Spring break is right around the corner, and if you’re like me you have your fingers crossed for sunshiny warm days and a mud-free yard.
That’s all you really need to make for a perfect school-free week when you can encourage your children to explore nature. They can maybe have a nice picnic, spend some time with friends and really just relax and be a kid.
Sigh, just like the school breaks I remember growing up.
Only that could realistically not happen. Spring, at least in my neck of the woods, means rain, and rain means kids inside all day with stir-crazy insanity running through their veins. Unless they are busy saying they’re bored over and over and over again. Mine are at the age where the “I’m boreds” seem to be at an all-time high. I truly thought that by 7, 10 and 13 years old their ability to entertain themselves without fighting like puppies would’ve grown in, but it hasn’t, at least not for long stretches of time. The burden of steering them toward safe, fun, educational activities that won’t end with holes in my drywall is still mine.
Good thing I have some ideas to help with that!
1. Build a fort
This should be at the top of every list because it is just so much fun. We hide all of our fort supplies behind the couch in our living room and when rain strikes, and every Sunday, we go to work.
2. Start your spring garden
We have a huge family garden (and by family I mean my 7-year-old plants it and tends it and then, as a family, we eat all of his vegetables) and we start it indoors. Spring break is a great time to set up your greenhouses if you haven’t already.
3. Have a rain party with friends
Everyone brings snacks and hangs out together. The kids are entertained and you can catch up on the neighborhood-lady chat.
4. Stretch your brain
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the app “Idiotest” before but it is crazy addicting. Like no-one-gets-dinner-until-I-prove-I’m-smart addicting. The dudes and I can spend hours (ask me how I know this) trying to beat the levels together. I love that it’s so challenging, but also kind of silly and fun at the same time. As an added bonus, the online version is hilarious. And it makes me feel really smart.
5. Dance. No, really
At our house 12 p.m. is D.E.A.D. Time (Drop Everything And Dance). When they’re at school I do it without them, but when they’re here, whoop whoop, we boogie together!
6. Bake something
Confession: I’m terrible about teaching my kids to cook. I just, um… am not that awesome at cooking. I am a boss at baking though and I get them in the kitchen with me for special yummy-making as much as possible.
7. Have a movie marathon
The whole Harry Potter series (ambitious, but not impossible), ’80s movies (they build character), the first season of Friends (what? They need culture!).
8. Table tennis
All you need are a dining room table and a super-cheapo table tennis set (they’re like $20 from Amazon). I figure if they’re gonna play ball in the house anyway (they are, they totally are), make it one that is too light to really break anything.
I know, this is probably not going to be an easy sell but, when the dudes start in with their “I’m-boreds” I quickly pull out the duster and the broom. Sometimes they’re happy to join me, sometimes they silently slink away; either way I win!
10. Make memories
Do something, anything that will make a lasting, positive impression on your kids. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, it doesn’t need to be elaborate, it just needs to end in smiles and good memories that they can look back upon fondly.
Disclosure: This post is part of collaboration between the Game Show Network and SheKnows.