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Keeping Kids Entertained (And Parents Sane) During School Vacation

School vacation or other breaks from your routine can be a great time to bond with your children, but it can also be a nightmare when boredom creeps in. Instead of letting the screens take over as babysitters for an unlimited number of hours, try these fun and simple ideas to keep your kids entertained all day long.

school vacation
Source: Shutterstock

Plan projects kids can enjoy

Boredom = chaos. Projects and activities are the best way to keep kids engaged and entertained during school vacations. These activities are especially critical if your kids are stuck indoors due to COVID restrictions, but thinking of stimulating entertainment every day can be exhausting. Luckily, we’re here to help! Whether it’s a holiday, school vacation, or a sick day at home, here are some projects for kids that are sure to be a hit.

Simple daily activities

  • Build a fort. Bring a pile of pillows and blankets into your living room and set up a cozy fort for reading books, playing games, or taking a nap.
  • Do some origami. A fun activity that children of all ages will enjoy. Pick up an origami book from your local library or a bookstore to keep in your, “I’m bored” arsenal.
  • Have a puzzle race. Pick up a few 100-piece puzzles and race to see who can finish theirs first.
  • Decorate with chalk. Sidewalk chalk is an inexpensive activity that will keep your kids occupied for hours. You can even make your own using cornstarch, water, and liquid food coloring.
  • Cook a new recipe. Whipping up a new recipe with your kids will keep them busy and put dinner on the table—the ultimate win-win situation!

Theme day activities

  • Beach day. Layout pool towels, play ocean sound recordings, and pull the sand toys out of storage for a relaxing vacation from the comfort of your home.
  • Magic day. Kids of all ages (and most adults) are mesmerized by magic. Have each member of your family learn a magic trick and then put on a show! Round off the activity by each making your own personalized magic wands.
  • Camping day. Bring the charm of the wilderness indoors with a family camping day. Build a fort or set up a tent in your living room, sleep in sleeping bags, tell stories, and create memorable moments that matter.

Big projects for teens and older kids

  • Paint a room. Painting is a fun and useful skill to teach your kids. Work with your teen to pick out paint, prep the space, tape edges, don the overalls, and get the paint rolling.
  • Create a meal plan. Your older kids might enjoy learning what it takes to prep food for the week. Ask them to pick out the meals, make a shopping list, and cook alongside you. You can also teach them financial skills by establishing a budget.
  • Get moving as a family. What form of exercise does your teen love? Whether it’s soccer, hiking, swimming, or biking, work with them to plan a family outing where you can all get out of the house and spend quality time together while getting fit in the bargain.

Power tip: Evernote’s Chore Chart template helps everyone stay on top of their chores so your house won’t crumble during the break. Create a checklist of each child’s daily to-dos so they won’t be constantly asking you “What’s next?” Make sure you have time to complete all of your desired activities by using Tasks. For example, add “origami” to your tasks, set a reminder to gather supplies, and add a note with the online tutorial you found.

Explore local activities and events

School vacation is the perfect time to explore local destinations and events you wouldn’t normally have time for. The kids will have something to look forward to, and you won’t have to worry about planning a full-blown family vacation. It’s also a great way to discover local spots and for kids to learn new things. Here are a few places you might explore:

  • Aquariums
  • Public libraries
  • Parks
  • Zoos
  • Scenic drives
  • Indoor playgrounds
  • Museums
  • Pools
  • Restaurants
  • Theaters

Power tip: Add upcoming local events to your calendar to ensure you don’t miss any fun. Evernote connects with Google Calendar, and by linking notes with each event, parents can add event details, attach reservation information, make plans, and more.

school vacation
Source: Shutterstock

Prepare for next year

Parents can also take advantage of the downtime to prepare their kids for the next school year; however, this doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Kids can learn how to organize, improve their learning abilities, and develop productive hobbies while having fun.

  • Take a field trip to their new school
  • Set a countdown until school starts
  • Brainstorm a list of their favorite home lunches
  • Go shopping for a first-day outfit and fun school supplies
  • End with a bang by planning a whole day filled with their favorite summer activities

Make the most of school vacation

School vacation doesn’t need to be a boring time for kids; nor does it have to be chaotic for parents. Plan ahead to ensure your kids are entertained while taking a break from school, and prepare so you stay sane. Having a reliable partner supporting you as you plan these school vacation activities can prove the difference between control and chaos.

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