Spring break is almost here! It’s time to prepare for 7 days of fun with the kids at home. May families take trips out of town during the weeklong break, however, with a little creativity and a taste for adventure a Spring Break staycation can be just as fun and memorable. Here are some ideas to do with your family while at home:
1.) Pick-a-park-for-a-picnic! Research your local parks and pick a new one to visit each day. It’s a win-win for getting the kids outside in the fresh air while at the same time scoping out new, fun hot spots in your neighborhood. While you’re at the park go on a walking adventure down new paths so remember to bring the stroller! Keep digital photos of the fun at each park to talk about at the end of the week.
2.) Get in the dirt! Spring time weather offers the perfect opportunity to do some gardening. Include young children in pulling up weeds and discovering what lurks underneath the earth like worms, beetles, spiders, etc. Don’t have a personal garden? Check out the community gardens in your area to see if they need any extra hands for clean-up. Who knows, someone might be willing to swap you some fresh veggies for helping with weeding.
3.) Be sure to connect with your local library for kid-friendly Spring Break events. Many libraries plan for the extra foot traffic by holding concerts and specialized activities for young children, school-aged, and teens. Best of all, 99.9% of them are most likely FREE or at very little cost! Another resource to check for fun Spring Break activities is your local school district.
4.) Plan for playdates. If your children are enrolled in child care, preschool, or kindergarten that closes during Spring Break, start gathering contact information from parents of your children’s friends. Playdates are wonderful for young children because they help support their school friendships in other settings. Plus, while the children play, it allows for the grown-ups to get to know each other.
5.) Plan a “Family Read-In.” Build a fort out of sheets or grab a huge empty appliance box, anything that makes the atmosphere cozy for snuggling up with a favorite book or two–or 20! Taking time to read with your child shows them the value in literacy and enjoyment of literature. Add flashlights, puppets, books on cd, and you can even dress up in pajamas or perhaps like your favorite book character. Be creative!
Everyone gets excited for Spring Break, however, there is no need to succumb to the pressure of having to literally take a vacation or leave town. Sometimes too drastic of a change in a young child’s schedule can lead to stress and anxiety on their behalf. Depending on the child, many of them actually prefer consistency and predictable routine. Developmentally, young children between the ages of 0 and 6 years old have a hard time grasping the concept of Spring Break–they just know that they don’t have any school and that they get to stay home with you. Plan for 2016’s Spring Break to be relaxing, where you can be present in the moment to watch new flowers and young children bloom.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about other fun spring break activities you’re planning to do with your young children. Please send your ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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