Spring Break for Elementary Kids

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Spring Break for Elementary Kids during Covid-19

Written by Rebecca Henry

OK, friends. Spring Break is upon us and COVID-19 has dramatically changed what that means. We’ve finished two weeks of e-learning and, I don’t know about you, but we are ready to take a break. Our former Spring Break plans with trips to the zoo, discovering new parks, and play dates with friends feels like an alternate universe. We need a new game plan. One that brings a little bit of joy to our days and maybe rejuvenates us, just a bit. Under no circumstances can we let our plans push us over the edge. We just don’t have that kind of margin these days. It’s POSSIBLE the dreaded, “I’m bored,” is going to be uttered this coming week. Instead of our usual “Lucky you! Boredom brings about the best ideas” speech, let’s be prepared to give them a push in the right direction.

These are unusual times and that calls for a little bit of grace for all of us, including our kids. So, as far as that game plan is concerned, here’s what our family is doing to make sure Spring Break 2020 still feels fun for all of us. Maybe it’ll work for you too. 

First, we’ll BRAINSTORM

Sit down with your kids and brainstorm. What sounds fun to them? Given current circumstances, what can you actually do? What are you, as the parent, willing to do? Fill this list with big and little ideas. Cover the gamut. You want variety here. Once you’ve compiled a list of feasible ideas you’ll need two sheets of paper. 

Next, we’ll make a BUCKET LIST

Take your first sheet of paper and transfer the ideas from your brainstorm list that you definitely want to do. These are your top priority. Schedule them ahead of time or just make a bucket list for your family to reference over the next week. Do what works for you. These ideas will provide the structure for your week. 

Finally, we’ll make an IDEA JAR

Take your second sheet of paper and cut it up into smaller strips. On the strips of paper, write down the other ideas from your brainstorm list, the ones that didn’t make it onto your bucket list. Stick these into a jar. These ideas will be your fillers. When boredom strikes, go to the jar. Keep in mind, you can stack the deck! Add in the basics: listen to an audiobook, play catch, play tic tac toe

The Ideas

I am confident you and your family can come up with fun, practical ways to enjoy Spring Break despite social distancing keeping us away from our go-to activities, but in case you feel stuck here are a few ideas that might work in your house. If you see an idea and think, “Nope, no way,” then skip it! This is about finding what works for you and your family. And if you don’t see something here that you think we should know about, leave us a comment. We’re all in this together, friends! 

Cooking/Food 

  • Cooking With Kids
  • Cupcake decorating station — Make from scratch or a box mix, but don’t forget the frosting and sprinkles

STEM

Arts and Crafts

  • Make your own puzzle – Draw or Paint your own work of art, then cut out pieces to make your own puzzle. If you want it to be more sturdy glue artwork onto construction paper, cardstock, or thin cardboard BEFORE you cut it out. 
  • Sidewalk Paint
  • Origami

Physical Activity

  • Cosmic kids yoga
  • Outdoor walks/scooter or bike rides — Many of the nature and forest preserves in DuPage County are still open, check the DuPage Forest Preserve site to see what’s open and closed. Local trails are also still open (Prairie Path, Great Western Trail, Fox River Trail) – check Trail Link to find local trails, the NRPA offers tips on how to practice safe social distancing outside
  • Family Olympics — Indoor exercise games 

Games

Other

  • Family Room sleepover/campout – we combine this with movie night and it’s always a hit
  • Fort Building 
  • Online Mad Libs
  • Screen Time — Common Sense Media has a nice round-up of the free online activities that have become available in recent weeks