What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids over school breaks?
Some parents love school breaks and some dread them. Most of those feelings revolve around what to do with the kids over school breaks. Here are 10 things to do with kids during school breaks, perfect for parents, nannies, or grandparents regardless of location or budget.
Libraries are a treasure trove of free education and educational activities. Whether you are at home or on a trip, check out the public libraries. Many have story times or activities for kids.
City parks, local playgrounds, and national parks dot most any map and many offer programs or activities. I remember one year when we tried to see how many parks we could visit once before repeating any. We were also new to town so this gave us insight into different parts of town and the kids could rank their favorites.
If being indoors is a better option, drag out all the blankets and pillows and construct blanket forts or make mazes out of large cardboard boxes and packing tape.
Research local museums for inexpensive options or free days. We once planned a whole spring break trip around free museums in Washington, DC.
Making a mural involves creative and collaborative problem solving skills. Choose a topic, book, historical event, etc. to make into a mural. Assign each person a scene or event and suggest they brainstorm a way to tie their scenes together in the mural (shared tree, water, etc.). The mural could be on the driveway or a roll of paper.
Scavenger hunts can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Printable ones abound on the internet and range from backyard fun, city walks, nature ABCs, and more. You can make your own or print one to use. Collect photos and memories along the way!
Additionally, Geocaching is a specific type of scavenger hunt requiring a smartphone, which might be just the way to engage your kids in family fun. Check out this website to learn more about geocaching and find some in your area. https://www.geocaching.com/play One vacation we went on, a family member rounded up the older kids for a few hours of fun learning to geocache and giving the rest of the adults a break!
Explore a sport you do not often participate in such as pickleball, tennis, swimming or bowling. Research the basics ahead of time and learn together as a family. Many sports facilities offer holiday hours and discounts during school breaks.
For many, meal prep is a tightly scheduled event, so consider hosting a family cooking class where time is not an issue. Choose a family favorite meal and teach the kids how to prepare it from start to finish. Or a special cookie recipe, kitchen basic skills, or even breakfast for dinner would make for a good family cooking class. Take it a step further and meal prep some freezer meals!
Lastly, try a new form of transportation available in your area. Trains? Bikes? Streetcars? Bus? Scooter? Car? Look for free or inexpensive transportation options and explore together. Living in the suburbs did not afford my kids opportunities to ride public transportation so a free city bus ride around a town on vacation was a hit!
If your kids are in the middle years or launching years, consider letting them help research and plan fun and inexpensive activities during school breaks. This is a great way to ensure they will want to participate. Assign them a day or a budget. Many blog posts have been written about cheap or fun ideas for kids in each state. Even though my kids are out of the house, I often check out the cheap things for kids in my hometown this weekend when looking for a fun activity to do.
10 Life Skills for the Launching Years would also make a good template for what to do with teens on school breaks. Read more here.
Got a favorite activity to do with your kids during school breaks? Share it with us in the comment section below.
Table Talk: What was a fun and inexpensive activity you did as a child that still brings back fond memories? What activities would your kids like to do over break?