Spring break for a work-from-home parent can be a stressful distraction from the many things you need to get done even when kids are on vacation–the usual household chores and the work you must do to bring home money for your household, regardless of your kids’ school schedule. The upside is that part of the pleasure of working from home and making your own schedule is that you can take on big and small activities with your kids and manage your work around these festivities and adventures. Here’s our how-to for a staycation that balances big activities with little ones so that you can have quality time with your kids and also have time to dedicate to meeting deadlines and call times.
- See discounted movies in theaters and bring along your kids’ friends. You may read this and think, “hectic and expensive,” but a lot of movie theaters sell cheap tickets to family-friendly movies in the mornings and early afternoons during weekdays. Bringing along your kids’ friends will make it more fun for them and is a nice thing to do for fellow parents. You can even set up an exchange–you bring the kids to the movies in the morning and the other parent takes them off your hands in the afternoon. Sneaking in fun and healthy snacks to the movie is another good way to escape high prices. Stop by the health food store on the way and get chocolate covered raisins and nuts for a sweet fix!
- Make a movie with your phone or tablet. Staying on the movie track–kids almost universally enjoy the making of videos. Seeing their own faces moving and talking is a novelty and the silly things you can say and do in a fake advertisement or short play or song are endless. Depending on how old they are, you can co-write a script with them or blast their favorite songs and film them dancing. Here are some potentially useful apps if you’re going for a high-tech movie experience.
- Get painty. If you have an old ratty sheet and some cans of paint, lay the sheet on your lawn or sidewalk and let your kids do what they want with the paint. For a little extra fun, introduce them to the work of Jackson Pollock right before this activity gets set in motion. They’ll definitely get dirty in the process, but they’ll also likely not lose focus on this invitation for messiness and controlled chaos.
- Build a fort. This is a classic activity that requires no monetary outlay from you, and a ton of fun for kids – all it requires is sheets and blankets, along with chairs and coffee tables. For kids under seven or eight, you may want to keep an eye out to prevent them hitting their heads or rough housing, but this is also a good task for independent play and doesn’t require too much input from you.
- Travel the world without leaving your living room. With a globe or map and internet access, you can learn a lot. Have your kids spin the globe and land their finger on a country [or just choose a country that interests them] and help them learn about that place with a handy little tool called Wikipedia. Obviously, elaborate history lessons can lead to a distracted kid, so do a little research on the country’s food and find a recipe you can make for dinner with your kid to help them further learn about this foreign land–while simultaneously getting dinner going.
- Make homemade clay and create all kinds of fun clay creatures you can bake right in the oven! Here’s a link to some homemade clay recipes – it doesn’t require any more than ingredients you should have in your cupboard already. Add a few paints and there’s a whole day of fun for your kids!
Have fun and enjoy these activities with your kids during spring break 2019!