Making the Most of a Spring Break At Home

Spring break is upon us and for many families, it’s a time of travel and getting away, but for many more, it’s just another week at the office with the kids out of school.  Whereas some families will have kids in all-day camps, it’s not always possible or financially feasible for all families to do this.  Not to mention, not all kids want to wake up early on their holidays just to go off somewhere that can sometimes be a lot like school (depending on the camp).  So how can we maximize the time so that the kids feel like they have an actual holiday from school?  How can you keep yourself sane with kids running around the house all day if you’re home?

Step 1: Plan Outings

Places like Science Centres, Museums, Aquariums, Zoos, and Planetariums are great places to go over the holidays and sometimes you may even find specials for the holiday time to help with the costs.  Although many of these can cost a small fortune by the time you’ve gotten everyone in, the kids are bound to have a good time and may even learn something in the process.

There are also tons of low-budget outings that you can plan with your kids.  I myself am planning to take the kids to Stevenson, where they film Once Upon A Time (we’re fans) one of our days off.  We don’t need more than the cost of gas, but it’ll be something they hopefully enjoy and something we wouldn’t do when they’re in school.  If you’re in the midst of the winter storm, simple things like sledding and skating can be easy favourites for everyone.  Especially if followed up with some nice hot chocolate.

Finally, check out Groupons for activities and events that are cheap and fun.  You may find yourself at a Trampoline Park, a 3D Escape House (if you’re kids are old enough), or taking a Fencing Lesson with your kids.  The more open you are to trying something new and unique with your kids, the more options that are in your budget will be available.

Step 2: Have Your Kids Come Up With a To-Do List

No matter how many outings you have, you will not be entertaining your children 24/7.  Although many kids will be great at entertaining themselves, not all are.  To avoid the always-obnoxious, “I’m bored!” coming from your child(ren) throughout the week (or two, depending on where you live), start the week off with your child coming up with a long-enough list of things s/he can do if s/he feels bored at any point.

Step 3: Plan for One Bigger “Project”

I’m not talking about a school-like project, but rather something fun that your kid will actually be into and hopefully help avoid the “bored” times.  For example, if your child is into photography, plan to create a photo book with their pictures, taking them out for walks and trips to take the pictures they want for their book.  If they’re into video, have them make a short film, either using characters or friends.  If your child is into dinosaurs, make a paper maché dinosaur.  There are tons of options and it will be dependent on your child’s interests as to what you end up doing.

Step 4: Get the Kids to Help Out at Home in a Fun Way

Look, if they’re going to be around the house, you might as well put them to use without them necessarily realizing it.  Set up a week where the kids learn to cook meals from around the world, or a contest as to who can clean the fastest or best with some fun reward at the end, or a scavenger hunt where part of it involves cleaning.  There are many ways to keep kids occupied in a way that helps you while letting them have fun.  Hopefully it would also teach them that chores are only as boring as you make them.

Whatever you do though, just try to enjoy the time with your kids at home!

By Tracy Cassels

March 09, 2015