Planning a Happy Spring Break at Home

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

A happy spring break is the best kind, but it doesn’t typically just happen magically. It takes a little planning. Consider these tried and true tips to make yours come off without a hitch this year.

The following post was written by JessieLeigh Smith of Parenting Miracles.

Planning a Happy Spring Break | Life as Mom

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!

Planing a Happy Spring Break 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.

Planning a Happy Spring Break | Life as Mom

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 favorite planned activity winds up being snowed or rained 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.

Planning a Happy Spring Break | Life as Mom

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!

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 will YOU use this year to plan a Happy Spring Break?

— JessieLeigh is the mother of a former 24-week micropreemie 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.

Planning a Happy Spring Break Life as Mom

Originally published March 9, 2011.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Aaah! Hadn’t thought about this yet, so thanks for the reminder. Lots of good tips!

  2. It looks like a good plan is the key:-)

  3. Mrs. R. says

    This would be way too rigid for us….but gives me some new ideas, also.

  4. Chana says

    How old were your kids when they started to be able to do the 1hr of independent play (scheduled in your afternoon)? My older two (4.5 and 2.5) can play wonderfully together for a long time, but only when they get into some fun pretending game, not necessarily when I want them to go play. Was this something you trained your kids to do? If my kids play outside quite happily, they are still coming in every 5 minutes to tell me something, tell on the other, etc. I’d love some advice!

    • Janet says

      I think this varies a great deal among kids. My children are now 12 and 14. They never would play outside for any length of time unless mom or dad were outside too when they were younger (under 8 or so). On the other hand, they could happily entertain themselves inside from a very young age.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts