Last year around this time, travel was still pretty tricky. This year, though, many families might be planning to travel for spring break. But if you’re staying home this spring break—whether out of cost (hello, gas prices!), caution, or just because—there are plenty of ways to make the time away from school or daycare feel special for your kids.
Help a mom stay organized and keep track of important doctor's appointments, playdates, and (hopefully) some scheduled 'me' time with this pretty wall calendar.
It’s the perfect time to make family-friendly weekends plans like checking out a new museum or taking a nearby road trip to explore a new town. You could swap playdates days with other working parents so you can each have some childcare covered during the week. Or you could seek out local spring break camps for school-agers.
In addition, we pulled together this list of home staycation ideas to help spark your kid’s imagination. All of these ideas can be accomplished with stuff around the house or by adding a few extras. Plus, we included books to complement each “trip.”
Take an Indoor Camping Trip
Set up your camping tent inside, string up some holiday lights for stargazing, get out the sleeping bags, and make s’mores in the microwave.
Go on a Fairy Hunt
Paint rocks to make a fairy trail—add glitter to make it even more magical! Make a fairy house out of popsicle sticks or use kid-size shoe boxes and decorate the inside (think cotton balls for pillows, pizza savers as little tables, wrapping paper as wallpaper.) Add mini-LED lights to a mason jar for a sparkly fairy lantern.
Play Chef for a Day
Let your kiddos pick the menu for the day and help them prep and prepare each meal. Or help them write and craft their own menus, set the table, and play real-life restaurant.
Become a Pint-Size Picasso
Dress them in one of your old T-shirts, cut down the Amazon Prime boxes to make giant cardboard canvases or use blue painters tape to attach paper bags to the wall and let your little ones get creative.
Have a Safari Scavenger Hunt
Hide stuffed animals around the house—with monkeys hanging from the light fixtures and lions hiding in the houseplants, for example—make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and craft a safari vest out of a paper bag, and go exploring!
Have a Home Spa Day
Soak your feet in the tub for a pedi, paint your nails, and make a kid-friendly greek yogurt mask (complete with cold cucumbers for your eyes!). Bonus, let your kids brush and style your hair (just make sure scissors are safely stowed). This is one staycation activity that might be almost as much fun for us as it is for them.
Spend a Day at the “Beach”
Get on your swimsuits and pretend you’re going to the beach. Lay out the beach towels, put on your sunglasses, maybe even turn up the heat. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, get out the summer water table (put a shower curtain or towels on the floor), and relax while the kiddos splash around (supervised) for hours.
Alternatively, if you have a lake or ocean nearby, you can still hit the beach for sand castle building, skipping rocks, or exploring, even if it’s too cold to go swimming.
This article was originally published in March 2019. It has been updated for timeliness.