I don’t know about you but when I was a kid, spring break always had special memories for me! It was a time to connect with my family, travel to new places, and really just create some special moments together as a family
However, with the recent coronavirus, Covid-19, concerns, many of our Austin families are canceling their travel plans to stay home in Austin. At this time, Austin Kids Retreat is still open and planning to remain open as long as it is safe. We are thrilled that children are in the lowest risk category. Even so, we keep health and cleanliness a top priority to prevent any illness from spreading – see more tips on how to prevent the spread of germs with kids here. Feel secure knowing that Austin Kids Retreat is dis-in-fx certified and have regular microbial swabs done at our facility. If you need any Austin drop-in daycare – we are here for you!
We know how the change in plans can be disappointing to kids but that doesn’t mean Spring Break doesn’t have to be special!
Take these ideas and make them your own!
Here are 5 different ideas, one for each weekday, for activities to do on Spring Break 2020.
1. ABC Day
Choose a letter and make the day about that letter!
Hint: kids LOVE to have letter days based on the first letter of their name!! Have several kids and not enough time to do several letters of the day-days? Go with the first letter of your last name instead!
So if your letter is P…
Your day could look like this:
Theme of the Day: Pirate, Prince, or Princess – create a make believe game or dress up in theme!
Breakfast: Poptart or Pancakes + Papaya and Peaches for Breakfast
Activity: Pilates (fun yoga session- check out Cosmic Yoga on YouTube for a kids youtube video to do at home). Or make some Putty!
Lunch: Picnics in the Park eating Pizza
Activity: Painting Pictures of Pineapples (pineapple smoothies as an afternoon snack?) or Puzzles
Dinner: Pesto Pasta with Pancetta and Peas (scared to feed green – don’t be, this is a FUN meal and might make your child more inclined to try it out! Check out more healthy eating tips on our blog.)
After Dinner: Popcorn movie time…time to watch Peter Pan in Pajamas for the Pajama Party. Pudding anyone?
Things to do in Austin during Spring Break (beginning with the letter P):
Explore a new park in Austin you haven’t been to!
Visit an Austin Public Library
Barton Springs POOL if the weather is warm…rent Paddle Board!
Dine at P.Terry’s
Eat or find something to do in Pflugerville (that funny sounding city that begins with a P)
PLAY at Austin Kids Retreat!!
The best part of having an ABC day is it can be as frugal or splurge-worthy as you want! Either way, you’re sure to make fantastic memories as a family.
2. Spring Outside
With beautiful weather upon us, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful warm spring we’re having in Austin!
- Plant a garden – Target dollar spot often has great items for this project. The Dollar Tree as well. Encourage your child to plant and take care of an herb, vegetable, fruit, or flower of their choice and pot a plant! Make it fun by getting them their own gardening supplies, pot, and letting them choose their seed packet.
Make yard work a game
- Give your child a rake and encourage them to rake a big pile of leaves. Make it a game, “who can make the biggest pile?”
- Water Play – put on your swimsuits and get outside! Unleash the hose or start a water balloon war by launching the first sneak attack.
- Empower your child to plan a picnic lunch! Most children over the age of 4 are able to make a peanut butter (or nut butter) and jelly sandwich. It may not be pretty but it will feel great helping put together lunch.
- Paint rocks! Send your child/children out to gather their favorite rocks. Paint rocks and decorate your newly planted garden.
- Nature scavenger hunt! Ask for specific finds for older children or make it easy by asking for colors and simple items for younger children. Give them a picture of their hunt and a paper bag, ask them to collect their items!
- Create an outdoor obstacle course. Use the elements of nature, chalk, your local park, or even toys/sports equipment you have on hand to make this come through (ie, hopscotch, hula hoop 3 times, run as fast as you can until you get to the basketball – make a basket before you move onto the playground. Go down the slide then race across the field!)
3. Board Game Marathon / Create Your Own Game
How many board games can you play?
Time to dust off your forgotten games and pull out as many games as you can find.
Don’t have enough players? Not enough games?
- Make it a neighborhood thing!
- Invite some neighbors over with their board games or start a board game rotation. Play as many as your child’s attention span can handle.
When you’re spent – challenge your child to create their own board game!!
- Make it a game that incorporates real life!
Create a giant poster board with a spinner – draw some household chores and when you spin – it’s off to the races!
Who can complete the chore first? Parents vs kids? Will you create a buddy system and pair up?
- Ideas include: who can make their bed first?
- Who can get all their dirty clothes to the laundry first?
- Make 2 piles of even sized laundry and have a timed folding competition!
- Make Chores Fun Again 😉
Winner is in charge of the game you play the next family game night or maybe earns some cool hard cash!
If you’re house is spic and span and chores are redundant to you…one, – bless you and what is your secret?! Two – maybe make a floor lava game. The spinner is how many steps you have to take. Can’t make it to safety? Time to start at the beginning again!
These are just a few ideas on how to create your own game at home.
4. Craft and Create
A day near and dear to my heart, crafting is one of my all-time favorites because I love to see how the kids react! I like making this a one or two-day limited event over Spring Break because there’s less of a chance that your house looks like the craft fairy hit it with a glitter bomb!
Spring Break falls on St Patrick’s day this year so I recommend themed St.Patty’s Crafts
- Playdough Rainbow. Make each color of the rainbow out of playdough. There are many playdough recipes. Here’s a playdough without cream of tartar easy recipe (plus it’s super soft!)
- Green glitter slime! Fun for any slime fan
- Green pancakes. Okay maybe this isn’t technically a craft – but it’s still creating! Make green pancakes with green smoothies! Here’s a great kids green smoothie recipe. If you don’t have coconut water just use a mix of water, juice and/or the milk of your choice!
- Popcorn Necklaces – go green or make it a rainbow mix! Check out the how to color popcorn tutorial here
- Paper Plate Activities: Leprechaun mask and end of the rainbow twirlers
5. Chef for a Day
This is a fun way of combining life skills and creativity! Change the degree of difficulty depending on your child’s age and how many children you have.
- Task: Have your child set the menu! Either choose a single course or have them plan the entire day of cooking.
For older children, you can give them a budget, take them to the store and ask them to prepare the course within that price range.
- For younger children, you can guide them in buying and making the meal step by step.
- Create your own mini-Chopped challenge by putting together 4 “Mystery Ingredients” from your fridge-freezer-and-pantry or store-bought items.
- Cook-Off! Pair together or challenge each other head to head on who can cook or bake the best dish using the same ingredients.
- Creative cooking – prepare and cook meals in unconventional ways.
Roll of the dice. Grab a cookbook. Randomly open to a page. Whatever you open to – that’s what you have to cook! No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.
- 21st century option – type in “recipe” on pinterest. Scroll with your eyes closed. Stop and point!
Get your child into the chef mindset by preparing properly for the role. If they are somewhat of a picky eater, be sure to read our tips on picky eating and how to break past this childhood hurdle.
The dollar tree sells aprons for just $1 that you can customize and craft with your child before you start cooking!
Keeping kitchen safety in mind, make sure any knives being used are supervised and good for your child’s age. If your child has a strong love of cooking independently, but isn’t ready for sharp knives, I might suggest this set by the Curious Chef.
You can find more tips on how to use this Spring Break time to connect with your child by doing activities that speak to their love language.
Or create some healthy family habits!
Additionally here’s a great schedule for your kids while they are home potentially longer than Spring Break!
Please keep in mind that Austin Kids Retreat is open for Austin’s drop-in daycare needs during spring break.
We are located in the Four Points area of Austin, close to Steiner Ranch.