spring break hiplatina
Photo: Shayne Rodriguez Thompson
Family

10 Ways to Bond With Your Kids Over Spring Break

Spring Break is happening! It’s finally here after what felt like an endless winter and even though many of us have been home together for much of the year, it’s been super-stressful and we certainly wouldn’t say most of it has been quality time at home as a family. It really hasn’t. Instead, we’ve been living a curious existence of perhaps impossibly attempting to balance work demands, virtual learning and everyday family and household tasks. We’ve had such little time and energy to actually enjoy our children during the many months that most moms have just been trying our hardest to figure out a new normal for our families.

Spring Break though is the perfect opportunity to take a deep breath, reconnect and devote some time to family bonding. Even if you’re working the entire week, we promise, there are some things you can do to make sure your kids feel seen, loved and appreciated during the days that you don’t have to nag them about schoolwork and homework and online attendance. Pick and choose from these options to see what works for you and your family and most importantly, remember to be present.

Take a Day or Two Off

We know that can be easier said than done, but it’ll be so worth it when you see the smiles on your kids faces when you tell them “mommy doesn’t have to work today.” Just knowing that you have an entire day devoted just to them will mean the world. Even if you have to call out sick, just do it. And if that’s truly not possible, perhaps take a half day and head home early. Still not possible? Drop your to-do list once you get home from work and ask your kids what they want to do with mom.

Get Outdoors

Designate some time during Spring Break to get outside with your kids. Find a local hiking trail, bike path or fishing pond to explore with your kids. Seriously, even if you just hit the neighborhood playground and shoot hoops together, it’ll likely be something they’ll always remember fondly. The sunshine and Vitamin D will put everyone in a great mood too.

Bake Cookies or Their Preferred Sweet Treat

I don’t know about anyone else, but every single time I whip up some homemade treats for my kids they are absolutely thrilled. It’s particularly special when I invite them to help me in the kitchen with the treat-making. It makes for some awesome quality time together, and if you do it early in the week, you’ll have some yummy goodies to enjoy all of Spring Break.Try making some buñuelos or, for something extra sweet, dulce de leche cake.

Have a Game Night Ritual

Even if games aren’t your thing, take one for the team and commit to having a family game night with your kids during Spring Break. Kids love playing board games and card games, it’s good for their brains and it’ll definitely make for some lasting memories. We’re partial to Uno and Jenga and Loteria is always a fun choice too.

Buy Them an Ice Cream to Enjoy During an Outing

It’s Spring! The warmer weather has arrived and the ice cream shops have opened. Celebrate Spring Break by treating your little ones to a tasty ice cream cone. That first ice cream of the season is what pure childhood joy is made of. Pro tip: surprise them! Don’t even tell your kids what you have in store for them until you arrive at the ice cream parlor.

Introduce Them to a Favorite Book

Spend the week of Spring Break reading a favorite book from your own childhood to or with your kids. Most young kids are super-excited to learn about things that mom and dad enjoyed when they were children themselves.  They will understand that once they know about it too, it’ll always be something special you share together. Plus, it’s a great way to get your kids to read while bonding over a beloved book.

Cook a Meal Together of Their Choosing

Cooking is something you have to day any way, so why not turn it into a Spring Break activity? We say give the meal a fun theme and let your kids be a part of the planning and preparing. For example, let your kids choose a country and then work together to decide on dishes from that country to prepare, research recipes together and then cook them side-by-side. It’ll be a cool learning experience and you might just get your kids to try something new.

Have a Living Room Sleepover

Pull out the air mattress, sleeping bags or just tons of blankets and pillows and set up a family slumber party in your living room. Pick a fun movie to watch together, have lots of snacks on hand and most importantly, put away your phone. We’re not ones to vilify parents using phones around their kids,  but the whole point of a family sleepover is to give them your undivided attention for the night. This is also a great way to enjoy the meal you just cooked and continue spending quality time together. Pro tip: Let them pick the movie and you can even assign a movie night each day so they all get their picks in.

Pamper Them with a Spa Day or Shopping for a New Outfit

Treat your kids (and yourself, of course) to a little bit of pampering. Whether it’s a manicure or a haircut or taking them shopping to pick out a new outfit or pair of shoes, time off during Spring Break is a great opportunity to teach them a little bit about self-care and taking the time to rest, reset and tend to their physical and emotional needs. It also allows them to feel “grown up” which, let’s face it, they always enjoy!

Let Them Choose What They’d Like to Do

Really want to reconnect and get in touch with your kiddos over Spring Break? Ask them what THEY want to do. Much of the time, we parent on auto-pilot, just going through the motions to make sure everyone’s needs are met and before long, we realize we don’t even really know what our kids like anymore. So, ask them! Your kids Spring Break activity of choice might just be really eye-opening and surprise you. Maybe they want to order sushi for dinner or go to a cool museum, you’ll discover more about the personalities of the chiquitos you’re raising making it that much more special.