By the time your school-age child is on spring break, they’ve already done a lot of adjusting and learning. Spring break is a time when they can kick back a bit and spend more time on fun things and simply enjoying being with family and friends.
While they need and deserve plenty of time to frolic outside and in, there are many ways parents can enrich their vacation with positive activities that keep their kids’ brains building and intellect expanding while keeping them on track for continued success once they head back to the classroom.
- Find hands-on learning moments — You can teach so many life lessons that also have academic applications, such as reading, fractions and science through making a recipe. Younger kids can learn about counting and sorting by helping you do the laundry and other chores while also taking on responsibilities. Board games teach everybody about logic and strategy.
- Find a camp and let them fly — There are day camps and overnight camps where kids get in-depth exploration of STEAM-related projects as well as the age-old crafty camp experience. Be sure to sign up early, these tend to fill up fast.
- Look for volunteer opportunities — Children as young as 5 or 6 can be enormously helpful in organizing food pantries, picking up trash (with gloves) and helping to choose old books to donate, while older kids and teens can help at soup kitchens, community gardens, animal shelters, senior centers, libraries, church activities and the list goes on.
Those 12 and younger likely will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, while teens can get their first taste of working in environments separate from their family.
- Keep creative juices flowing — Spring is a great time to get outside and explore. Start a nature journal and visit a riparian center or botanical garden and observe. Then let the kids draw what they see and learn more. Acquiring a new hobby or craft or designing a video game also are amazing ways to foster creativity.
- Maintain a consistent schedule — While their time doesn’t need to be as regulated as it is during the semester, keeping morning and night routines along with meals consistent provides a sense of structure and security and enhances self-discipline for when they return to school.