- Family and Parenting
Keeping the Kids Busy Over Spring Break Without Blowing Your Budget
All over the United States it is spring break time. You either love it or hate, I have found. Many parents struggle with bored kids and wonder how they will ever survive. Instead of spending a small fortune entertaining them, lets talk about some things you can do to make spring break fun for everyone while still staying in your budget.
First, realize that it isn't our job as parents to entertain our kids. I have one child that thinks it is, but really it is not. I like doing things with him, but I can in no way devote 24/7 to keeping him entertained. Accepting this has forced him to come up with his own entertainment and allowed me to get over the guilt. So you might want to plan a few fun activities for your children over spring break, but leave plenty of time for them to come up with their own plans.
Having some theme days during this week will give children something to look forward to and the whole family can get into planning the events. It could be a game day, or a movie day, or a pajama day. One year we had a pioneer day and lived the whole day without using any electricity and playing games and doing activities from pioneer times. We even cooked our dinner over a fire. The kids had a blast, it actually saved me money, rather than spending money and we all learned a lot.
Plan something special. Get your kid's input and pick one or two things that everyone wants to do. Maybe they want to go swimming, or to McDonalds. They might want to go to an indoor amusement park. If you can swing this in your budget it can be a lot of fun and if you make it a special treat once a year it is all the more appreciated. If you have memberships anywhere, now is the time to use them. Go to the zoo, the museum, the farm, the science center, etc. Pack a lunch and make a day of it.
Teach your kids something new. Having a whole week is plenty of time to tackle something new. Maybe your daughter wants to learn to sew, or you want to teach your child to do their own laundry. It might not be fun, but it is an opportunity for your child to learn a life skill that will help them for years to come. Maybe you want to help your child with their table manners. Practice all week and at the end of the week go out to eat to celebrate.
Of course spring break can't be all about the kids. I know when we have a week off we try to get projects done around the house. Involve the kids and it will get done faster and then you can celebrate at the end with a trip out for ice cream. There are plenty of entertainment opportunities at home and you should look there first. Plan a couple of special outings (based on your budget) interspersed with lots of at home fun will make spring break fun and relaxing for everyone involved and shouldn't cost much at all.
Get outside if you can and celebrate the warmer weather. Go for a hike, to the park, for a bike ride or just a walk. Just get out in nature, it truely is soothing to the soul. Most outdoor activities are free as well, making them an even better option. Most importantly, spend time together and have fun.