Spring is in the air, seasons are changing … and your kids are already counting down the days until summer vacation. If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone: Most students begin to feel less engaged with learning in the last few months of the school year.
However, Spring Break can be a great opportunity to refresh that outlook. Just as teachers get creative to engage their students in the classroom, parents can explore outside-the-box learning goals and projects to spark their child’s interests and encourage their curiosity. Rather than “slowing down” as they reach the finish line, we want students to finish strong – and feel happy and proud as they look back at how far they’ve come.
Consider five easy (and educational) ways you can make the most of your child’s Spring Break:
- Spend time “unplugged.” Spring Break is a great opportunity to spend time in nature, especially here in Florida. Whether you’re traveling to a beach, natural spring, river or hiking trail – or appreciating the hidden beauty in your own backyard or local park –outdoor activities are good for the body and mind.
- Get creative about learning! Creativity is just as important a skill as critical thinking or problem-solving, and Spring Break can be a great time to focus on “thinking outside the box.” You might try painting, take a pottery or yoga class, or work on a family DIY project. Even just a few minutes of creative fun can help your kids reenergize and get excited about learning.
- Reconnect with loved ones. In our busy day-to-day, we often forget to connect with the friends and family who matter most to us. Why not use Spring Break as an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones in a deeper way? Rather than sending a quick text message to stay in touch, consider meaningful activities like making a family recipe together, sharing old stories or exploring your family’s heritage and traditions.
- Innovate with technology. Look for new ways to interact with technology as a family: challenge each other to try new games, explore unfamiliar forms of technology together, or take a “virtual vacation” of different countries or ecosystems that family members have visited or would like to visit.
- Take time for gratitude. Making a conscious effort to notice the positive moments in your day is one of the best ways to support mental well-being. You can share the benefits of gratitude with your family through daily activities, like expressing what you’re thankful for around the dinner table or volunteering as a family for a worthy cause.
And remember: While Spring Break can be a great time to explore new and exciting opportunities for fun, learning and family time, it’s also okay to relax! Whether you plan on traveling as family or enjoying a staycation, don’t forget to book some flexibility and free time into your schedule. Once your kids (and you!) have enjoyed a short break from your everyday routines, they’ll be refreshed, inspired, and ready to take on everything the school year still has in store.
Clarissa Flores serves as the Orlando Science Schools Guidance Counselor.