Spring break gives kids a respite from school for about one week- Here’s how to get them motivated beyond a joy stick, mobile device, monitor and video game

Get the kids active outside or inside with several fun activities that both parents and kids will enjoy and provide a few hours of family fun

Get Some Air Outside

  • It used to be that kids gravitated to the outdoors whenever the weather was nice. That was because there were no video games and TV programs geared toward children were only in the early morning and late afternoon and evening. Now kids have computers and gaming consoles that keep them practically chained to a chair. If you have a National park or forest nearby, you are very lucky. Get out and explore.
  • Most communities have municipal gardens with playgrounds, and these are great places to visit with a picnic lunch or snack.
  • Go on a scenic bike trail with the kids. This will give both parents and kids some good exercise so they can afford to go back home and sit in front of the computer for a little while. Purchase an inexpensive bird book and cheap binoculars, if desired.
  • Find out what birds frequent your area in the spring and go hunting and shooting pictures of them. Make it a game and the person that sees the most variety of birds wins a prize. Pitch a tent at a campground or in the backyard.
  • Kids love to camp and you can even cook your meal outside over a fire or barbeque and toast marshmallows.

Plan a Garden for Summer

  • It is a fact that kids are more likely to eat their vegetables when they grow them in their own yard. During spring break, plan out a garden. Go outside and mark the garden off with some stakes and if the weather is good enough, the soil can be turned over with compost added.
  • Gather seed catalogs or go online to see what is available and have the kids pick a few vegetables they would like to try and grow. Some veggies are unusual like Cherokee tomatoes that are purple and ball-like zucchini.
  • Collect some stones, clean them and paint with acrylic paints to use as plant markers in the garden.

Have Fun with Spring Food

  • Girls will love to have a tea party using real china and fancy sandwiches. Invite other girls in the neighborhood and relatives to dress up and come to a tea party.
  • Make your butter by putting some sweet cream inside a mason jar. Have the kids take turns shaking the jar until butter starts to form. This will take a long time, but it is fun to watch the butter form.
  • Make a picnic and take into the back yard or to the park.

Happy Activities

  • Get a bottle of soap bubbles and blow them outside. You can put just a little drop of food coloring in them to make colored bubbles that will not stain sidewalks.
  • Go play miniature golf at the local Putt Putt.
  • Fly a kite at the local church parking lot. You can make your own kite from bamboo sticks and newspaper with some twine or get an inexpensive kite at the Dollar store.
  • Create masterpieces on the driveway and sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.
  • Organize a neighborhood basketball, baseball, soccer or other sport tournament on your street.
  • Have a garage sale. After all, spring is the time to clean the garage and house from anything you don’t need anymore. Donate the proceeds to an animal shelter or children’s organization.
  • Send the family out with a video camera or their cell phone camera and make a movie. You will not believe what the kids will come up with. Have a movie night to present these movies along with popcorn and other snacks.
  • Make puppets out of old mismatched socks, yarn, string, buttons and other items and develop a puppet show for the neighborhood.
  • Go bowling or organize a scavenger hunt in your yard or in the community giving each team or individual a list of items to find. They either have to bring the items back to central location or write down where they found the items on the list. The whole family will have a blast doing this activity. Save large boxes and use markers, duct tape and scissors to make them into rockets, houses or anything else you might dream up.

Investigate the Community

  • Go to the local museums or to the zoo, library or beach. Ask to take a tour of your local radio or TV station.
  • Check listings of festivals, concerts and street fairs in the area.
  • If you have a cooperative farm in the area, visit them to see how the farm works and see the baby animals that are often born in spring.
  • Make Easter cards from construction paper and markers and take them to the nearest children’s hospital to brighten a sick child’s day.
  • Many communities have clean up days in the spring. The family can volunteer to do some clean up or plant flowers for the community.

If you don’t have the money to go on a spring vacation, don’t worry. Take the kids on several of the above activities to have some fun. The time you spend with your kids is what is important and it’s a good bet they will remember the year of spring activities for a long time.