Are you ready for spring break? Here’s a bucket-list plan that will keep the kids occupied and won’t break the bank.
Whether spring break is right around the corner or months away, it’s never too early (or late) to start planning what you’re going to do to keep the kids occupied, engaged in activities, and (shhh … don’t tell them) even learning. That’s why starting a Spring Break Bucket List today is a great idea.
Wondering why you need a special bucket list just for spring break? Isn’t one bucket list enough for a lifetime? Creating a specific list of spring break activities will help you be more intentional about your use of time. To put a finer point on it: You’ll be less likely to wind up glancing at the clock halfway through Day 3 and wonder how it got to be 4 p.m., what on earth you actually did for the last few days, and why you have virtually noting to show for it. Plus, your kids’ “what I did on spring break” essay can include more than a Netflix mega-marathon and junk food fest.
One last note before you let the kids in on your plan: While children love the idea of generating ideas for this bucket list, it’s probably best if parents have the last say on what makes the final cut. That way the elements included are more likely to be doable, affordable, and enjoyable for the whole family.
What Should Be on a Spring Break Bucket List?
Get your creative juices flowing with the following guidelines and ideas.
Mix it up. Choose a variety of activities that will be fun for the whole family. If you’ve got kids that span a wide range of ages, maybe have one parent do something with the older ones while the other takes the younger kids elsewhere. For instance, half of the clan might go to a local playground, while the older family members go roller skating.
Keep tasks short and less expensive. That is, compared to what you’d put on a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list. So, for instance, a three-day stay at Disney is perfect for your “lifetime” list, but “visiting three parks” might be a better fit for spring break.
Don’t take on too much. Depending on how time-intensive your activities are, you shouldn’t aim for more than three a day. Since kids still will have to do all the usual things — meals, baths, maybe even homework — consider how much time you actually have before making any promises. You might also consider devoting a day or two to chores and schoolwork (if needed) and then designate other days for bucket-list adventures.
Give back to the community. You’d be hard-pressed to find a parent who doesn’t want to teach their kids to do random acts of kindness for others. And many schools, clubs, and religious programs require a certain number of hours of volunteer service. When generating your bucket list, include activities that allow your family to help others and give back to the community. To get started, check out the ideas in Volunteer Options That Teens and Tweens (Love) right here on the ActivityHero blog.
Continue to collect ideas. Tack a paper to the fridge where kids and parents can write down a new bucket-list idea when they think of one. You certainly can’t do everything during one spring break, but you’ll have plenty of ideas to stay busy during summertime or on the next three-day weekend.
Ideas for Your Spring Break Bucket List
- Fly a kite or teach kids another low-tech activity you loved as a child.
- Choose one bookshelf and read all of the picture books on it.
- Research authentic cuisine from a foreign country, then prepare some of the dishes as a family.
- Bake cookies and take them to neighbors.
- Make homemade cards and deliver them to a nursing home.
- Go through a drive-thru and pay for the car behind you.
- Try a new-to-you restaurant or cafe.
- Park the car on the main street of a nearby town, and take a walk to discover hidden gems.
- Stay at a hotel in your own town. Choose one with a pool, if you don’t have one at home, and ask the concierge for local activities to try.
- Have a family slumber party, complete with pizza, games, and movies at night … and chocolate chip pancakes in the morning.
- Invite grandparents over for a meal made by the kids.
- Deep-clean closets and dressers in prep for a family garage sale.
- Host a neighborhood ice cream social.
- Go to a state or national park.
- Plant seeds for a garden — veggies, herbs, and/or flowers.
- Visit a zoo or aquarium.
- Play mini golf.
- Create a music video to a favorite song and upload it to Youtube.
- See what special programs the local ski resorts and other tourist spots are offering during break time.
- Take a class as a family, in art or cooking or something else you all enjoy.
How to Display Your Spring Break Bucket List
Instead of writing down your ideas on a sheet of paper, you can boost everyone’s excitement by typing up the list using fun fonts in bright colors. Put a small check-box beside each item so you can X it when it’s complete.
Another option: Write down each idea on a small slip of paper, fold the papers in half, and place them in a clean bucket or sand pail. Then when someone says that they’re “boooorrrrrrrrrred,” tell them to go to the bucket and select an activity.
Need a Little Break Yourself?
Check out ActivityHero for kids’ holiday break camps in your area! There’s something for everyone, and you can find options that last for a few hours, a whole work day, or a few days at a stretch — whatever suits your family’s needs!