It's getting harder to wake them up for school. They (and you) want to push the snooze button an extra time. Homework is a drag…really do we need to have a math worksheet EVERY night? The temperatures are not wintery fun anymore—no snow, no holiday magic. Green is starting to peek out from the lawn and trees. Yep, that's right, spring break is around the corner, and honestly, it can't get here soon enough.

Yay for a week of sleeping in, not packing lunches, no scheduled activities, and uninterrupted time with your children.



What are we going to do? It's too late to plan a vacation, and besides, do you really want the hassle of packing, traveling and running to and fro to stick to a fun-filled agenda?

No worries—you can do this. You just need some ideas. A loose list to choose from every day so you get in all the relaxation without the whining of boredom.

We'll call this "Back to Basic Play."

1. Get them outside! Yes, I know, the weather may not be perfect and still a little chilly, but the fresh air will do wonders for them. If you have a playset in your backyard, even better. Invite some friends. Go ahead, invite the whole neighborhood. Sliding, swinging and climbing on a sturdy structure is an all-around exercise regime they'd never get in PE class. Sandbox? They can pretend they're on that cool beach vacation.

Spring Break Get Them Outside

2. Whip up some treats. Better yet, teach them to cook along with you. Give them their own cookware and watch how excited they get when they taste the finished product.

3. Set up an indoor cozy retreat. If you're fortunate enough to have one of these cool teepees, then you're halfway there. But, you can also just use sheets and pillows and construct a fort in the house somewhere. (I like to utilize the seldom-used dining room, and drape sheets around the sides of the table.) You'll be amazed at what they'll drag from their rooms—stuffed animals, books, dolls—to pack into their "house" for the day.

4. Start a band. If you can tolerate some noise for a while, let them channel their inner rock star or Beethoven and belt out some tunes. Give them an all-access pass to your closet and see what crazy stage outfits they come up with. With choreography thrown in, this could be a full-day concert.

Spring Break Indoor Retreat

5. Encourage a budding Picasso. Whatever their medium of choice—paint, chalk, colors or clay—there's a masterpiece in the making somewhere. And, messy is fun, right? Ok, to them. You, not so much. Contain their artistic expressions with smart storage solutions, like easels, tables, bins and more.

Spring Break Encourage a budding Picasso

Of course, these are just a few options to do during that weeklong free time. Spending time with grandparents or other relatives is always cherished memories And, those are ones they'll remember as much as a Disney trip. (You just may have to wait till they're grown till they realize this.) Hey, no one said parenting lessons were learned fast.