Parents might look at spring break with mixed emotions this year. After all, it seems as if their children recently returned to school and they have a lot of time to make up. However, even little learners need to rest. What will you do with this time?
Why not devote at least one day — perhaps an entire weekend — to nothing but relaxing with your clan? Here are ten fun family activities to try this spring break.
1. Build a Simple Machine
Do you have a budding builder or inventor among your clan? This activity reinforces basic scientific principles in a fun way — your kids won’t feel like they’re doing a homeschool assignment. It will still help them with their STEM courses when school returns to session.
Consider making a Rube Goldberg machine. What’s that? It’s a device that sets off a chain reaction, completing simple tasks convolutedly. For example, you might design one that waters a plant using a series of levers and chutes. Let your kids take the lead and figure out how to make it work.
2. Go on a Nature Hike
The great outdoors is the place to be and not just because the weather’s warm. Heading outside conveys physical and mental health benefits. Just looking at pictures of nature eases stress and studies on forest-bathers show that inhaling the phytoncides plants emit boosts human immunity.
Before you depart, consider downloading a plant identification app — you can have fun discovering various edible and medicinal species where you live. Bring plenty of water for everyone, sunscreen and bug spray so that nothing detracts from your enjoyment.
3. Spend a Day at the Museum
Museums often have special programs for kids — see if one near you is running any spring break specials. Even if they aren’t, this trip delights children who might have gotten to visit on a field trip but had to stay with the group instead of lingering near the mummy display.
Your museum grounds are also a rich source of learning and fun. Feel free to feed the waterfowl, but please leave the stale bread at home. It’s much healthier to bring handfuls of seeds, rice and even lettuce — ducks adore kale.
4. Pack a Picnic in the Park
Do your kids sometimes beg to spend the entire day at the park, whining when it’s time to go? Why not indulge them? After all, this is their holiday.
Pack a picnic lunch suitable for Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo and head to your favorite spot. Bring some extra snacks and water for new friends who might like to join you for a midday meal.
5. Visit an Adventure Course
If your kids are old enough to climb trees, they’ll adore a trip to the adventure park. They can zipline through the branches and climb through challenging obstacle courses like miniature ninja warriors.
Many such courses have admittance fees lower than $50 — considerably less than you’d pay at many amusement parks. Plus, you and the kiddos get more than your daily dose of exercise as you run, climb and jump.
6. Host an Outdoor Movie Night
It’s surprisingly easy to put together an outdoor movie night. You don’t even need a projector — check with your local library. Many have units you can rent for free or close to it.
Make plenty of popcorn and set a blazing fire in the pit for making smores. If the weather’s still a bit cool, bring plenty of blankets and pillows to stay cozy and warm. Feel free to invite the neighbors and their kids — make it a mini block party.
7. Take in a Spring Training Game
If you’re lucky enough to live near Arizona or Florida, baseball is everything. You might not be able to score tickets to a major league game during the regular season, but spring training ones ring in at a fraction of the price. Plus, you might have an opportunity for your little one to meet their favorite star player.
8. Comb the Beach
The ocean might still be a bit chilly where you live. However, you can still enjoy a trip “down the shore,” where you can cruise the boardwalk and get your fortune read by a genuine psychic — or a reasonable facsimile.
Take along a collecting bucket and see how many seashells you can collect. Use them as hermit crab homes or decorate picture frames or pencil holders with your finds and a bit of glue.
9. Go on a Horseback Riding Adventure
Have your children ever ridden a horse? If not, why not introduce them to equestrianism over spring break?
Look for stables that specialize in newcomers and little ones. They can fit your children with the appropriate mount and saddle for a safe and enjoyable ride.
10. Play (or Invent) a New Game
If your budget says “nope” to even the smallest excursion, why not get creative? Break out one of your old board games and bring back the family game night. Be inventive with prizes — perhaps the winner gets to skip chores for a day or choose the dinner menu.
You don’t even have to head to the toy section to purchase the latest hit game. If you have a deck of cards, you and your family can invent endless variations of classics like poker or rummy — or design something uniquely yours.
Fun Family Activities to Try This Spring Break
Spring break snuck up on many parents with little warning this year. What can you do to keep the kiddos occupied?
Try one of the above ten fun family activities this spring break. You’ll enjoy your time with your clan and light up your children’s faces with smiles.