5 Stay at Home Spring Break Activities
Create a magical and memorable Spring Break for your kids without leaving home.
When your children go back to school, or if they connect with other kids, one of the first questions they will be asked is, “What did you do over Spring Break?”
While Spring Break may cause a crimp in your organization due to child care, upsetting the schedule you have worked so hard to establish, or because it seems like a free for all, the kids are excited about it!
Let’s have a plan going in, with 5 activities for Spring Break if you are staying home.
I know, we said you are staying home.
Kids love forts. Older kids love adventure and something “different.” If you have a yard , it is safe, and the temperatures allow, pitch a tent in the yard. If not, pitch a tent in the living room. I found a fabulous pop up tent on Amazon for less than $100 that does not need to be staked! You could use this again and again.
The campfire is a must! This is a great DIY project that day, include the kids! Look on Google and enter into your search, “flameless campfire DIY” and you will get a lot of ideas.
You have the tent and the fire, now think of camping “food.” Let the children plan the menu and prepare it with you. Hot dogs are the “norm” for camping. I have never liked them, though. I would have small bags of Fritos with chili dripped over them with cheese and sour cream…yummy!
Of course, you have to have S’mores. There are recipes all over Google for S’mores bars, oven S’mores, and even small electric S’mores appliances so you can roast your own marshmallows indoors. Know how you will continue the classic tradition of S’mores on your “camping” trip.
The stories, what is a camping trip without the stories? If you are not a storyteller, go to a podcast designed to tell the campfire story!
Campfire Story 4 Kidz is designed by kids, and tells the classic, but creepy tales.
Story Story Podcast is the retelling of known and unknown fairy tales. This one gets really high reviews and people love it, both adults and children, usually around age 7 and up in the reviews. The description says it is for 3 and up, however, I recommend you listen to the story first.
I realize that this “camping” trip takes pre-planning and effort, however, this is something that your children can talk about, look forward to, and do again and again! The added bonus is that this camping trip can be an at home Spring Break activity and you do not have to pull out of the driveway!
Everyone says that gardening is a great activity with the kids. Spring break is a fabulous time get the family in on the planning of the garden, how it will look, the plants that will go in it, cultivating great soil, and starting the seeds.
Get out the graph paper and design your garden! Where will it go? What will you grow in it? If you are growing peas, for example, where will you put the trellis or whatever they will climb? How will you water the garden and are there clear rows in the drawing for walking to water, weed, and cultivate?
Talk to other gardeners or your local nursery about the soil in your area, ours is awful! What do they recommend to prepare good soil? How deep do you need to have good soil go before you get to the “regular” dirt? We live in an area where the soil has a lot of granite. When preparing the soil, we need to till it at least three feet down and remove all rocks and place 3-4 feet of good soil on top. Over Spring Break, you can start your preparation of the soil. It may involve blending your current soil with poop. Find a local person who has chickens, goats, etc to fertilize your soil, again get the recommendation of your nursery.
Critters. How are you going to keep the bunnies from eating your efforts? Pests. How are you going to keep the caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles from stripping the stalks bare? Have a plan while you are setting up the garden. For example, Marigolds give off a smell that many pests do not like, a natural pest deterrent. If you wanted to do a perimeter of Marigolds, you would need to calculate the space in your garden.
Know when your last frost is, or when it is recommended to put starts in the ground. Most plants, you are able to put into the ground after they are “6 weeks old.” This time varies, however, just read the seed packets.
Now the fun begins for the kids. Much of the other “stuff” is not as exciting for children. However, now they get to go the store and pick out their seeds, plant the seeds in containers to “start them” (you will want containers that drain, so poke holes in the bottom if using non porous materials), and watch them grow.
Bees are an enormous commitment! I wanted to have bees. I believe in these majestic little creatures for the the future of our world. I read up on how to keep them in The Beekeeper’s Handbook.
For this at home Spring Break activity, your family can learn all about the importance of bees, how to create a happy home for bees, how to raise a healthy bee hive, and what to do with the honey and wax you produce.
If you are anything like me, and your intentions are great, but you learn that bees are just too large of a commitment right now, you can take a different road. You can go back to how to create a happy environment for bees, but this time, instead of looking at their hives and physical needs, look at what plants bees love. Which of these can you grow in your yard? Take the Spring Break to create a “bee palace” in your yard with plants that bees will find nourishment from for years.
Bring the family together!Get a daily activity or thought to bring your family compassion towards each other.
Do your children love scavenger hunts? I have loved them my whole life, regardless of my age! Geocaching is a type of treasure hunt that can be done in any city, around the world!
How do you find the map for these treasures? Go to geocaching.com/play and sign up. You can sign up for a free account. This does not give you access to all of the hunts, but as an example, there are 2,010 in or around Prescott, AZ the town I live in. With a free account, I am able to access 1,385 of the 2,010 geocaches.
*Tip: Make sure you enter your home location zip code in the settings. Before I did this, I was getting geocaches that were placed by people from Arizona, so some of the hunts were 7,000+ miles away!
The easiest way to look for caches is to have the official Geocaching app loaded onto your phone. This will guide you to the cache. When you are within 30 feet of it, a chime goes off. Then the hunting begins!
Caches cannot be buried, but they can be under a couple of rocks so they are only visible from a certain angle. I have found a cache in an old film roll container (only two inches high) in a tree.
Rules to geocaching:
Take a pen with you. There will be a “log.” This is where you write the name of your group and the date you found the cache. You will see many other people have found that cache as well. IF you take what is in it, you MUST put something back in, so others have something to find.
You also must put the cache back in the same way you found it so others have as much difficulty, ease, or fun finding it. These are all rated on the app on level.
Geocaching is a fun activity you can do with the kids, no matter how old, any time, any where. If you are looking for fun stay at home Spring Break activities, geocaching is a favorite, with the added benefit that you don’t have to do much to prepare!
Kids love play. They also love messes. I have two “fun fights” for you to have with your family to inspire giggles.
Shaving Cream War.
It is fun to “aim and shoot” when “fighting” against family and friends. Silly String is a classic. Have you tried shaving cream? It is much messier. People have to get in closer to make sure their “shot” lands. If you get the Gillette 12 pack, it is about the same cost of the cheaper Silly String bulk buys on Amazon, except the Silly String is 3 oz, while the shaving cream is 11 oz.
If you can do this outdoors, in a grassy area and then “hose” everyone down, that is ideal.
This was our standby. If you are buying the big marshmallows for that fabulous “camp in” night anyway, buy an extra bag or two for a Marshmallow Fight!
Each person gets the same amount of “ammunition” to start with, those lovely, soft, big marshmallows. Find your “positions” or spots to hide. Then begin! My boys would ambush their dad when he came home off of a trip. They loved this.
The best thing about the marshmallow fights is that they are an easy clean up. It is also hard to throw them hard enough to hurt, making them the “safest” play fight ammunition I came up with.
Your children want a memorable Spring Break. Here are my favorite 5 stay at home Spring Break activities that will live on with your children as favorites for months to come. I would love to hear what you do to create magical seeming events at home.
There is no charge for awesomeness.
~Po in Kung Fu Panda