Growing up in a “party of six” family meant sneaking away for Spring Break was no easy feat. So before it was even cool my dad invented the staycation. It took some creative vibes to fashion activities for an array of ages. Yet, some of my favorite memories happened right inside our front door including the production of our could-have-been famous play, “Anna Goes West.”

If you’re like my clan and staying home this Spring Break, try these 12 activities borrowed from my childhood.

First up, is of course, putting on a play!

  1. Put on a play. As a child, I loved (still do!) dress-up and make-believe. My three sisters and I would spend ALL DAY writing a play, crafting a playbill, doing our makeup, and picking the perfect costumes from our trunk of vintage gowns. In the evening, my parents were “treated” to a show. Encouraging creativity, teamwork, and staying busy – yes, please! Need some help? Use these storytelling prompts for the whole family.
  2. Nature walk. No matter the season, if it was a beautiful day, my mom took us on nature walks around the neighborhood. She encouraged us to hunt for flowers, leaves, and sticks among other things. All of our finds became fodder for arts and crafts. We glued flowers into dress forms or painted leaves to make unique prints.
  3. Stargazing. In the mid-90s, we’d crowd around my sister’s telescope to spy on the night sky. A year ago, my Dad introduced me to the Star Walk app to make it a cinch to see the cosmos sans telescope. Seeing the curiosity in my daughter, Henley’s eyes reminds me why outer space still amazes me.
  4. Camp in the backyard. Former Girl Scout here. Before my first official camping trip, my sisters helped me practice by camping in our backyard! One pup tent, four sleeping bags, ghost stories, and a lot of s’mores later – we almost made it through the whole night.
  5. Backyard movie night. Take your campout up a notch with a backyard movie night for fellow stay-at-home Spring Breakers. Blankets, pillows, and twinkle lights set the stage. Let your little ones help out by making a marquee to invite the neighbors and prepping a popcorn bar. To add spirit, pick a movie with sweet tunes like Trolls to get the group singing and dancing!
  6. Puddle-jumping. There’s bound to be at least one rainy day during an ATX Spring Break. Have everyone slip on their galoshes to jump in all the puddles around the block. Or make your own puddle jump! Let the littles paint paper plates, once dry write a letter from the alphabet on each plate, and have them jump letter to letter.
  7. Make your own pizza night. All the jumping is bound to work up an appetite. Invite everyone to the kitchen for make your own pizza night. Confession: I’m guilty of over-cheesin’ my pizza so we use a muffin tin to pre-portion out toppings. While it cooks, let ‘em play with leftover pizza dough.
  8. Dance party. Another fan favorite at my house while dinner cooks is the ultimate dance party. We set out tambourines + shakers and turn up the jams! No rules and no judgment you just gotta dance the whole song through. Join us!
  9. Opposite day. I’ve never been a fan of wearing my clothes the wrong way, but in my house, we did everything opposite. We’d start the day with dinner and end with my favorite meal of the day – breakfast. Anything we could do backward, we would – walking, talking, reading and singing. More silly ideas here!
  10. Classic driveway fun. Back in the 90’s, my parents opened the garage door and we bounced around activity to activity for hours never leaving the driveway! Our go-tos were rollerblading, bubbles, and hitting a tennis ball off the side of the house. Nowadays, Henley prefers kite-flying, kicking the soccer ball, and sidewalk chalk. For any other hopscotch junkies, get inspired by this guide.
  11. Pack a picnic. Walk to a local park, unfold a blanket in your front yard, or head into the living room for a picnic. We’re not too fancy, so we pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches + coloring books and crayons. After eating, we ask Hen to draw the world as she sees it. She’s getting pretty good at trees and dinosaurs…
  12. The bear hunt. When all else fails, we raid our trove of art supplies for anything and everything. A recent hit – we rolled out white kraft paper, painted our hands and feet, and then did a bear crawl across the paper for a “Bear Hunt.” So when it doubt scour Pinterest for some Spring Break worthy crafts.

What’s your favorite way to spend Spring Break at home?



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