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Spring Break Projects at Home with the Kids

By (view all posts by psutton)
at 6:54AM Tuesday April 12, 2011
under Holidays

Many of us are not taking a fancy vacation this spring break, but that doesn't mean it can't be a memorable time for our children.  Doing a project with your kids leads to bonding and valuable memories.  Build something elaborate that will last for years or do an afternoon project.  Just be sure to have fun and create together!
Getting the garden ready is a favorite on my spring to-do list.  If you have an established area for vegetables, now is the time to go to the nursery and pick out your veggies and start planting. Several years ago I lived in a rental with a terrible backyard that was all dirt.  I wasn't willing, nor did I have the time with toddlers, to get my garden in order--but I really missed watching something grow.  I went out and bought sunflower seeds and planted them in the sunniest area.  We had a great time watching them grow, but the gophers got to them before the seeds were ready to eat.  If you have a gopher problem (or just for fun) build a raised garden box and be sure to line it with chicken wire. 

If you don't have a garden or you just want an afternoon project, then start an herb garden in a pot.  I like using a big strawberry pot.  Incorporate art projects with your garden by painting clay pots or rocks with outdoor acrylic paint.  Get your rocks and pots ready by scrubbing away any dirt before you start painting.  Another fun and long lasting project is creating stepping stones from cement.  You can create your own frame or find one at a home improvement store along with the cement and tools you'll need. Use colored glass stones, old jewelry, broken china or anything else you can find to decorate your stepping stone.

Create a big family building project.  Dads or cool moms with building skills are needed, but everyone can help!  A kid favorite is the tree house and this can last for years if it's built well.   If you don't have the time or the building material then just a small platform that fits one or two is still a big bonus in backyard cool points. Instead of a ladder use a thick rope with big knots to create a way to get up that gives a little more exercise.  For younger children build a sand box that they can help paint.  Make a cover with outdoor fabric and a heavy chain sewed around the edge to keep animals from using it as an outdoor potty.  If you're looking for a quick afternoon back yard improvement create a tire swing, put up a tether ball or even a zip line.

Celebrate spring and Easter with some great indoor crafts or baking.  I love cookies and every holiday is a reason to make sugar cookies.  I buy tones of sprinkles and let my kids decorate at will, usually with too many sprinkles and a rainbow of colors on each cookie.

Decorate your home with a spring wreath.  For preschoolers cut out a piece of cardboard and let them glue torn pieces of pastel colored paper then add two or three flowers with a bow in one area and you have a master piece.  Get your older kids involved by letting them do some online research for a wreath they would like to make.  If you are having a family gathering for Easter create place cards for each of your guests.  Little kids can decorate with pastel colors and older children will love to show their creative abilities to grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Do you have a great project planned.  Have you had fun (or trouble) on a past project with your children?  Share with us!