How To Make Spring Break Fun for Your Kids When You Have to Work

How To Make Spring Break Fun for Your Kids When You Have to Work

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Tess Wilson
Mar 12, 2015
(Image credit: Meg Duerksen)

Spring break is approaching for many of our nation's students, but most of us adults will be stuck at work, as usual. Here are a half-dozen ways to make your children's break memorable, without breaking the bank or quitting your job— tempting as that might be...

1. Dinner Picnics/Breakfast-For-Dinner/Dinner & A Show

If you'll all be staying in town and the adults will be working as usual, make the evenings special by changing up the family dinner routine. Spread an old blanket on the living room floor and feast right there. Make breakfast-for-dinner on a few evenings, letting each member of the family choose their favorite breakfast to recreate. And if your dinners are usually conversation-rich family quality time, thrill your kids to the core by allowing them to watch an episode of The Simpsons or Phineas & Ferb while you eat.

2. Buddy System

If you have a high schooler or college student on spring break as well as an elementary school kid, pair them up for the week. Siblings with significant age differences often don't get to spend very much time together, so this could be an invaluable chance for them to bond. Help them make plans for daily activities, especially weekday ones they don't normally get to do. It might not be Spring Break Woooo!-style spring break, but if you choose to use the money you'd spend on a babysitter to pay the older child and ensure they'll still have their weekends and evenings free, they just might go for it. You could also make it non-negotiable.

3. Get A Room

I know when I was little, there were few things more exciting than a hotel with a pool. We didn't stay in them often, as we usually made the 10-hour drive to my grandparents' farm in one go, but when we did— spring break woooo! Let's be honest— they were motels with pools, but my brother and I thought they were the height of luxury. One night in a reasonably priced hotel/motel/Holiday Inn right there in your town could be surprisingly fun— just don't forget to jump on the bed.

4. Soak Up The Sun Wisdom

I always spent breaks from school either with my city grandma or my country grandparents, and it was always a treat. My grandma and I watched I Love Lucy and drank brown cows and she taught me all kinds of card games, while at my grandparents' farm I chored and caroused with my huge passel of cousins. I'm eternally grateful for the impressive amount of time I was able to spend with my parents' parents, and I'm happy for any kid that can do the same.

5. Back-To-Back Mini-Breaks

If the adults have to work all week, maybe the weekends can be packed full of fun. You could fit in two Friday-to-Sunday trips before the kids have to go back to school, and you don't have to go far to make it an adventure. Spend the first weekend in the closest city or college town and the second in the closest state park, or let the kids design the first getaway and the adults the second.

6. Get Off The Grid

Power outages are anything but charming when they actually occur, but a planned blackout is nothing but fun. Turn off all the lights and use candles and lanterns, put all devices and gadgets away, cook dinner over the fireplace if you're lucky enough to have one, and gather together to read, tell stories, and play games by the glow of candlelight. Flushing the toilet is still allowed.

What are your spring break plans ?

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