Kids out of school? Don't go stir-crazy! This list of things to do for spring break is full of indoor and outdoor activities they'll love.
Keeping kids entertained while they’re out of school is always a challenge. If your family is looking for things to do for spring break, this list is full of both indoor and outdoor activities that are sure to delight everyone.
Whether you lead these activities or leave them with a sitter, your children will stay happy and engaged throughout the upcoming vacation. The best part? They’ll also keep learning.
Adventure in Nature During Spring Break
There’s no better teacher than the great outdoors. With opportunities to dive into almost any subject, nature adventures inspire problem-solving, imaginative thinking, and motor skills development. Here are some of our favorite things to do outside:
Butterfly Life Cycle
Springtime brings new life, so spring break is a great time to look for signs of growth and rebirth. Tracking the butterfly life cycle gives plenty of opportunities for engaging art projects, scientific discoveries, and nature observations.
On a nature walk, look for butterflies and caterpillars. Learn about host plants, like milkweed, and look for signs of butterfly eggs. There are also plenty of resources for songs, stories, and art projects that encourage a deeper understanding of metamorphosis.
Build a Bee Haven
Pollinators are a critical part of our environment and are responsible for one of every three bites of food we eat. Plan activities around pollinators, such as building a native bee house, planting a pollinator garden, or visiting a honey bee hive. There’s plenty to learn about insects, pollination, and food production, and children will love participating in hands-on activities.
Build a Fairy Garden
Magical things to do for spring break include building a fairy garden. Plant shade-loving ground covers in a forested area of your yard and decorate with pretty stones and other found natural objects.
Combine the project with other activities and encourage children to create decorations during art time to add to their fairy garden. They’ll love to imagine the fairies visiting the miniature space. Complement the activity with fairy tales and stories of magical creatures.
Backyard Bug Hunt
Though adults can get skittish, nearly all children love a bug hunt. Invertebrates make up 97% of all animal life on earth, and creepy crawlers are an accessible way to teach children about other ecosystems. Break out the magnifying glasses and have fun exploring the tiny lifeforms in your neighborhood. You can get a specified bug catcher kit or use old food containers with holes poked in them to closely observe the insect.
Nature Exploration Tip: Nature educators often use the trio of prompts “I notice…,” “I wonder…,” and “It reminds me of…” to inspire the children’s curiosity and deeper thinking.
Build a Sundial
For more crafty and educational things to do for spring break, try building a sundial. This is especially good for children interested in how things work. The project doesn’t need fancy materials, and updating the sundial can be a fun way to break up the day. You can make one using a paper plate and a pencil or draw one with chalk in the driveway.
Even if you can’t go on an elaborate vacation, there might be some local campgrounds in your area that would make a delightful one-night adventure. Take your family car camping for a dreamy evening under the stars. You can incorporate lessons about food planning, cooking over a camp stove, tending a fire, and setting up a tent. Children will love the adventure and treasure the memories.
Indoor Spring Break Activities
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you must go crazy trying to entertain the children. Bad weather? No problem! Set up some of these indoor things to do for spring break to give your kids enriching and educational activities.
Hallway Laser Maze
Bring out the inner ninja in your children with this hallway laser maze. It’s great practice for body awareness and gross motor skills. Tape string or ribbon to create a zig-zagging maze between two hallway walls. Have your children start at one end and try to delicately bob and weave their way through without touching the “lasers.” Did they master it quickly? Make it longer and more complex! This challenge will keep them entertained for hours.
Fun With Cardboard Boxes
Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most exciting. For a child, nothing has more potential than a giant cardboard box. This simple item can give a child endless things to do for spring break fun.
That box could be a rocket ship, a race car, or a castle. If they can fit inside, it’s an immediate clubhouse. Or it can also be decorated as train tracks, dollhouses, or pretend kitchens. Break out the art supplies to fuel their imaginations as they drop into some magical free play.
Shadow Art Murals Using Animal Toys to Draw Silhouettes
As children develop the fine motor skills to use pencils and markers, it can be frustrating to be unable to draw what’s in their heads. Tracing shadows can be a great way for them to practice holding a drawing utensil steady and navigating curvy lines.
Near a sunny window, set up a few pieces of paper with your child’s favorite toys positioned, so their shadows fall on the paper. Your children can trace the outline and then color it in the image.
Host a Talent Event
Some children love performing. Whether it’s singing their favorite song, improvising a dance routine, or just acting silly, a talent show can be a great way to give them the spotlight and reinforce their creativity. Make a stage, create a sign-up list, and get ready to applaud. This spring break, your kid’s becoming a star!
Build a Rock Family
Making a rock family is a found art activity your children will love. First, collect stones on a nature walk. This works best if the rocks are relatively flat to fit behind a picture frame. Look for stones near a river or stream smoothed by water. Have children create a family portrait out of the rocks. They can stack them together or use a single rock per person.
Escape Room Fun
Escape rooms are fun for adults, but they can be too complex for children. However, for the kiddo who loves to solve puzzles, an at-home escape room can be a treat.
Lock something desirable (like that night’s dessert) up in a box with a combination lock. Then, make a series of age-appropriate puzzles that each reveal a number to the code. Give the activity a theme and encourage your children to dress in costumes. You’ll need all the detectives, doctors, dinosaurs, and princesses to rescue the cookies from the jar!
Master Chef Competition
Sometimes cooking dinner or prepping lunch can feel stressful when your kiddos are running around asking for attention. If they’ve run out of things to do, make mealtime its own activity by hosting a mini Master Chef competition. Lay out ingredients and have your children put together their own feast.
Let Your Spring Break Shine With Sitters From Call Emmy
Spring break is meant to be a chance for children to relax, but it can be difficult to think of activities that are engaging and educational. Hopefully, this list of things to do for spring break provided some inspiration for both outdoor and indoor fun.