Screen Free Spring Break Activities
Spring break is just around the corner and it is no secret children spend a lot more screen-time than they used to. Over the past few years, schools have transferred much of the learning experience to online platforms utilizing iPads with young learners and chrome books with older students. While there is nothing wrong with training students on using technology tools, you may be looking for a little break from all of the screen time this Spring Break. To help you show your child a healthy balance between the digital world and reality, we have come up with 11 screen free activities to try with your child this break.
Not all of our ideas will be this intricate, but this activity is guaranteed to be a hit with the kids. Start by mapping out different ideas for places you could hide clues in your home, as well as where you would like the treasure to be. The treasure could be a trip to the toy store, the ice cream shop, the park, or some other fun activity you know your child will be excited to do. Once you have determined that, number off small pieces of paper and write clues for each of the locations included on the hunt. Have fun with these and center them around inside jokes your family has. Your family will be having a blast and laughing all day as they solve the clues and find their big prize. As an added bonus, once the hunt is complete, challenge your children to write a treasure hunt for you.
2. At Home Camping
This is a classic at home Spring Break activity, but is always a blast. Set up a tent, or some chairs with a blanket on top, and brainstorm as a family some activities to do outside. Make each member of the family responsible for planning one thing for the camping trip such as a good story to read before bed, a good game to play, a yummy dessert to eat, and what to do for dinner. One family we know does this every year and even has themed shirts to showcase each experience. This is a great way to introduce a new family tradition.
You know that closet in your house that holds everything that you did not want to put away when you heard company was coming? Or maybe half of the clothes in your closets have fallen off the rack and you just cannot find the time to hang them back up. Make a list of these tasks that never seem to get done as well as how much bonus allowance your children can earn for completing these tasks, then post them for your children to pick. They probably will need reminding throughout the week that the offer is there so make sure to remind them as the week carries on.
4. Family Book
Write a story as a family. Staple together twelve pieces of paper and write the first page of the story, then hand it off to another family member to write the next. Everyone continues to pass the book along until all pages are completed with pictures and words. Once the book is finished, gather together to read the family book. You can even expand this idea by having each member of the family then write their own sequel to the book to see the different directions each member of the family runs with the story.
5. Act it Out
Have your children write a play with your family acting as the cast. Challenge them to design the set, select costumes, and build out their characters. Each day they can work on a new scene to be rehearsed at dinner time, then invite friends and family to come for the show over the weekend. Provide popcorn and drinks and have a blast showing off all your family’s hard work.
Screen Free Activities That Don’t Require as Much Planning
So far we have shared with you many ideas that require quite a bit of planning and forethought, but we also thought it might help to give you a list of small activities to keep your family entertained, with some must have items to stock up on before you hear them saying “I’m bored.”
What child does not love drawing on the sidewalk? Make sure you have some ready to go for the break. Have prompts ready so that when your child gets stuck on what to draw, you have ideas ready to go.
2. Bubbles, Bubbles, and More Bubbles
We do not know of a child that is not completely obsessed with bubbles. A simple and effective treat is to have bubbles out and ready to go. You can even gather pipe cleaners to make your own bubble wands to make this classic outdoor activity a little more special.
3. Color a Giant Coloring Page
We were so excited when we found this idea- there are companies that make giant poster coloring pages. What a fun way to give your child plenty of space to express their creative energy. Make sure to order these in advance as well as plenty of jumbo markers so they do not run out of ink. These posters will probably take them all week to do. We recommend pre assigning sections to your children to avoid any “I was going to color that” fights.
Set an alarm on your phone each day for seemingly “random” dance parties to jazz up a boring day inside. This is a great way to encourage your children to get up and get moving. If you really want to make it special, order a plug in disco light, turn off the light, and crank out the tunes.
Instead of eating lunch at home, let your children pack up a picnic basket. Talk about the importance of balancing out your meal with healthy options and a small treat for balance. Guide your children as they plan the meal (and perhaps have a backup ready in case it flops) then head to the park to enjoy a nice spring day together.
Split your family into two teams for this fun game. One team will now dominate the front yard, while the other team claims ground in the backyard. Each team will need an item to serve as the “flag” for their team. This could be a sock, tshirt, shoe, etc. Make sure everyone on both teams knows what the flags are for both teams. From there, each team gets 1 minute to find a hiding place for their flag. The flag cannot be hidden under anything and must be visible (though it can be hard to spot). When the game begins, the goal is to take the other team's flag back onto “your soil,” but if you get tagged by the other team while in their territory, you must “go to jail” for the rest of the game.
This Spring Break, we hope you are able to encourage your child to spend some time away from technology to experience the world right in front of them. We hope these ideas serve as just the beginning of all the adventures your family embarks on this March.
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