Spring Break is a mere few weeks away and if you’ve got school-aged kids or teens, you’re likely looking for ways to keep your brood busy. While escaping the winter weather and going away for some fun in the sun isn’t always possible or affordable, there are still lots of options for having a great Spring Break without travelling.
Here are some things to consider as you make your plans for a fun and affordable Spring Break:
Ask Your Kids What They Want to Do for Spring Break
Talk to your kids. Let them know that they get to help choose what they’d like to do while staying close to home this year. Their lives are likely as busy as yours, so you might be surprised to learn that they wouldn’t mind having some down time at home.
If your children are quite young, keep it simple and ask what they’d like to do with their friends and family while they’re not at school. Most kids miss their friends during school breaks, so having extra time to spend with them is usually a hit!
How to Plan Affordable Activities
Depending on what your kids want to do, look for ways to keep plans affordable. Sign them up for a day camp rather than a week away; enrol them in a half-day course with a friend; trade off daycare or driving duties with another parent; ask a grandparent or other family member to spend time with them.
If you want to take in a local attraction or event, look for deals online before you go. For camps, check your local recreation guides. They often have part-day camps to help your child learn a new skill or get better at something they already enjoy.
Keep Your Teens Busy
With older teens, Spring Break is a great time to look for a part-time job, work on getting volunteer experience, or spend time visiting local post-secondary institutions. Help your teen make a plan ahead of time so that they know what they’ll be doing. It can be tempting for them to just hang with friends or sleep the week away. Keeping teens busy also helps to avoid the drain on your fridge and cupboards!
Related article: 12 Ways to Save Big on Groceries
Plan a Family Staycation
Many families are opting for staycations, or being tourists in their own town. Just like with a vacation, make a plan for what you want to do on your staycation. The intent of a staycation is to relax without the stress or expense of travelling. As a bonus, you get to sleep in your own bed and no one asks if you’re there yet.
A staycation is not a time for chores, renovations, honey-do lists or for your kids to catch up on homework assignments. If you have work to do, that should be a separate plan for either before or after the fun.
Create a Spring Break Spending Plan
Most parents don’t get as much time off work as their kids get off school, so planning affordable ways to keep kids busy is a never-ending job. Determine your budget ahead of time so that you know what you can afford to spend on Spring Break; then work backwards. Staying home really can be fun!
Planning what you CAN spend money on is a whole lot easier than looking at what you can’t spend. The break at Spring Break should, after all be in your schedules, not your bank account.
Related article: 30 Ideas for a Successful Staycation