Three children sit at the living room coffee table and play with puppets.

20 ways to keep kids busy at home during spring break

Editor’s note: This post was updated March 8, 2023.

During spring break, kids can’t wait to sleep in (fingers crossed), and parents are thrilled at the idea of not having to make lunches the night before school. With a whole week of child-time ahead, having plans in place will make for a stress-free, fun, and memorable break.

Need ideas for home-based activities that don’t include a screen? While many of us would love to start the list with “cleaning bedrooms,” the following is probably a more fun (and realistic) list.

1. Scavenger hunts

An oldie but a really goodie. For the younger crowd, have kids collect items based on colours (such as three red items, three blue items, etc.), and for older kids, items can be collected based on letters of the alphabet.

2. Collages

Go through photo collections, print out favourites, and make a creative collage for a fun and thoughtful gift for a special friend or family member.

3. Unlimited painter’s tape games

One roll of painter’s tape = countless activities. Create a long jump “pit” with several spaced-out lines of tape and see how far kids can jump. Perhaps they get further each time they try! Fashion your very own indoor hopscotch court and used rolled up socks or beanbags as markers. Design a race track for toy cars, trucks, and trains.

4. Fashion show

Unleash your child’s inner diva with a raid of home closets and the dress-up box. Suggest categories for outfits such as stylish or silly. Don’t forget the runway, the music, and the flash of the paparazzi taking pictures.

Three siblings stand in their living room, dressed up in costumes. One girl is a green dragon, another is a magician, and the the third is dressed like Paddington Bear.

5. Balloon tennis

Using hands, tennis rackets, back scratchers, pool noodles, or other devices, make your own Wimbledon court. (Strawberries and cream and finger sandwiches are strongly encouraged.)

6. Slime!

This squishy, oozy fad is not going away anytime soon. And why would we want it to? Make your own slime using myriad internet-provided instructions. Create slime in different colours and themes.

7. Living room picnic

Spread out your favourite blanket and include the kids in the preparation of their favourite lunch items. Who knows? Maybe after the break, they will make their own lunches! (A parent can dream.)

8. Paper airplanes

There are so many ways to craft a super-sleek aircraft. Ramp up the fun by designing a landing strip. Can you fly your plane into a large pot, a large circle cut out of paper on the floor, or through a hula hoop?

9. House of cards

Skip the Netflix version, grab a pack of playing cards, and see how high your kids can build a tower.

10. Rock painting

With warm, sunny days ahead, prepare to beautify your outdoor space with colourful, painted rocks. Decorate rocks with multiple colours, pictures, dates, and kids’ names.

11. Forts

Go old-school with pillows and blankets, or create a full-day activity by picking up a large appliance cardboard box. Cut out a door, a window or two, and provide craft materials including paint, markers, glue, feathers, ribbons, and stickers for kids to make their very own stylish tiny house. Don’t forget to stock the fort with cushions, flashlights, books, and snacks.

A little girl wearing a crown throws open the cut-out windows of her cardboard castle. She has a big smile on her face.

12. Domino run

Pick up a few boxes of dominoes at your local dollar or toy store and set up a domino run. Start small with a straight line of dominoes and increase the challenge with varying shapes of runs.

13. Freeze dance

Think of this as a super way to burn off excess energy as well as an always-fun game. Crank up your kids’ favourite songs and when the DJ (designated kid or parent) stops the music, players must freeze in their spot.

14. Puppet show

With a few craft supplies and a whole lot of creativity, have your kids make their own puppets, write a script, and perform a show. Think Sound of Music without the goats.

15. Twister

Using the official board or your own home-designed version, there is never a dry eye (as in happy, laughing tears) when getting tied up in knots with your friends and family.

16. Obstacle course

When designing an obstacle course indoors or outside, it’s all about movement. Crawl under an object, jump over an object, run around an object, slide between objects, and laugh!

17. Board games

Think the old favourites: Hungry Hippos, Clue, Sorry, Monopoly, Candyland, Snakes and Ladders, and Yahtzee.

18. Indoor basketball

The methods of playing indoor basketball are practically limitless. Have kids toss balled-up socks into laundry hampers, ping pong balls into cups, stuffed animals into hula hoops, etc.

19. Bake

Channel your inner Martha Stewart and bake cookies from scratch. Or channel your inner Betty Crocker and get a pre-made mix. No one is judging!

20. Juggle

It takes a lot of skill and coordination to become a master juggler but with a lot of practice with one, two, and eventually, three items found around the house, juggling can become a party favourite. (Just be sure to lock the knives away while looking for potential juggling props!)

Enjoy, and let us know if you have more ideas!

6 responses to “20 ways to keep kids busy at home during spring break

  1. Thank you so much! Jeorge has had lots of fun and practice his favs are the dance off and scavanger hunt

  2. Dance-O-Thon!
    Set a timer and have family dance non-stop for that period of time! You can even create shirt number tags and have a winner for who dances the most.

  3. This is a great Rx to the current concerns re: cov19 panic. Watch out grocers and supermarkets, looks like a new run on fun headed your way from a tsunami of good ideas here!

  4. These are all really useful and informative ideas on how to keep kids busy at home during spring break. And i am going to do it in this spring when my kids needed these. Hope so my kids going to be a well passing spring time. Thanks for the giving these great ideas.

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