• Joni Ganguzza

Coronavirus Canceling Your Plans? 50 Staycation Ideas for Spring Break

If you are like me you may have had some awesome Spring Break plans that had to be cancelled due to concerns of spreading the Coronavirus. My plans were not as extravagant as friends who were supposed to go to Italy, but even a day at the Houston Rodeo was cancelled. Which leaves us with what? "Bored" kids.

No matter your anxieties about the virus, keeping a sense of calm and normalcy in your children's lives is a must. Just because your plans have changed, doesn't mean memories and quality times won't happen. Here are a few things we are doing with our seven to make the most of the week off.

If you complete an idea on here please post it to my Raising Seven Facebook page or my @Raising_Seven Instagram or use the hashtag #raisingseven

1) Backyard Camp out

- The adventure doesn't necessarily have to be far from home. My kids enjoy the concept of sleeping somewhere adventurous. Set up a tent, string up some Christmas lights for a bit of extra lighting, and roast Marshmallows over a backyard fire (but your microwave will do to).

2) Little Entrepreneurs

- My kids are always looking for a way to earn money. If you go on etsy.com you can see a wide variety of homemade crafts that people sell. Why not open your own Bath Bomb business on Etsy or a homemade t-shirt business? Your kids could either keep their earnings or find a charity they like and give a portion to charity to teach them the valuable lesson of giving.

3) Movie and Popcorn Bar

- I know many people want their kids off electronics, but don't make it just another movie night, make it special. Have a popcorn bar with lots of different seasonings. To make the popcorn more fun you can air pop it so the kids see it coming out or get these microwavable silicone bowls. If you have younger kids, you can get some empty boxes and have the kids decorate them as cars for a "drive in" movie.

4) Teach them to Ride their __________

- Some people get super busy and their child doesn't know how to ride a bike or rollerblades yet. Well, this is the week. My favorite place to teach my kids is actually on the hardtop at school because the surface is much smoother than my sidewalk.

5)Fishing and Hiking

- Although we do catch and release, my kids absolutely love to fish. The best part is they can spend hours killing time fishing. Don't have a fishing pole? Here is a simple starter one. Where we live, kids don't need a permit so I can take them to spend hours outdoors catching fish. If you have some local hiking trails, this is also a great week to go check them out.

6) Board Game Tournament

- I like board games over video games as it involves a lot more strategy and practices social skills i.e. trying to learn to play nicely and not cheat against your siblings. These have been a few of our favorites:

- Giant Jenga

- Carcassone - Great for older kids

- Star Wars Risk

- Hedbanz

- Left, Right, Center

7) Puzzle contest

- Get a puzzle for each child and have them race to see who can put it together the fastest - great quiet time activity. You can usually pick these up at the dollar store or my kids liked this 4 pack on amazon

8) Rock painting

- Go for a nature walk and collect some rocks. Pain the rocks with pictures or inspiring messages, return them to nature for people to find. Paint Pens work great on these.

9)Herb Garden

- Make a pizza pot! Plant Oregano, Basil, Thyme and Rosemary in a pot and watch your garden grow - by summer you'll have a ton of fresh herbs to cook with. You can get seeds at your local hardware store. Planting them in individual mason jars is a fun way to turn them into gifts. You can also buy a kit that comes with all the supplies.

10) Origami

- This is a great activity for older kids. Get an origami book and some fun origami paper and have them create some art.

11) Kite flying

- Find an open field or beach and have your kids go fly a kite.

12) Coloring

- A great go to for younger kids. There are a ton of free printables on the internet or the dollar store usually has a ton of books for sale

13) Playdoh

- A fun way to involve bigger kids in this is to make your own. You can make it more entertaining by adding glitter, food coloring and/or essential oils to make it smell good.

14) Slime

- Kids absolutely love it. It is also a good activity to teach kids about germs. Make some slime, put a small amount of glitter in your childs hands and watch the glitter get stuck in the slime. You can explain that is how germs work as well. There are kits available or you can follow this simple recipe.

15) Kiwi Crates

- These were gifted to us but they are so amazing. They cover all the different STEM activities and they make them for ages under 2 to teenagers. Use this link for 50% off your first kit.

16) Chalk paint

- A twist a sidewalk chalk. We use muffin tins to make a bunch of different colors for our artwork. My older kids tend to like this since it is more creative than regular sidewalk chalk. To make: mix one cup of cornstarch with one cup of water until no clumps. Divide in muffin tins and add a different food coloring to each cup of a muffin tin.

17) Bath paint

- Similar to chalk paint, but makes bathtime creative for younger kids. In a small plastic container, Mix 1/4 cup body wash or shampoo with 1/4 cup of cornstarch until smooth. Add a couple drops of food coloring. Add 1-2 tbsp of water until desired consistency.

18) Balloon animals

- This is great for younger and older kids. My big kids enjoy watching you tube videos on how to create them. Here is a kit that comes with the pump and balloons.

19) Plant a vegetable garden

- It is Spring, so buy some seeds and plant a garden. You could make it into a science experiment by planting some in an area with direct sun and another in an area with shade to teach kids about what is needed to grow plants. Head to your local hardware store or you can get a kit that comes with everything you need.

20) Melting (Perler) Beads

- Great for fine motor skills and even my older kids enjoy making intricate artwork. You will need pegboards and a bucket of beads.

21) Bake

- Kids love to participate in cooking. Whether you are a brownies from a box parent or a make your own bread from scratch parent either way it is a fun activity.

22) Tie Dye

- Buy some inexpensive white t shirts and a tie dye kit and create some fun creations your kids can wear later

23) Cup Stacking

- Another fun activity that kids can race a clock or each other. You can buy official cups or you can always use some red solo cups if you have them around.

24) Make your own ice cream

- Make the old fashioned ice cream in a bag that takes effort and movement to make frozen

25) Sand

- Get some sand toys (the dollar store is also a great source of these) and head to the beach, park or volleyball court to have some fun

26)Make an obstacle course

- Grab cones, hula hoops or even some recycling and create an obstacle course in your backyard

27) Nerf Gun Battle

- Get a box of bullets and some nerf guns and let the kids battle it out in the backyard

28) Cardboard Boxes

- Collect all your amazon prime boxes and have your kids create structures - houses, boats, castles etc and color them

29) Create your own temporary tattoos

- Buy a temporary tattoo kit or washable marker and stencil some fun designs on your arms and legs

30) Shaving Cream Art

- Buy some inexpensive shaving cream, spray all over an outdoor table, add drops of food coloring throughout and have kids mix different colors together to create fun artwork. When you are done, hose down the table

31) Dance in the Rain

- Raining? As long as there is no thunder and it isn't too cold, let your kids be kids and dance in the rain and jump in puddles

32) Paper Airplanes

- There are a ton of different ways to make paper airplanes, Search the internet for some different designs and have your kids see which design will fly the farthest

33) Melt some crayons

- Have your kids take the paper wrapper off of all their broken crayons, get some inexpensive silicone molds (my kids liked the lego molds), place broken pieces in mold, melt at 200 F for 10-15 minutes. You could even place them in cute bags and have them as party favors or sell them on etsy

34) Scavenger Hunt

- Create an indoor scavenger hunt. Make a list of things for them to find i.e. Something shiny, something blue, something fluffy etc and have the kids race each other to complete the hunt

35) Leaf art

- Collect several leaves on a nature walk, use white glue and a paint brush to glue them to construction paper, use water colors to paint the leaves

36) Magnet art

- get a plastic tray, several pieces of metal (i.e. washers), cover the washers in paint and place on a piece of paper on the tray. Use a stronger magnet to move the washer across the paper to create art work

37) Photo Books

- If you have older kids, have them make free photobooks on Shutterfly. There is a lot of digitial stickers or writing they can add. You can use this link for a free 8 x 8 book.

38) Baking Soda and Vinegar

- The classic volcano mixture kids love. Spread baking soda on a cookie sheet. Fill an ice cube tray with vinegar each cube with a different color. Given kids droppers and have them drip the colored vinegar on the baking soda. Hours of fun watching the chemical reaction of carbon dioxide being released.

39) Diet Coke and Mentos Explosion

- Another fun ourdoor experiment. Get a 2L bottle of diet soda, open, place in middle of yard, drop some mentos in and run quick! See how high of an explosion you can get. You can vary the experiment with diet versus regular soda (hint, the aspartame in diet soda actually causes a bigger reaction) or vary the number of mentos you drop in the soda

40) Solar Smores

- You need a warmer, sunny day for this to work well. Place a graham cracker on a piece of foil and top with chocolate and mini marshmallows. Using a magnify glass, have kids concentrate their solar energy and melt the marshmallows

41) Make your own race track

- Using painters tape (or opt for this awesome race track tape), make a race track on your floor for kids to race their cars on. You can even use cardboard boxes as buildings

42) Make your own bird house

- Great activity for older kids to learn to use tools. Buy a pre cut bird house kit, assemble, paint, and hang outside and see who comes to visit you. IF you have younger kids, you can buy premade ones and just paint them.

43) Waste paper shoot out

- Get a stack of paper that was headed to recycling anyway, put some laundry baskets out and a piece of tape to mark for each child to stand. Set timer for a minute and see how many baskets they can make. If you have a hundred stuffed animals collecting dust, they also make great objects for this game

44) Freeze dance

- You can do this the old fashioned way by turning on and off music or you can download the freeze dance app on Alexa and have it direct the kids.

45) Make a Vision Board

- For kids, it could be a vision of their future career or just their vision of a perfect day or summer vacation. Have them cut pictures out of magazines and glue them on poster board to have them dream and create

46) Write Letters

- Letter writing has become a lost art. Buy some fun blank cards or postcards and have your kids send mail to family and friends

47) Make a Pine Cone Bird Feeder

- Take a pine cone (or even a stick will do if those aren't handy to your area), spread a nut butter of your choice on it and roll in bird seed. Hang with a string from a tree.

48) Indoor Obstacle Course

- You can mark the ground with painters tape, move couches, put pillows down as obstacles and create an obstacle course for your kids to maneuver through. You can time them to see if they can beat their time

49) "Lazer" Maze

- Use streamers and painters tape to create a "lazer" maze in a hallway. Kids need to climb through without tearing the streamers

50) Picnic

- Pack up your lunch or dinner and eat it at a park or even your backyard. You can make it themed by having an "orange color", Italian or start with a certain letter. Have your kids help plan and prep the meal

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