Spring break is upon us. Your kids are looking forward to time off school and you are wishing you could afford a vacation to somewhere warm and beachy. But a bubble bath or a dip in the local indoor pool is as close as you’ll be getting to the sea. So the question is…what can we do with the kids over spring break so they feel special, while not spending a small fortune AND avoiding being overly busy? Be creative in spite of the obstacles you face. The kids will appreciate it and it will create great memories for the entire family.
1. Have a plan. Create a calendar for the week and focus on one or two special things you can do each day. Our family is planning two things for each day of break. Some will be done at home (baking/art projects) and some will be done around town (trip to the donut shop, science museum). Having a plan will help everyone involved and get the kids excited about what’s happening.
2. Set guidelines. Too many days at home in a row can lead to a lot of screen time for many of our kiddos. Let them have fun with screens and devices, but don’t let them become isolated from family and friends. We’ve heard of families doing time limits for their kids, as well as setting a limit for a certain number of shows or movies per day.
3. Get creative and do the day-to-day differently. Going on vacation allows us to get away from the norm and try new things. A staycation should be similar. Routine is helpful – especially for those with younger kids – but try throwing in some new activities to make your staycation special and memorable.
4. Act like it’s a real vacation. Take pictures. Stay up and sleep in a little later. Scrapbook. Make it memorable. We’ve heard of families who pretend their home is a hotel for the day. They create a make-shift front desk, have the kids “check in”, serve room service and watch special movies.
5. Make time to do what you want. Spring break doesn’t have to be go-go-go all week long. Everyone needs space to do their own thing, so make sure this happens each day as well. Try to to have one-on-one time with each child and/or your significant other; it'll be appreciated by all. Could you arrange for childcare or have a playdate with another family to get this done? Could a relative help out for an hour or two?
Below are links to lists of ideas for planning a staycation. Remember that fun doesn’t have to come with spending tons of money or laying on the beach. Have fun and enjoy a great week with your family!