We can all agree that online schooling hasn’t been easy but one thing we love about it is the structure and purpose it offers kids during quarantine. And now spring break is upon us (either this week or next week) and you may be feeling anxious about how to keep the kids busy and entertained for a full week without school, especially if you are still working. We know there will be lots of Xbox, YouTube, TikTok, iPad and Netflix happening. And lots and lots of coffee. But here are some spring break survival ideas that we hope will work for you and your crew:
Plan Some Virtual Field Trips
Since most of us would rather be at Disney World for spring break, start by riding some of the theme park’s most popular rides virtually, like Space Mountain, Frozen Ever After and more. You can also visit a zoo or aquarium with the kids or tour one of our National Parks. Head to adventuresinfamilyhood.com for more virtual field trip ideas.
Help Them Keep Up With the News
Time For Kids is now offering free access to its digital magazines at a time when we could all use help in explaining the news to our kids. Its digital library will be free for the rest of the school year.
Go Outside for Some Exercise and Vitamin D
Beyond bike riding, scootering, walks and throwing a ball with the kids, try some new ideas to keep them active at a social distance from others in this gorgeous weather. Grab some yoga mats or blankets and lead them in some outdoor yoga and stretching exercises or take that Zoom exercise class or Go Noodle activity outside on the lawn. No outdoor space? Talk a walk through your neighborhood and look for sidewalk chalk art, teddy bears in the windows or grab your phone and photograph the colors of spring.
Add Some Learning to Their Days
Hand2mind Teach @ Home offers free daily lessons for K-5 students in math and literacy well as a daily STEM activity. Each week, you’ll find an easy-to-follow schedule, by grade, for K-5 students and daily grade-specific video lessons and worksheets. The activities are designed to keep the kids busy without parental help.
Get Your Harry Potter Fix
On the new Harry Potter at Home site, the kids can learn how to draw a Niffler, take a quiz or do a word search. Audible Stories has added Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone for us Americans). They can also try their hand at the Hogwarts Digital Escape Room. Questions range from how many times “Harry” and “Potter” are spoken in a video to using wand motions to open a door.
Bake Something Together
Pick up a box mix or try baking an Easter treat. Make a little party of it and try creating your own version of a cupcake board or a DIY s’mores board together. Continue the baking fun after break with Foodstirs, a subscription baking box you can get delivered.
Plan a Zoom Hangout with Friends
Throw a Zoom party for your kids and their friends. Add some fun to the hangout with Zoom’s filters, emojis, and custom backgrounds. Plan a Zoom birthday party sleepunder for your girls by sending out an invite and having your daughter’s friends join in their PJs for some conversation and fun.
Challenge Them to Do Something Creative at Home
Do they like to draw? Ask them to design a comic book. Do you have a STEM lover or maker at home? Ask them to build a robot using cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls and other things they’d find around the house. Have they ever watched a Bob Ross video? This could inspire them to pick a paint brush and make some happy little trees. What would they most like to do when this pandemic is behind us? Have them use magazines to cut out pictures and make their own vision board for the future.
Encourage Them to Journal
Ask them to write in their journal every day. Daily journaling is a great way to reflect and tool to help kids get their feelings on paper. It can also be considered a primary historical document of this quarantine period. Click here for inspiration, tips and writing prompts.
Empower Them to Learn Something New
Head to outschool.com for online classes beyond your typical academic subjects. Have your kids look at the classes available so they can sign up for something they’re passionate about. You’ll find classes focused on Star Wars, song writing, coding and much more.
Have Your Teen Take an Adulting Class
Codecademy is offering a free online crash course in adulting for high schoolers and college students. The class is called “Non-Technical Life Skills” and covers topics ranging from personal finance and removing stains from clothing to filing for taxes and networking and job-searching.
Turn Movie Night Into a Throwback Movie Marathon
This is a great opportunity to show them movies from the 80s and 90s. My kids are 9 and 12 and we’ve been watching a lot of the classics that were popular when we were younger. They’ve watched Rudy, The Sandlot (their favorite) and Uncle Buck so far. We’re planning on watching the Karate Kid next.
Have Them Help You Plan Your Upcoming Holiday Celebration
How can the kids help plan your upcoming Passover Seder or Easter dinner? Involve them in the menu prep, table setting and cooking. Set up an egg hunt in the backyard or let the kids make their own Passover Haggadah.
Plan a Game Night
Dust off those old games and find one that you can all play together. Download the free, family-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity or play a classic like Monopoly, Uno or Scrabble. This is the week to find those undone puzzles or LEGOS and finally put the last pieces together.