Make Spring Break Affordable For You and Your Family

Having fun on spring break doesn’t have to blow your yearly vacation budget.  Free and inexpensive activities for families are everywhere.  Read on for a few ideas on how to get the most out of your Spring Break buck.

First, some indoor Spring Break activities:

1.    Arts & Crafts

This is a wonderfully constructive way to entertain children of all ages.  Crafts give them an opportunity to express creativity and develop fine motor skills.  To add a seasonal theme, put together a May Day basket or paint Easter eggs.

2.    Redecorate

Remove clutter and give your home a fresh, updated look after a thorough spring cleaning.  Temporary wall decals are an easy way for kids to personalize their bedroom.  To spruce up the kitchen and bath, let kids pick out new dish towels and novelty soaps.  Flowers and birds are great options to create a spring theme.

3.    Cook a week of healthy meals

Fresh produce in the spring makes eating light simple.  Shop for colorful fruits and vegetables.  Baby carrots, beets, and strawberries are perfect for small children.  I still remember shucking ears of fresh sweet corn and shelling peas with my grandmother each spring.

4.    Learn about local nature

Look at guidebooks that cover the flora and fauna of your region. Spend quality time reading with each child.  Complete a daily journal for the week about the species of plants and animals you’ve observed.

5.    Conduct science experiments

The changing seasons will cause curiosity about how flowers grow and what causes it to rain.  Check out PBS, local science museums, or the library for ideas.

6.    Plan a summer vacation

Get a head start on plans for your summer vacation by giving kids small research projects.  If you already have a destination in mind, have them look for kid-friendly activities in the area.  Local museums and parks are a great place to start.

Outdoor Spring Break activities:

1.    Plant a garden

Teach the fundamentals of gardening.  Growing your own vegetables and flowers is pretty easy if you keep at it.  Break larger tasks into short, simple steps and have each child help along the way.  A set of safe, child-sized tools would be fun too.

2.    Have a picnic

Let your kids plan the menu.  Prepare easy salads, sandwiches, and snacks. Bring along a Frisbee or football so you can get some exercise.  Don’t forget desert!

3.    Play ball

Check into your local youth sport leagues or simply put up a basketball hoop in the driveway.  There are likely many free or inexpensive places in your hometown to play tennis or golf.

4.    Have an Earth Day celebration

Earth Day is April 22.  Browse community calendars for organized events or plan your own celebration.  It’s the perfect day to plant a new tree or start a compost pile.  Take a family field trip to your local recycling center or check out an animal rescue sanctuary.

5.    Paint nature

Spring is a great time to enjoy natural beauty while developing your artistic abilities.  Bring a sketchpad along on a walk.  Make quick freehand drawings of plants and animals you see.  Use your pictures to start a short comic strip.  Small children can collect stones, leaves, or seashells.

6.    Volunteer

This is a wonderful way to spend time with family while giving back to your community.  Opportunities abound through your church or school.  If you feel ambitious, you could help build a home for a low-income family or clean up a local park.

It’s not difficult to enjoy spring break without spending loads of money.  Focus on spending time together and taking on activities that enrich your lives.  If you can improve your community, all the better.

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