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Creative “Staycation” Ideas for Spring Break

Creative “Staycation” Ideas for Spring Break

If you conduct a search on Pinterest for "spring break ideas for kids," here's a sampling of what you'll find:

  • 30 Science Experiments for Kids
  • 40 Indoor Kid Activities and Crafts
  • 500+ Spring Break Boredom-Busters
  • [and our personal favorite] Water Blob Tutorial

As parents, we usually have one of two reactions to lists like these:

Reaction #1 [enthusiasm]: Boom! It's go-time...I was born for this! Commence extensive supply shopping and daily activity scheduling.

Reaction #2 [fear and loathing]: NO!!! I barely survived this season of snow days! I'm out of ideas...and sanity! Commence DVD movie binge now. (We prefer to spin this as "Family Movie Marathon.") 

If you're like parent #1, check out the staycation section below. We have a few more ideas to add to your list. Go crazy!

If you're like parent #2, however, we're here to encourage you with this brief public service announcement: You are NOT the official fun-ship cruise director for your kids' spring break! 

That's not our job description as parents, despite what our kids might assume, or what Pinterest suggests. We don't have to entertain our kids like Mary Poppins for every waking moment of their day.

So take a deep breath and don't let the beast of guilt or comparison whisper otherwise. An important part of teaching our kids about unconditional love is modeling self-acceptance and embracing how God uniquely wired each of us.

Plan spring break with what's realistic for you and your kids, such as focusing on one hour per day that's intentionally planned with something you can enthusiastically present as a fun activity. (It gives you an answer for the nagging question, "Mom, what are we going to do?")

And if you're a parent with a job schedule that doesn't allow time off for spring break—we hear ya! Take advantage of a week without homework and bedtime battles and celebrate spring break by planning some special evening activities.

Below are some fun, meaningful ideas for spring break that can fit almost any schedule—and don't require much prep or budget—or glitter.

Creative “Staycation” Ideas for Spring Break

  • Fort Fun: Drop a big pile of sheets and blankets in the living room and challenge your kids to build the most epic fort possible. Get really crazy and throw in some Christmas lights. (See the fort-building video links in the next section.)
  • Kids' Video tutorials: Explore YouTube with your children and watch some of the great “how-to” videos other kids have created. Ask them to brainstorm their favorite things they’re good at, and help them create “how-to” videos. You can even set up a private channel on Youtube, upload your videos, and share them with grandparents and friends. Click here for a great sample tutorial.
  • How-Much-Can-You-Read-a-Thon: At the start of spring break, let everyone pick out a bunch of books at the library. Create and display a chart for each child’s reading goals for the week. Also create a measurable “team goal” as a family—such as how many total pages combined might be read by everyone—and mark daily progress toward that goal on a visual graph. Offer a celebration, such as a family dinner at a favorite restaurant, to celebrate the team goal, and share things you’ve read about.
  • Kids' Cook-off: Look through a favorite cookbook or brainstorm fun dinner ideas to make, and invite your kids to help create every part of the meal as you teach them skills for each part. Example: Lasagna, homemade bread, salad and dessert. Create place-settings or special place-mats for each family member.
  • Clean up and donate: Research local charitable organizations with your kids and learn about items they're needing. Next select a closet, toy area, or dresser of clothes and sort. Organize into piles labeled Keep, Donate, and Toss. Make a family challenge for how much you can put into the donate pile. Make sure to bring the kids along for the donation drop!
  • Serve/Volunteer: Spring break is a great opportunity for older kids to explore local opportunities to serve in a soup kitchen, or even simple things like cleaning up a neighbor's yard, or picking up trash in the local park.
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