Is spring break travel not happening for your family this year? You don’t have to be bored! The Kidding Around team scoured the internet and reached into the depths of the dusty corners of what’s left of their brains to come up with 5 themed days of activities, food, movies, music and crafts to fill up your spring break.
These ideas all focus on using easy to find items (most of which you already have) and no-frills activities. We encourage you to take these ideas and run with them to create some memorable spring break moments perfect for your family. We’d love to hear how you use these activities and any additions you create!
Day 1: Go to Outerspace
Start with a Selfie. Convince your friends that you really did take a trip to space this spring break! Use the NASA Selfies app to put yourself in space. Download the app, take your picture and select your stellar background. You can download the NASA Selfies app for iOS and Android.
- You can make straw rockets with this fun and free printable. All you need is paper to print on, markers or something to color with and straws.
- Get into space travel attire with a Paper Bag Astronaut Helmet.
Space Snack: Make an Eat-the-Moon Snack with only rice cakes, peanut butter (or nut free substitute) cheerios, & bananas. If you can’t find rice cakes, try bread or a tortilla. Other snack ideas are serving cheese balls or mandarin oranges (pretend they are planets) or using fruit & veggies you have at home to make the shape of a rocket ship.
Space Movie Ideas: Wall-E, Star Wars, or ET
Space Music Playlist: For relaxing background music, introduce your kids to the classic The Planets by Holst
For fun, spunky music try this outer space playlist for kids on Spotify
Outdoor Activity/Game: Go on a moon rock hunt. Our link leads to an activity that includes prizes and a printable, but remember it’s okay to keep it simple. Just ball up some aluminum foil and forget the prizes (your kids will never know).
Day 2: Renaissance Day
Catapult Craft and Game: Renaissance Inventors made up all kinds of inventions with simple machines to solve everyday problems. Try your hand at inventing by creating a catapult out of items in your home. Check your recycle bin and crafty items for materials. If you need ideas, check out how to build a catapult with popsicle sticks, rubber bands and a plastic spoon. If your catapult needs a target, build yourself a marshmallow castle to knock down.
Turn your catapult into a game by seeing which family member can knock down their tower first. Or, if you’re like my kids, you can try to launch marshmallows or chocolate chips into your mouth.
Castle Snack: What would Renaissance Day be without castles? Make a pan of rice crispy treats and cut them into different sizes squares and triangles. Let kids stack the shapes to make their own rice crispy treat castle, or make a larger one as a family. Decorate with gum drops, toothpick flags or whatever you have on hand. Snap a picture and enjoy your snack!
- Loosely set during the late Medieval, early Renaissance era, Princess Bride is a well known comedy. You can purchase the movie for streaming on Amazon.
- My kids put A Kid in King Arthur’s Court on their favorite movie list. This family friendly comedy is available on Amazon and Disney+.
- If you’d like something animated, you can find The Hunchback of Notre Dame on Disney+.
Renaissance Music: Check out this playlist on You Tube for some Renaissance Music.
Backyard Joust Game: Set up a family backyard joust. Stack up cardboard boxes, empty plastic containers or anything else you have that can be knocked over safely. Use empty paper towel rolls duct taped together as swords, or pool noodles if you have them. Take turns charging your tower, who can knock down more of the tower in a single hit?
Renaissance Dinner: Grill up some chicken legs and call them mini-turkey legs. Or roll out some pizza dough and cut into individual portions. Fill with cooked meat and veggies your kids will eat, then fold the dough in half and press together to seal the edges. Bake until the dough is cooked through and you’ve made meat pies.
Bonus: Check out these M&G coloring pages of famous paintings from the Medieval and Renaissance era.
Day 3: A Day in Hawaii
Get in the mood by putting on your happiest clothes. Wearing bathing suits is absolutely acceptable on Hawaiian Day!
Craft: Make a Hawaiian Themed Outfit! Rob your gift decorating stash for tissue paper and find some ribbon or string to make these simple tissue paper leis! If you would like grass skirts to go with the leis, here is a simple tutorial that uses just a paper bag and colored paper to make skirts or you can make a skirt from a plastic tablecloth. We also found a hat tutorial that uses colored paper.
Keep it simple and focus on the process not the results. Remember, your kids will likely break these outfits in about 5 minutes of wearing them.
Snack (Plus Optional Meal Ideas): Goldfish & Pineapples For your snack, serve colorful goldfish & fresh or canned pineapple.
Ideas for a Hawaiian themed dinner if you want to stay on theme could include BBQ on Hawaiian Rolls, Kebabs with Pineapple, Peppers & Chicken or Hawaiian Pizza from your favorite pizza place.
Movie: Moana (if your kids want something else try Lilo & Stitch) If you have a plastic sand bucket around that isn’t beyond cleaning, wash it up and use it for popcorn.
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole
- Kokomo by the Beach Boys
- The Hukilau Song (Mickey’s Fun Songs)
- Hawaiian Roller Coaster (Lilo & Stitch)
- Under the Sea (Little Mermaid)
- Try Te Vaka for an energetic family dance party
Outdoor Activity: Pool or Throw the Flip Flop
If it’s warm enough take out the kiddie pool or sprinkler and let the kids play, but let’s be realistic that this is spring break and it might not be quite that warm, so here are a couple additional ideas!
- Throw the Flip Flop. If you own a hula hoop, hang it up. If not, get creative and find something else to be your target. It could even just be a bush. Set up a line and take turns throwing your flip flops at the target. Whoever gets the most points wins.
- Play the Limbo. Go outside if the weather is nice, but this game can easily move indoors if it’s rainy or cold. Use a broom or anything that’s a pole or stick and see who can get the lowest without touching the floor with anything but their feet. Add music to make it even more festive.
Bonus Dessert: Homemade Disney Dole Whip
Day 4: Western Day
Today, we are cowboys! Wear your jeans, bandanas, cowboy hats and boots (if you have them), and get ready for a day on the ranch.
- Determine what everyone’s cowboy name is.
- Make sure your child has a cowboy hat, bandana or any other western attire on.
- Be sure they look mean and take their photo.
- Either edit this template, or print the photo you took, and write out your own wanted poster.
- Breakfast – The cookie prepares all the meals for the cowboys on the cattle drive, and he starts out with biscuits, bacon and flapjacks (and good, strong coffee!). Let your little cowboys and cowgirls pop open the can of biscuits and lay them out on the tray while you fry up some bacon and possibly even some pancakes.
- Snack – Whip up some trail mix with whatever you have on hand!
- Lunch – The cookie typically warms up leftovers for lunch. Use some of those leftover biscuits and put meat and cheese on them.
- Dinner – Make sure to have some beef stew when those ranch hands are done with their work.
Music: Yippee-i-oh! Young children will love learning some easy cowboy dance steps with Jack Hartmann in this Cowboy Dance. Or, they can even do a western version of the Hokey Pokey with Just Dance Kids!
Ready for a good barn dance! Learn to do the Electric Slide or the Cowboy Cha Cha as a family. Once you are feeling comfortable with the steps, you can dance to some of your favorite country music songs.
Outside: Cowboys play horseshoes, right? Don’t worry if you don’t have any. Just bring out all your lawn games: bean bag toss, ladder ball, ring toss, etc.
Night: If possible, make a fire in the backyard and roast marshmallows. You can make s’mores, or just eat them plain! While you’re roasting, sing some campfire songs such as Kumbaya or tell ghost stories. If you have the space, set up a tent in the backyard and camp outside.
Day 5: African Safari
Some of you may have seen Holiday in the Wild on Netflix over the holidays. Today is your day to embrace breezy clothes while your children explore Africa and their own backyard safari.
- Combine snack time with your craft time! All you need is some basic art supplies and a box of animal crackers to create a safari collage. While everyone is cutting and glueing, they can eat some animal crackers.
- Make your own Djembe drum using two styrofoam cups and lots of masking tape. The best part will be decorating it with feathers, beads, paint, etc. There is lots of room for creativity. Here’s all the directions.
Outside Safari: You may not be able to go on a real African safari, or even to the zoo right now, but you can go on your very own local safari. Take a walk in your neighborhood or just explore your backyard. If possible, let everyone have a camera or device to take photos. Whoever has the most pictures of different animals wins! Include ants, caterpillars, the neighbor’s dog, squirrels, butterflies, bees, and especially birds. Download the Audubon Bird Guide app to see how many different kinds of birds you can discover…or hear. This is the time to pull out those butterfly nets, binoculars, and magnifying glasses.
- Quench your thirst with Bug Juice! You can make the bug juice green or red depending on the juices your use. Freeze some gummy worms in ice cube trays filled with water, than toss those in with the chilled bug juice. Keep it in the fridge for use all day!
- When you’re ready for a break from your safari adventure, grab a pack of hot dogs and a can of crescents and make these Flutter-By Franks. Everyone will catch a butterfly at this safari lunch.
- Enjoy some warthog sandwiches for dinner. Yes, they are actually pork sandwiches, and they are so easy. Simply place a 4-5lb pork butt and cola into your slow cooker in the morning, and you will have delicious pulled pork by dinner.
- For dessert, have some Little Debbie Zebra Cakes or prepare this African dessert with your children.
Music: Drums are a must to dance to some African music. If you don’t want to make your own drum, grab some oatmeal containers and coffee cans with plastic lids for hand drums. For larger drums, you can use pots, wastebaskets, ice cream buckets or cardboard boxes upside-down on the floor. Now, get your heart pounding as you learn African Dance.
Movie Night: Continue your African safari as you watch The Lion King on Disney+.
Happy Spring Break! Which activity did your family enjoy the most?