Spring break is almost here and so is the search to make it fun and meaningful for our families. My kids are young adults now, but they have reminded me many times about the spring breaks they liked the best. It always surprises me, so I’ll share my “secret” for a successful spring break with you!
When my kids were in school they often would ask, “Are we going anywhere for spring break?” They’d follow that up with a list of places their friends were going: Disney World, skiing in Colorado, the gulf coast of Florida, or Myrtle Beach. We took some pretty outstanding vacations, but they were usually in the summer. We rarely took trips during spring breaks.
How could I make our spring break time fun, yet get things done that needed to get done? Yes…when my kids were in high school they went on Spring Break mission trips to build houses, clean up from hurricanes or work at an orphanage. But when they were younger, for whatever reason, I felt like I just couldn’t offer them the terrific fun their friends were going to have. So I decided not to compete, but make it a special week in our own way.
Here is my “recipe” for a fun and meaningful spring break WITH your kids:
- Make a list of FUN things to do together.
- Make a list of WORK that needs to be done: cleaning out closets; cleaning rooms; yard work; washing windows; washing baseboards, organizing the garage, etc. When we cleaned out closets and the garage I made signs for each child to help with sorting: Throw Away; Give Away; Keep. We always took time to load the “give away” items in the car and take to Good Will or other places to donate.
- Make a schedule. Show the schedule for the week. I usually had 2-4 hours of work in the morning and a fun activity in the afternoon. Change it up. The important thing is that they see the schedule so they know exactly how long they will work on projects and what fun activity to look forward to.
- Everyone works and everyone plays – together! This is the key! Everyone works! And everyone plays! There is something about knowing everyone is participating that makes it special and fun – and meaningful!
Below is a sample list. Substitute with your own ideas and what’s available where you live: talent night; walk on the beach or by the lake; learn magic tricks; tour an historic home, aircraft carrier or a factory; check out State Park activities; or organize a scavenger hunt. There are so many simple, fun things you can do in your area!
Monday: Clean out closets 9-noon
Tuesday: Organize the garage 9-noon
Wednesday: Cleaning baseboards, windows, surfaces, vacuum
Please share ways you make spring break fun and meaningful! Everyone can use some fresh ideas!