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Planning a Happy Spring Break

Posted By Jessica Fisher On March 9, 2011 @ 1:00 am In Family Fun | 4 Comments

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- A post from LifeasMOM Contributor, JessieLeigh -

Ah, Spring is right around the corner!

Right? Oh, please, tell me it’s true.

Up here in New England it’s felt like the snow and ice will never end. Nevertheless, no matter what the weather may bring, Spring Break will arrive. And, while it might be nice if we were all dashing off on Disney trips or Caribbean cruises, that’s just not the reality most of us will face. Most of us will have our children at home with us- rain, snow, or shine- for a full seven to ten days. Better prepare to make the most of it!

Plan for Fun at Home

Spring Break is not like Summer Break, in my opinion. While the latter is a great time for busting out a new, more lax routine, this little Spring recess is a time for having fun while still maintaining some semblance of “business as usual.”

Especially with younger children, routine and a fair bit of predictability can be your best friends for smooth, happy days.

I’m a firm believer that a little planning can make life oh so much easier. Now is a great time to start working on a game plan for your Spring Break.

Jotting down some ideas, framing out general time lines, and making lists of materials you might need for projects will help ensure you’re in good shape when school lets out. I think it can be all too easy to think that it’s going to be so fun and delightful to have all this free time and “not have to be anywhere!” But, once the Monday breakfast dishes have been cleared, you’re going to want to have some tricks up your sleeves.

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Plan Ahead

Think about what you’d love to accomplish, things you’d like to do with your children, and back-up plans just in case the Easter egg hunt winds up being snowed out– it’s happened to us!

:: Consider whether or not your other half will be home for all or part of Spring Break. How does this effect your planning?

:: Will you be making any day trips or simply enjoying your time at home?

:: Would you like to use this time to try new, exotic foods with your kids or stick with basic, quick meals that come together in a flash?

:: Does your climate lend itself to lots of outdoor fun or will you likely need to come up with a variety of indoor entertainment?

:: Do you have teenagers who will likely be making their own plans with their own friends or little ones who will require a lot of ideas and guidance from you?

All of these things will play a role in helping you come up with a game-plan.
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How It Looks at JL’s House

For my family, I like to sketch out a general schedule. This is NOT a tool to add stress and limitations to the day.

Odd as it may seem, having a schedule provides me with the framework to build in more activities, more free time, and still accomplish what needs to get done to run this home.

I’m not spinning my wheels and I don’t lose as many opportunities if I have a basic outline of how I’d like the day to go.

I have young children- ages 6, 5, and 1. I’d like to serve up a variety of foods during our break- some simple, some more complex. We’re likely to spend the vast majority of the time at home and weather in New England is unpredictable at best. Daddy will be working Monday through Friday just like always.

With all that in mind, here’s a sample of what our schedule might look like:

7:30-8:00am : Up & Dressed (This is a bit later than typical, but not lazing the whole day away!)
8:00-9:00am : Breakfast and Morning Tidying (the kitchen, the beds, whatever needs done)
9:00-9:30am : Free Play (This is important for both of you- free play is an essential skill to learn!)
9:30-10:00am : Speech / Math work (One of my children has “speech homework”, the other is tackling division for fun.)
10:00-10:30am : Coloring/Craft/Art Project
10:30-11:00am : Free Play {OR- 10:00-11:00am : Errands as needed.}
11:00-11:30 : Cooking Craft (Kids help me bake, prep dinner, pull lunch together, etc.)
11:30am-12:30pm : Lunch (We don’t always need an hour to eat, but I like to build it in.)
12:30-1:00pm : Game/Puzzle/Acting Play
1:00-3:00pm : Baby Naps. Meanwhile-
1:00-2:00pm : Older children read, color, do activity workbooks, etc. while Mama does blog work, responds to emails, menu plans, etc.
2:00-3:00pm : Clean/tidy rooms as needed. Fold laundry as needed.
3:00-4:30pm : Play outside, weather permitting, or in play room.
4:30-5:00pm : Older children tidy play room, if needed, or wrap things up with outside play!
5:00-5:30pm : This is the one and only window of the day when I let my children watch a quick show or play a game on the computer. The baby keeps me company as I get dinner on the table.
5:45pm : Daddy is home and we all eat together!

There is a lot of freedom in this schedule and lots of room to improvise. Having an hour slotted for lunch means a picnic is an easy possibility. Realizing that errands will still come up and need to happen allows me to plan a time of day to fit them in when my children aren’t likely to be hungry, tired, or cranky. Balancing rowdy and quiet play keeps the kids happy and me sane.

Your schedule will look different depending on your children’s ages, where you live, and your family’s preferences. Mine will likely look different next year!

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Spring Break days should be filled with fun and special activities… but that doesn’t mean I need to let order fly out the window and drive myself nuts trying to come up with entertainment on the fly. If you’re the type of mom who loves nothing more than spontaneity and flying by the seat of your pants, by all means, go for it.

But if, like me, you like to know what to expect from your days and always have a few tricks up your sleeve, you might just find that a scheduled Spring Break makes for a happy Spring Break.

I’ve used up my quota of spontaneity on snow days this year.

What techniques do YOU use to have fun on Spring Break?

[8]– JessieLeigh is the mother of a former 24-week micropreemie [9] and two full-term blessings as well. She is a determined advocate for the tiniest of babies, including the unborn, and a firm believer in faith and miracles. She shares about raising such a precious, tiny baby over at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles [10].


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[9] a former 24-week micropreemie: http://parentingthetiniestofmiracles.blogspot.com/2008/08/birth-story.html

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