7 creative ideas for the entire family!
Story by Kellie Gunderman | socialedges.com
As the last signs of winter begin to melt away and spring seems so near, every military spouse momma begins to ask herself this question: “How am I going to survive Spring Break?” That’s right, ladies! The dreaded Spring Break is comin’ round the bend! And just in case this is your first Spring Break experience with children, please allow me to define it for you: This is one full week of no school, and it’s nothing like Christmas break. This is a vacation that will remind your kiddos that summer is almost here. They have been hibernating inside with iPads, movies and Legos all winter long but, like tiny grizzly bears waking from a long winter’s nap, they are about to emerge, and the chaos will be enough to drive you mad. The energy they have been storing up in their little bodies is going to burst all over your home and routine.
Don’t be! Spring Break is, without a doubt, one of the most chaotic weeks of the year. But with these boredom buster activities, you can endure it with a smile on your face and create beautiful, lasting memories for the whole family. So, lock up the electronics, break out the play clothes and take a deep breath. This is going to be the best Spring Break ever!
DAY 1: START A GARDEN
Kick-off Spring Break by getting a little dirty and sneaking in a little education. Purchase a few small pots, compost, seeds & plants in advance. Some easy plants to consider are tomatoes, beans, herbs and strawberries. (Be sure to do a quick, online search for what will grow best in your neck of the woods.) You can start the day off by reading a book about gardening and growing food, encouraging the kids to create markers out of popsicle sticks and paint their pots. Then, it’s time to get planting. Remind them that during Spring Break, they’ll need to water their plants every day and ensure they are getting plenty of sunlight. This new responsibility will keep them excited all week long. Who knows? It may even inspire them to eat their vegetables at dinner.
DAY 2: EXPLORE YOUR COMMUNITY
Being a military family means you face quite a few unique challenges, namely moving every few years, but it also means that you never run out of places to explore! On this day, give each child a notebook and start touring the town. What kind of history can you dig up? Many towns and cities offer walking tours of historical sites. And if it rains, don’t worry! You can visit a Blue Star Museum that offers free admission to military families.
DAY 3: BREAK OUT THE PAINT
Spring Break provides children with a chance to get back outside and get messy without needing to apologize for it. Paint (or chalk paint) will get their creative juices flowing and keep them busy for hours. Simply setup a table outside with your art supplies and let them do the rest. This is a great activity for days when you need to do a little cleaning or catch up on work. When the day ends, help them to display their artwork around the house and host an Art Show for Dad! If Dad is deployed, ask each child to select a piece of artwork to include in your next care package.
DAY 4: TAKE A HIKE
There is nothing like a good, long hike and a bit of adventure to keep your kids smiling during Spring Break. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, pack lots of water and snacks and apply bug spray before heading out. A hike is so stress free because there is never a need to rush. The forest isn’t going anywhere, and the path does not need to be chased. Encourage the kids to stop and smell the flowers, watch forest animals from a distance and really hear the birds sing. This is also a wonderful opportunity to teach them how to use a camera to capture these special moments or collect items in nature to make collages when you get home.
DAY 5: BACKYARD OBSTACLE COURSE
Every kid loves an obstacle course. It will not only help them burn off some energy and keep them busy, but it will help to improve their gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, balance and spatial awareness. The best part: You most likely already have everything you need to surprise them with this exciting activity. Chairs (crawl), hoola hoops (tire run), pool noodles and chairs (hurdles), sprinklers (if it’s warm), wooden plank (balance beam) … the possibilities are endless! This activity also provides you with an opportunity to invite other kids from the neighborhood over so that you can socialize with other moms. Let the games begin!
DAY 6: PICNIC IN THE PARK
Blue Star Parks can be found, nationwide. So just select one and plan your menu. Be sure to ask the kids to help you pack healthy lunches. You will be amazed at how much they love helping you in the kitchen. Books, balls, kites and scooters are always great choices to bring along, and don’t forget the sunscreen! Use lunchtime to talk with your kids about what they have been doing in school and what they are excited about doing this summer. This will be a wonderful opportunity for you to bond as a family, get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air.
DAY 7: OUTDOOR PUPPET THEATER
On the last day of Spring Break, break out the puppets, stuffed animals and action figures and host an outdoor puppet show. (You can also provide the kids with toilet paper rolls, paint, string and other art supplies to make their own puppets!) If you really want to get creative, these DIY instructions for creating children’s puppet theater and wonderful, but if you’re like me (measuring and cutting wood is not my forte), then a folding table and tablecloth to hide your little puppeteers will do! Ask the kids to work together to plan their play. They will be so excited to perform for you. Need a little dramatic inspiration? Be sure to sign-up for Blue Star Theater updates to be alerted when an event is available near you.