If you are one of the lucky parents that get the opportunity to take some time off during Spring Break, these suggestions and ideas are for you. If you don’t have the opportunity to take time off, share these ideas with the grandparents or aunt and uncle who will be watching your children for the week.
If you are able to take at least a day off, you could organize a play date with one of your child’s friends for that day and if their parents are taking another day off, they can do the same. That way all the kids can benefit from a few fun days with parents without sacrificing all your vacation days.
Tips to spend a pleasant Spring Break
- Plan at least one family game a day. For example, you can play a board game or a card game.
- Start the week by collecting a list of game ideas submitted by each member of the family so you can get their input on what they want to do.
- Set a specific time of the day that will be devoted to watching TV or playing video games and tell the children they should stick to that allotted period.
- Engage your children in activities that can give free rein to their imagination. For example, you can suggest they make a craft for their grandparents. Let them decide what they want to do.
- Set up space where the kids can be as messy as they want so they don’t make a mess all over the house!
- Take pictures of the kids hard at work to show them you are interested in what they like. You could even make a scrapbook out of it!
- Get out your pots and pans and pretend you are big chefs in a restaurant! Who knows, you may even have time to actually prepare some meals to freeze or for lunches.
- Kids learn how to use computers as early as kindergarten now. Give them your computer for an hour a day so they can practice using the mouse and locating all the letters on the keyboard. There are also a lot of educational games available online that they can enjoy.
- Free play! Give them carte blanche to use their imagination. A study published in Pediatrics in 2011 confirms that free play also promotes learning. Based on the data collected from 11 000 U.S. student aged 8 to 9 years old, children who have access to at least 15 minutes of free play a day behave better in the classroom, are more focused and get better grades.
- You don’t get the paintbrushes out too often because of all the cleaning involved afterwards? Remember that this is Spring Break and you’ll have more time to get involved in the arts & crafts and for cleaning than you usually do.
- Plan a day that foregoes the usual routine! Pajama day is a classic, you can also have picnics in the living room, declare this day « Opposite Day » like in SpongeBob Square Pants.
- Obviously, go play outside as often as Mother Nature allows!
- Think out of the box: Make a cardboard castle, recycle your old CD’s to build a clock, take a look in your recycling bin and let the ideas come to you!