Taking a break from school is a necessary part of education. Students and teachers alike need time to relax and unwind. But, sometimes, it's not feasible to go on a trip on a school break. During these breaks, you need some activities to do at home to keep the kids from going stir-crazy.
Taking a vacation during school break is great, but it’s not always an option. That's when you can have some fun at home with a “staycation.” The idea is to play local tourist and do some fun activities in your local area. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much fun it can be and how much your area has to offer. Best of all, you get to come home and sleep in your own bed at the end of the day.
Find The Water
When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing better than dipping into a cool pool or lake or going for a swim in the ocean. Take a look at what options you have in your area. Explore local lakes, rivers, and creeks that you can swim or wade in. If you live close enough to the beach, take a day-trip.
Finding local pools is another excellent option. Many cities have public pools that are surprisingly fun and underused. Of course, neighborhood pools can be an even better option. If you don’t have one yourself, meet up with a friend who’s lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with a pool.
Have Fun With Water At Home
And don’t forget about having fun with water at home. Get a kiddie pool, water toys, or turn on the sprinklers (or garden hose) and cool off. If you haven’t run through sprinklers in the past decade or so, I dare you to give it a try. It’s just as much fun at 35 (or a little older) as it was at 5. And frankly, you owe it to your kids to introduce them to this summer tradition.
Grab some water guns from the local dollar store, fill them up, and let the games begin. Having big buckets of water sitting around the yard makes it easy to refill and keep playing. Or you can use the buckets and plastic cups to set up some fun water races that involve getting the water from the bucket at one end of the yard to the other using the cups.
My kids love water balloon wars. Grab a pack (or two) of balloons, fill them up, divide them between the teams, and let the battle begin. Lots of giggles and screams are sure to be heard. Get the kids to pick up all the little plastic pieces from the balloons before everyone heads inside. (Mom Tip: This will dry them off before they trek through the house!)
More Fun In The Back Yard
Since we're already in the backyard, don’t stop with just water activities. There’s all sorts of fun stuff you can do right at home, from dining al fresco to roasting marshmallows over the fire pit and even sleeping under the stars. Treat your home like a vacation spot. Get everyone outside, and have some fun.
Dive Into History and Art
How much do you know about the local history in your area? Make it a point to read up on it before break, so while you're on break you can explore local historical places and museums. When break's over, you can encourage them to read more about the area and maybe create a history project.
Explore History and Art at Home
If you don't have any historical places or museums nearby to discover, then go on a virtual adventure and explore museums online. These museums have great virtual tours using Google Arts and Leisure:
Peek At The Calendar Of Events
Take a look at your local calendars of events. You’ll be surprised how much communities do during the summer months. There are often classes, concerts, movie showings, and even festivals you may not be aware of.
Between events your city or county puts on and various other events hosted by discovery centers, museums, and churches, you’ll be sure to find quite a few things you may want to attend this summer.
Create a Theme for The Day
Find a theme for the day, and make the entire day about that theme.
- Have a William Shakespeare Day. Read a sonnet, eat British foods, make up funny Shakespearean quotes, and watch a play.
- Come up with a Percy Jackson theme and learn about mythology. Study the gods and goddesses, explore what the ancient Greeks believed and create a few fun games.
- Make it a Box Day. Order some subscription boxes and spend the day creating fun art projects.
- Come up with your own theme inspired by your kids.
Explore New (and Old) Cultures
Just because you’re staying home this summer doesn't mean you can’t dive into a new culture. It’s one of the biggest benefits of traveling abroad, but with a little effort and imagination you can experience some of it right at home.
Pick a country or culture and start exploring. Taste the food, listen to music, watch movies, and read books. Maybe you can even learn a little of the language and do it all as a family so you can interact and explore together.
We've explored Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece from the comfort of our own home and had a blast. From creating traditional Greek clothing to eating authentic Egyptian food, we explored ancient cultures and even learned about current traditions in other countries.
By simply putting as much planning and effort into a staycation as you would any regular family vacation, you can have an amazing experience this summer that will cost a fraction of a regular trip.
Get Your School Break Bucket List of Ideas
There are tons of great ideas to add to your school break list. We even created a bucket list for you that you can add to when great ideas pop up. Just click the button below!
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…