Remember when you were a kid and it was time for spring break? The week was so full of possibilities, and the excitement was incredibly hard to contain! But then you became a parent and that same break from school morphed into something overwhelming that required so much brain power, patience, and logistics from you? Yep, it’s that time of the year again, folks. 

Spring break—or any extended period of time when your kid is out of school and looking to you to make it F.U.N.—is hard on parents. While it’s a well-deserved break for your kids and their teachers, it often means more work for you. More often than not, you default to more screen time than usual because you either 1) have absolutely no idea how to keep your kids entertained or 2) you still have your own work to do. If you’re looking for screen-free ways to have a fun spring break this year, here are ten suggestions to start you thinking:

  • Go shopping for a brand-new toy or game. Just like you, your kid can always find something at Target. Head to the store and buy something—size doesn’t matter—they’ll enjoy playing with during their week off.
  • Take a day trip. A weeklong vacation may not be in the budget right now, but day trips can be a fun, more affordable option to experience something new. Plus, it doesn’t require much packing. 
  • Become a tourist in your own city. There’s likely something you’ve always been meaning to do in your city, only you haven’t made the time. Well, the time is now! Your city is likely filled with tourist attractions—pick one and explore it.
  • Learn something new together. Do you know how to knit? What about ceramics? Have you ever tried that? Your kid hasn’t either! Use this time off to learn something new together with the help of a local class or YouTube. 
  • Themed day. Themes have the power to transform the ordinary into interesting. Choose a theme and stick to it—pajama day, fancy dinner night, and game nights can be a big hit.
  • Kid swap. There’s likely a parent friend who’s feeling exactly as you are about spring break. Team up with them to trade off kids for an afternoon or day—it’ll give you a much-needed break and your kids some variety. 
  • Sleepovers. Never underestimate the power of a good, old-fashioned sleepover—they’re still very much a preferred entertainment option among kids. 
  • Spend time in nature. Your kids have likely been spending so much time indoors, so heading outside for some fresh air will be a welcomed change. Plan a hike, a picnic, or send them out with some sidewalk chalk—nothing is too small.
  • Let your kids figure it out. There’s an unspoken rule parents live by that it’s our job to keep our kids entertained 24/7. Nothing can be further from the truth—when kids are left to figure things out on their own, their creativity spikes. So, factor in some unplanned time for your kids and see what they come up with.
  • Create a family photo album. Head to the store and purchase a Polaroid or Fujifilm Instax camera and encourage your kids to take pictures throughout the week. Get together at the end of the week and see what spring break looked like through their eyes.