to get creative, active and adventurous with our kids by participating in some of these amazingly fun activities.
1. Get Crafty – Build a Bird Feeder
A great way to keep your kids busy is to keep their hands busy. And crafts are a wonderful and creative way to keep little hands and minds entertained. With the weather getting nice outside a great craft to do with your kids is build a bird feeder. This is very easy to make and you might even have all of the materials at home right now.
What You’ll Need:
- Clean 1-liter soda bottle
- Craft knife
- 2 wooden spoons
- small eye screw
- Length of twine for hanging
How To Make It:
Start by drawing a 1/2-inch asterisk on the side of a clean 1-liter soda bottle, about 4 inches from the bottom. Rotate the bottle 90 degrees and draw another asterisk 2 inches from the bottom. Draw a 1-inch-wide circle opposite each asterisk. Use a craft knife to slit the asterisk lines and cut out the circles (a parent’s job). Insert a wooden spoon handle first through each hole and then through the opposite asterisk, as shown. Remove the bottle cap and twist a small eye screw into the top of it for hanging. Finally, fill your feeder with birdseed, recap it, and use a length of twine to hang it from a tree. Watch with your kids as birds flock to your feeder and try to identify each kind of bird by observing their size, color and mannerisms.
2. Become a Day Camper
Almost every community has local YMCA branches. The YMCA offers amazing camps for Winter, Spring and Summer Breaks. Their day camp focuses on offering new experiences, skill building, a sense of community and lasting friendships. Some of the fun activities the campers participate in are swimming, sports, crafts, movies and more. Check out YMCA Spring Break Camps to find a camp near you and learn more about what they have to offer.
3. Kid Swap
If you think that you are the only parent looking for things to keep your kids busy, you are SO wrong. Check with the parents of your kid’s school playmates – or the kids in your neighborhood – and arrange a kid swap. Your kids could spend Tuesday afternoon at their house and their kids could spend Wednesday afternoon at yours. Everyone will be thankful to be playing with their friends and they all will definitely be entertained the entire time.
4. Explore a Museum
Who says learning can’t be fun? If you haven’t visited a museum lately with your children, Spring Break is a perfect time. If you aren’t familiar with any in your area there is a great website called Museum Spot that can help you search by location, specialty, top museums, and must-sees.
With the help of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, here are some tips to help you make the most of your museum experience:
- Don’t feel like you need to see the entire museum in one day.
- Teach your kids not to touch or climb on objects unless it is an interactive exhibit.
- Walk, don’t run.
- Feed your kids before you go; eating usually isn’t allowed inside the exhibits.
- Play “I spy” in one of your favorite galleries.
- On your way home, discuss your visit. What was each person’s favorite object or gallery?
- Create a work of art together when you get home. Each person can sketch their favorite part of the day.
5. Plan a Staycation
If you don’t have enough time or money to go on a Spring Break vacation, then plan a Staycation. You can just spend a night or a weekend at a local resort and enjoy all of the same amenities and excitement of being out-of-town. Look for hotels that offer special staycation rates and have fun activities for the kids like miniature golf, movie night at the pool and on-site water parks. It’ll be a trip you’ll never forget.
6. Go Backyard Camping
Camping is fun at any age and sleeping in a tent with your friends is probably the best sleepover a kid could ever have.
Follow these steps for the perfect backyard camping experience:
- Set up your tent
- Prepare your sleeping bags
- Fill the tent with soft toys, pillows, and blankets
- Purchase or make fun camping food: pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, cookies
- Light a bonfire and roast marshmallows (if possible)
- Plan some activities: stargaze, sing campfire songs, play games
- Have a camera nearby to capture memories
7. Head to the Water Park
If you have a water park in your area they usually open up right around Spring Break, weather permitting. And there is no better way to welcome in the great weather and entertain the entire family. If there are no large water parks near you, search the internet for “splash pads” which is another fun way for your kids to participate in water play.
8. Visit Your Local Library
Have you ever thought about starting a book club with your kids? It is always great fun to go to the local library, pick out a book together and read it over spring break. If you aren’t sure what the best book is for your child, consult the “Best Children’s Book by Age” guide provided by parents.com. They have done all of the work and categorized your best choices for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kids and tweens. Read a book together and discuss it at the end of each chapter or when you are done with the book. It’s a great way for you and your kids to experience something together.
9. Plant an Herb Garden
Spring is a great time to help your entire family find their green thumbs. Whether you have space in your yard to plant a full garden or you plant just a few in pots, you will be amazed at how much fun gardening can be with your kids.
Planning the garden, picking out the plants, preparing the soil, getting dirty digging holes, and watering are all activities that children love to do. And they will get very excited when it is time to go outside and gather what you need for dinner, or to make a tea. As an added bonus, besides the obvious culinary uses for herbs, some of the more common herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, and mint have amazing health benefits such as improving digestion, relieving arthritis, clearing up acne, and lowering stress.
10. Have a Lemonade Stand
Wake up your kid’s inner-entrepreneur by encouraging them to set up a lemonade stand. You can help them get prepared by assisting in making a list of all of things they will need, setting the price, making the lemonade, setting up their table, making signs, and asking friends to help out. You can even encourage your children to be little philanthropists by donating some of their proceeds to a local food bank or children’s hospital.
11. Become Little Bakers
Kids LOVE to bake. Everything from using the mixer to licking the frosting off of the spoon is exciting to little ones. And there are so many fun Spring cupcake decorating ideas like these adorable sweet wildflower cupcakes from Spoonful.
- Cupcakes (made from your favorite recipe)
- Yellow frosting
- Colored gumdrops
- Large marshmallows
To make one, first frost a cupcake prepared from your favorite recipe with yellow icing and place a colored gumdrop in the center. Next, set a large marshmallow on its side, press it flat with your palm, then cut it in thirds with kitchen shears. Repeat with a second marshmallow and arrange the petals around the gumdrop center.
12. Make a Dream Board
Break out the markers, poster board, glitter, glue sticks and stacks of magazines! A super fun project for your kids to do during their break is make a dream board. Encourage them to find ways to creatively express what their hopes and dreams are and what they are passionate about through words and pictures.
Here are some questions to have them ask themselves before they get started:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What would you like to learn to do?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What kind of person do you want to be?
- Where do you dream of going?
- Who do you love?
Place their dream board in their room where it can be a daily reminder of their goals.
13. Activity Grab Bag
Sometimes when you are hearing a chorus of children moaning “I’m bored” it’s usually because they just can’t think of anything to do. Make a list of all of the things they can do and put them on little pieces of paper in a bag. You can include anything like play a board game, jump rope, color, rollerblade, dance, ride bikes, play tag, build a fort, or make up a gymnastics routine. Anytime you hear them say “I’m bored” they grab an activity out the bag and do it.
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