Spring break is right around the corner and many parents are in a panic wondering what they are going to do with their kids for a WHOLE WEEK. No worries! There are a lot of family-friendly ideas that you can all participate in and have fun while doing it.
- Take a bike ride: Central Florida is famous for all of its bike trails (also great for hiking) that intersect with one another and go on for miles and miles. There are lots of beautiful, natural attractions on the trails such as a park or lake to stop at for a picnic lunch or throw a Frisbee. Don’t forget to take water and snacks, wear comfortable (cool) clothing, and put on a helmet.
- Scavenger hunt: Make an adventure out of going to the park or walking around the neighborhood with an age-appropriate scavenger hunt so the kids will look for specific wildflowers, rocks, trees, or leaves. Make things even more fun by giving the kids an inexpensive throwaway camera so they can take pictures of the interesting things they discover.
- Visit the zoo: There are lots of nature attractions around that the kids would love spending time at such as a zoo or botanical garden. Some even have day camps during Spring Break the kids might enjoy.
- Go to the beach: Even if the water is too chilly to swim in, the kids can still build sand castles and collect sea shells. If you don’t live near the beach, find a local lake or river with a shore to play on.
- Rediscover the backyard: Build a fort or butterfly garden. Buy some plastic blow-up pools from the dollar store and create a water park. Have fun with bubbles by making interesting wands with slotted spoons, vegetable mesh baskets, Styrofoam cups, wire coat hangers, and anything else you can thing of.
Okay, so what if it rains or the kids want to do indoor activities? Here are some ideas for that too:
- Visit an aquarium or museum: While most aquariums do have a ticket price, many museums are free to the public.
- Movie date: Pick out a couple of age-appropriate movies and have a movie date complete with popcorn, ice cream and other edible treats to make it extra special.
- Indoor carnival: Invite friends and have fun games with a ring toss using water bottles, face painting, ping pong ball toss with cups half filled with water, a cake walk or cupcake design contest, and pin the tail on the donkey.
- Camp-in: Instead of braving the elements, set up a tent with sheets and blankets in the living room, and toast marshmallows in the fireplace. Don’t forget your sleeping bag!
Even working parents can find ways to make Spring Break fun for the kids. Perhaps parents can juggle schedules and take a couple of days off to hang out with the kids. And, if not, a fun day camp is always an adventure. The important thing is that you spend some time together as a family doing fun things together – even if it’s during the evenings.
As the end of Spring Break draws to a close, don’t be surprised to see some meltdowns as the kids realize the fun times are over and it’s time to get back to school. Meltdowns are fairly normal, especially when kids are overstimulated and/or not on their regular schedule. Even so, they can still be a challenge to handle. If you find they are frequently reoccurring and/or intensifying, please contact your family doctor or a mental health professional to see if there are any underlying causes that need to be addressed.