Spring Break is upon us. Send help!
For one whole week out of the year, all three of our precious little hooligans are home. A typical week day is pretty structured and after about two months of being a stay-at-home mom I’ve finally gotten my toddler on a schedule.
With the older boys at home, all of that goes out of the window. The oldest wants to play video games all day, the middle child wants to do whatever his big brother is doing and baby girl is just excited to have her brothers home. This means bye-bye routine and hello crazy house.
Now I knew what was coming with everyone being home with me and double stocked the pantry. The kids seem to eat a lot more when they are at home versus being at school. Lucky for my pockets, the supermarket was having an excellent sale on their favorite snacks. I also attempted to plan out activities for the week.
My husband and I were ready, so we thought. After rolling with the punches and making it to Friday I think I’ve got three solid tips to help combat boredom and sibling squabbling during spring break.
1. Plan for both indoor and outdoor activities.
Make sure you have a plan for both! The weather in Virginia is so iffy, one day being sunny and pleasant and the next frigid cold and raining. We always want our little ones to get plenty of fresh air, but it’s not always possible. Our outside time included blowing bubbles, playing tag, football, basketball, races and even some light yard work. We live about five minutes from the bay, so we went there when the weather permitted.
Our indoor activities consisted of limited TV time, reading, coloring, board games and when they started to get all jittery, separate screen time. Things did not always run seamlessly and there were definitley moments where all three were running wild, but the majority of their time was occupied.
2. Plan a “Great Escape.”
Sometimes you have to just pack the kids up and head on out.for a change of scenery. We headed to the mall, the beach, book store and Target. Yes, Target is a field trip in our household! There is something about getting out of the house that does wonders for even the crankiest pre-teen.
Our favorite escape was a simple drive around a scenic portion of our town. We live near a decommissioned military base and the sights and history seemed to keep the attention of our kiddos. Another bonus, usually when we get home, the kids are ready to either nap or go to bed!
3. Stock your pantry.
Let’s be more specific—stock it with snacks. I don’t know about your little ones, but mine act as if they eat five to seven times per day while at school. They gravitate to the kitchen and remind me constantly when the last meal was. The cycle continues every 20 minutes, maybe even ten. It’s totally ridiculous but a way of life.
My husband and I found that when we kept the snacks that they liked and threw in some fruit here and there we were able to keep them from turning into starving children every hour on the hour.
I’d implemented a water rule, where they have to drink water before they can drink any flavored drink. It sort of works. As much as I would like to say that we only allow the kids to eat when they regularly eat during the school day, I’d much rather choose my battles and just make sure to offer healthy snacks.
If you cover those three at least, you’ve got a chance of survival. After this week I think I should purchase my kids teachers a bottle of wine. Bless them for not only putting up with, but educating our wild ones!