Moms, it’s that time of year again! The week that kids look forward to all winter long, and the week that parents don’t… Spring break has been underway around the country for a few weeks now, and whether you have one kid on break or multiple home at different times, it’s easy to run out of ways to entertain them. Luckily, it’s just as easy to jump back into the spring break attitude with a few fresh ideas and activities. The kids will have so much fun they won’t want to go back to school on Monday morning! (Uh oh, is that a good thing?)
Go to a water park
Kids LOVE water parks. Seriously. When I worked at a summer camp, we went to a water park one day and the kids played and swam so much that the entire bus ride home was completely silent! And don’t worry — even if the weather’s not great, there are indoor places where it’s just as much fun to splash around, even when you have to wear your scarf and mittens to walk back to the car.
Let the kids cook dinner…and don’t forget dessert!
They’ll love picking out or even creating their own recipes, so let them go crazy! Fun and kid-friendly foods — like homemade pizza with their very own toppings, doughs they can kneed themselves, and salads they can toss by hand — are probably the easiest, but try to be creative in order to inspire the inner chef in them. Preparing midday snacks is a fun activity as well. Choosing personalized ingredients for their very own trail mix or getting silly with the powdered sugar in “puppy chow” or “muddy buddies” (there are hundreds of online recipes for this delicious and chocolatey delight) will keep the kids entertained for a while.
Tour a college
Although this seems like something you would do with older children, younger kids will also enjoy visiting a university campus. Plus, there’s no harm in doing some early college idea-planting in today’s young minds! If your children are younger, an official campus tour might not be super fun since tour guides tend to spit out a load of information that won’t be applicable to them for a long time. But, it’s fun (and totally allowed at most colleges) to walk right onto campus and explore. See what’s going on, people watch, play Frisbee on a grassy lawn, tour the campus book store, and re-live your old college glory days! Or something like that…
Take a road trip to visit a family member or old friend
It doesn’t have to be far away (or even in a different city!), but it’s fun to see people you haven’t seen in a while, and even stay over for a night if they’re so generous. The different setting will occupy the kids’ minds for a while, and there will be lots of “stuff” to do along the way, whether it’s road trip games or playing at a new park. Take the time to make stops at places the kids might find fun and try to make it memorable with pictures or souvenirs!
Have a fun craft or creative activity for every day of the week. This may not work if your kids don’t like crafts, but perhaps you could inspire them to experiment in the arts! Try a multi-step craft where they add a little more to it each day and finish it by the end of the week. Crafts involving nature (like starting a vegetable garden or making a bird feeder) or art where they can get messy (think paint splattering…) are usually pretty popular.
Game night! (or day)
Go out and get a few new games–boardgames, outside games, card games, whatever. It’s fun to find a new game that your kid loves and that will occupy them forever. Try to set up a tournament or competition between the the siblings, neighborhood kids, or anyone who wants to play. And don’t forget a grand prize!
Go roller skating! That’s right…skating, not blading. It’s probably something your kids have never done and if they like ice skating, they’ll most likely love roller skating as well. Speaking of ice skating, this is also a great idea and can take up a whole afternoon!
Check out a traveling exhibit
You can go to any museum in your city, but try to look for one with a temporary exhibit that won’t be around for a long time. The experience will be more memorable since it could be the only time in your child’s life that he or she will see it.
Bike, don’t drive!
If it’s safe, try to bike everywhere instead of driving for a day. It’s good exercise and also fun to see your town in from a different point of view — the bike lane!
Pick your own fresh fruit
Some fruits can be pricey at the grocery store, but there are many places you can go to pick your own produce. Oranges, apples, strawberries — whatever fruit you fancy, there is likely a grove or field full of ripe goodies just waiting to be hand-plucked and eaten by your family!