Spring Break is here and the kids are off. Many parents begin to panic at how they will fill their child’s time. So, they source out a bunch of outings they can take their kids on. Ah…Now the only down time they’ll have to manage is from dinner till bedtime. “Keep them busy!” is everyone’s motto.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Although some outings are nice, I would like to recommend a different, more slow and meaningful way of passing the time of Spring Break. Notice the word “Break” It means that everyone should enjoy a break from normal jobs, duties, and work. It also means enjoying a different kind of relationship with mom or dad – a more relaxed and casual one.
Here are 10 fun ideas that WON”T have you being their entertainer or chauffeur as you drive them around. That’s exhausting. Instead, let’s let our kids be kids, and spend more of this “Break” connecting and bonding with our kiddies. Sound good? Great! Let’s get one thing set up first to help make this work really smoothly; a routine.
Just because the kids are on Spring Break doesn’t mean they don’t need routine. In fact, they do, they love it, and it’ll be a life saver for you. So, here’s a typical routine that is flexible enough for the holidays, but routined enough to allow everyone, including you, some well-deserved down time.
7am – Kids get up, make bed, get dressed, brush teeth and hair.
7:30am Enjoy family breakfast
8:00am – 9:00am Slow moving, good quality TV or DVD time
9 am – 10:30am – Independent Play Time (This can be extended if they’re involved in a game)
10:30am – 12 noon – Time with Mommy or Daddy
Noon – Eat Lunch Together. If weather is nice, enjoy a picnic in your backyard or garden. If not, have a picnic inside!
1pm – 2:30 pm Independent Play Time (This can be extended if they’re involved in an activity
2:30pm – 4 pm Time with Mommy or Daddy
4pm – 5pm Slow moving, good quality TV or DVD TIme
5pm Help set the table, prepare dinner, tidy up toys (You choose what is age appropriate)
6pm Eat dinner together.
6:30pm Family Time
7pm Everyone starts getting ready for bed, Reading story, etc.
8pm Lights Out
Now that a solid routine is established and laid out to the kids either in writing or visually through a picture checklist, let’s look at some activities that can fill certain times in the routine!
- Plant seeds after a trip to the Gardening Centre.
- Paint a mural together (Use long paper)
- Go for a nature walk or bike ride.
- Reads lots of stories or information books aloud.
- Make a batch of homemade Playdough and PLAY!
- Tidy & Pretty the garden together – leaves in bags, weeds picked, trees trimmed and pruned. Plant some flowers in flower baskets. Believe it or not, kids love doing this… if it’s with you. After, enjoy a treat together!
- Make a craft such as Designing a T-Shirt Decal, painting a piggy bank, creating bracelets, etc. Search Amazon for “Craft Toys”
- Go swimming.
- Bake some fun snacks, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, etc.
- Give the camera or flip camera and let your kids take pictures or videos of Nature in your backyard or elsewhere.
It is fine to repeat some of these activities because children of any age LOVE repetition. Maybe go on a nature walk or bike ride in a different location, but go do this again if you enjoy it too! Feel the slow rhythm that this routine will bring to your Spring Break. Your kids will be happier and therefore better behaved. You will have few, if any discipline issues because you’ll be guaranteeing that they’ll be getting everything they need and want from you. Happy Spring Break!