Is it me or does it seem as if kids today spend more time at home on school breaks than actually being in school? Honestly, it feels as if my family and I were just spending the Christmas and New Years holiday together and my stepdaughter has had not one, but two breaks since then. Here are a few fun ideas that you can use to plan spring break and mid-term activities for your stepchild.
Activities During Spring Break/Mid-Term Holiday (Galatians 5:22-25)
Spring break can mean different activities for your stepchildren depending on their ages. The older they are, the more they may be tempted to spend their spring break doing what so many young adults are doing these days: partying. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating some much needed time away from school with close friends and other schoolmates. However, teenagers in society today “party” differently than I used to when I was in high school and even in college.
Today’s young people are bombarded in every direction with vulgar music, indecent dancing, abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs at parties. Speaking one on one with your older stepchild before they are on their school break will help them prepare for what they may experience now or even in the future.
I have found the scripture at Galatians 5:22-25 to be extremely helpful when growing up. I can recall my own mom sharing this scripture with me and it has stuck with me throughout my younger days. That scripture states:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 Now those who belong to the Messiah Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also be guided.
At a time when losing control while under the influence of drugs and alcohol appears to be “cool,” this scriptures can help ground your teenager. It will help them focus on the importance of relying on God to remain good, faithful and at peace with their decisions.
Speaking to them about the consequences of doing something unwise that can be recorded and placed on social media for the entire world to see can also help them make wise decisions, especially if they choose to travel with other young students during their break.
So what wholesome activities can your young adults involve themselves in during spring break? Why not plan outdoor activities together? You can help them organize outdoor games for other teens their age in the neighborhood to participate in.
Do you remember the toss games where you had bean bags and you tossed them into a hole in order to win a prize? This would be a fun game to host on a weekend and you and your stepchild can spend time together putting together inexpensive prizes for the winners.
Other ideas include flying disks, giant tumbling timbers (basically a giant Jenga game you can play outside,) giant Connect 4 (yes that’s a thing now, who knew?) and so much more. Many of these games can also be enjoyed by younger kids and are fun for the entire family.
Gardening can be another fun activity that can be started with you and your stepchild. You can take advantage of the opportunity to bond while you work together to make your yard look more beautiful or to grow healthy foods for your entire family. Young ones especially may enjoy digging around in the dirt and sprinkling fertilizer in potted plants or on the ground.
There are many resources online that you can watch together to learn what to plant and when. For example, spring is an excellent time to plant vegetables such as lettuce, arugula, carrots, beets, radishes, kale, broccoli and cauliflower. You can also shop for your gardening tools before the spring break begins.
The short video below by 5-Minute Crafts provides practical tips for you newbie gardeners out there. The best part? You can grow these either in your yard or in your kitchen if you live in a condo or apartment:
Picnics: Fun and Education in One
You can never go wrong with a picnic. There are so many ways you can plan a fun picnic experience with your stepchild and at the same time, you can sneak in educational activities. One thing I always get excited about on family picnics is planning the menu. I love looking for recipes that travel well, does not contain ingredients that may not last in hot climates or adding hot beverages in cold climates. You can always include your entire family in the kitchen with you.
However, if your family is short on time or you just don’t like cooking, no problem! Pack your utensils, blanket and games and stop somewhere to pick up some fast food. You can enjoy your favorite pizza or burgers on your family picnic. After all, it’s not what you eat but who you spend quality time eating with.
Picnics can take place anywhere: at a park, at the beach, you can hike a trail near you and end with a picnic or set up a picnic in your backyard. You can pack everything up in a picnic basket or cooler, spread a blanket on the ground and take in the beautiful sights around you.
Where does the education part come in? Ask your stepchild to bring their spelling words, science project or flash cards and take the opportunity to go over a few lessons while you wait for your food to digest. You can use nature all around you to teach your stepchild about the water cycle, flowers, animals and more.
You can also practice spelling words while tossing a frisbee around or come up with ideas for school projects or term papers while fishing or taking a walk around the park. For older kids, you can toss a water balloon at them each time they get a definition or Spanish translation incorrect. Sounds like a good time to me 😉.
Family trips may be a little difficult for you as the parent. After all, it’s not as if we get free time off from work for spring break 😔. Keep in mind though that a family getaway does not have to be long or expensive. You may decide to take a drive to the nearest lake to go fishing together.
If there’s a spring carnival taking place near your area, you can also make this a fun family outing. A nearby hiking trail can also be a fun activity that takes you away from the boring routine of being at home. If you can find a good discount, don’t completely reject the idea of checking into a local hotel and enjoying the amenities. Everyone will truly feel as if they are on vacation.
In my experience, most kids just want to feel as if they have done something different from what you usually do on the weekends. Get creative and speak to your stepchild about your ideas. If you are the student about to have spring break, approach your parents in advance and let them know what you would like to do during your break. It never hurts to ask.
I know what you’re thinking. Cleaning? A fun activity? Yeah right. But seriously, there are some super organized kids out there and I don’t want to overlook them. To be completely honest, organizing my room was NEVER on my list of activities to do during ANY school break.
However, organizing and tidying up is now a trend made popular by persons such as Marie Kondo. If you aren’t familiar with her, she has amazing tips on how to organize every room in your house. In fact, Netflix has an entire series with her called, yes you named it, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. You can check out a short video below of some of the things your stepchild can work on while they are their mid-term break.
You will also have the added benefit of working on spring cleaning your house bit by bit.
Spring Into Your Stepchild’s Spring Break!
There are so many ways to take advantage of your stepchild’s spring break. You can use your stepchild’s spring break as an opportunity to draw closer to them, get to know them better, take a mini vacation from reality or even help them prepare for when they go back to school.
No matter what you decide to do, make it your goal to try to spend quality time with them at some point during their break. Quality time with your stepchild will go a long way in strengthening the family bond and creating a happy family life.
There are too many children that waste their school breaks on social media. While social media can have some advantages as Christians, there are also disadvantages of social media which you can also read about.