Florida beaches, here I come! Spring break season is upon us and I am already counting the days until I can put my feet in the warm sand. My “out of office” email is ready to go and I am putting the finishing touches on travel plans. You see, I still have kids in school, so spring break in my family is a big deal. Maybe you’re in a similar situation and you have travel plans this year, or maybe you’re staying home. Either way, if you’re fortunate enough to have a spring break, it really can be a great time to do some things as a family that are hard to fit into your normally busy schedule. Here are some ideas that can help you make your spring break even better.
Now before you say, yeah right, hear me out. If it’s rainy, have a pillow fight. Sunny, go with water guns, tag or throwing pies at each other. The point I am trying to make is not to get out of control or do anything that will damage property. Rather, what is important is to do something that involves a lot of movement and raised voices, so you can make up for all the days when it’s not a great idea or appropriate. Your kids, nephews, nieces or even grandchildren will love a little “playful” rough housing with you, and they will definitely enjoy just being a little crazy.
Have you ever seen pictures of a Tough Mudder competition or Spartan Race? The contestants have mud all over them! And the funny thing is that they always have a smile on their faces. Every once in a while, don’t you have an urge to get a little messy? Well on a smaller scale, paint, play dough, or water balloons will work just fine. For kids, making a mess is a great way to enhance their sensory perception and they will have tons of fun. Doing it an area where the clean-up is easier is a must. You could even rent out a place so you don’t have to do the clean-up. Sometimes we just need to say yes to mess and join in whenever possible. This is a great way to create fun memories for the entire family.
When we think of the word snack, we may tend to think of a non-healthy option, but it doesn’t have to be. My family tends to eat a little healthier (at least we try) and we have found there are many healthier options available. You can even make your own. You should consider having a little fun at mealtimes…and between them, too! You could have a “snacky appetizer” by letting everyone pick out their favorite snack food at the store or making their own and then share them. You could also try out some new baking recipes. A bonus to this option is having extra available to consume at a later date.
This is probably my favorite. I love to travel and explore new places. So going somewhere you’ve never gone before, or somewhere you love to go but don’t get enough of seems like a great option to consider. Every family is different, but this could be a lake, ocean, or some unexplored trails near your home, a museum, a movie theater, or even an area with a ton of Pokémon Go stops. If your exploration involves an admission fee, you should plan things out in advance. No matter what you choose, get out the door and do something that is a little different than your normal routine. Life can get pretty boring now and then, so spring break is a great time to mix things up a bit.
Share Favorite Stories
There are a lot of ways to do this one. When you are all together, you can play “remember when?” and reminisce about your favorite memories. Kids love hearing stories about things they did when they were too little to remember and they also like to hear funny or even embarrassing stories about their parents. Stories connect us in special and vital ways, and they serve as springboards for deeper talks. You might be surprised what your kids remember, and what they think about the stories you tell.
That sense of urgency that keeps us running on time on a normal day can really get in the way during a vacation. I think you would agree that it is hard to slow down and turn things off. Maybe a different approach this year is not worrying about wrapping things up early, or beating the traffic, or observing normal bedtimes. Take a deep breath and consciously let go of artificial deadlines or worrying so much about the time of day. Just purposely slow down and enjoy the moment. When it comes down to it, there aren’t too many things that are so important that you can‘t delay taking care of until your spring break is over.
The bottom line to make the most of your spring break is that no matter where you are, or what you decide to do, is making great memories, having fun and enjoying spending time with the people that matter the most.
Please feel free to share this with others.