Its that time of year when Moms everywhere are hearing “What can we do for spring break?” from their people big and small. With lots of options for that answer, when your answer includes the words “at home”, the entire conversation changes and not always for the best. This makes it game on for a busy Mom to be creative with her time. With the family home and a week full of days waiting to be enjoyed, it’s hard to fight those jealous feelings when it seems everyone you know is spending spring break at Walt Disney World. Growing up, we never travelled during spring break because it just wasn’t the time of year when our family took a vacation. As children grow, they are keenly aware of what their friends are doing, seemingly keeping a tally sheet of who is going where and all the fun they will have while they are there. That’s why it’s so important to talk about how your family time will be special no matter if it’s spent entirely at home. Here are five ways to minimize spring break complaints and encourage your family to enjoy themselves and have fun!
Have a Family Meeting
Discuss how your family allocate its resources, what they have to look forward to that is more a traditional vacation, and take the cup half full attitude. Lead by example and don’t let on if you are disappointed that the neighborhood is empty.
Make a List
Have your children make a spring break wish list of things they’d like to do and then work those into your schedule. They’ll be delighted as they see their wishes rolled out as the week unfolds.
Make Some Money
If the neighborhood is traveling and you aren’t its a great opportunity for your kids to dogsit, mow the lawn, help out work at home Moms by babysitting, and do all kinds of easy chores that can really add up.
Clean Your Home
No way! If you take that week off when all the kids friends are going on vacation and the highlight of your family’s time is cleaning, you’ll have mutiny and your kids will hate you! But if you have a project that is fun like a painting project for a bedroom that might be great. I’d actually aim for something like organizing family pictures and create some photo albums. Remember its their spring break and kids are naturally self centered so when possible keep the focus on what makes them happy.
The Daily Surprise
Use breakfast to set the clue for each day. Serve a special breakfast you might not usually make and have a basket that you put on the table that is full of clues. A few ideas for how you might fill the basket…
Park Bag: Water guns, soccer ball, football, water balloons, and everything you need to make a day at the park a bag full of fun.
Planning Basket: Start off the week with this basket full of plans that includes each child’s wish list. Visit your local convention and visitor’s bureau and grab a list of free things you can do that are all a bout fun. www.VisitRaleigh.com has 23 free activities in our area alone ~ there are tons of things you’ve likely never explored and Spring Break at home is a great time to do that.
Picnic Basket: Use a closed basket to surprise your family with something they aren’t expecting. Think about surprising your family with opportunities to serve like helping a neighbor garden or working on a service project. And of course you can go on a traditional picnic too.
I hope these ideas help you be creative as you look at your local options. And I’d love to know…
How do you decide what to do for Spring Break?
Thanks for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!
Loved filming this contributor spot on My Carolina Today April 2011. Timeless tips for Spring Break Staycations every year!