Spring break is quickly approaching. And while it’s a time that all kids look forward to, parents often find themselves trying frantically to come up with activities that can keep the kids busy when they aren’t in school all day. You might decide to go away on vacation for the week. But a staycation can be just as fun.

If you’re thinking of enjoying fun family time at home this upcoming Spring break, here are a few activities to consider with kids of all ages.

Safari reflector telescope and binocular kit.jpgCamp out

Stage a camp out, whether it’s indoors (which will be necessary if you’re experiencing extreme frigid temps) or out in the backyard. Set up a tent, and some fun activities. For example, you could use a telescope to look at the stars and learn about constellations (a great way to sneak some educational value in while the kids aren’t in school). This Safari Reflector Telescope & Binocular Kit comes with both devices so the kids can take turns. It will magnify objects in the distance so you can view them in all their glory.

Capture adventures & make a movie

Get the kids to put together a cool family movie. They could use a GoPro camera to capture footage from activities during the day, then work on the computer at night to create an awesome home video that you can all watch together at the end of the week.

gopro hd hero3 waterproof camera.jpgTable tennis, anyone?

Bring sports indoors with a Table Tennis table with net that you can set up in the basement and have family tournaments. This portable kit from Franklin comes with everything you’d need to get started, including two balls, and a pair of high-tech paddles that have built-in wireless scoring to keep track as you play. No cheating allowed – loser has to wash the dishes after dinner!

Have a karaoke party

Why watch American Idol or The Voice on TV when you can have your own family karaoke session at home? Invite the neighbours, too, and let everyone take a shot at the mic to belt out his favourite tune. The Singing Machine iOS Karaoke machine can stream music from Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPod Touch, using the Singing Machine app. It has over 8,000 song selections, plus a hidden CD+G player that can be used with compatible discs, and a USB port for playing back downloadable karaoke files (MP3+G format) with franklin portable table tennis kit.jpgaccompanying lyrics. Just use the RCA output to connect it to your TV to display the scrolling lyrics. It comes with one mic, but has two jacks if you want to connect a second microphone – maybe mom and dad feel like doing a duet, or the kids want to sing like both Anna and Elsa in Frozen’s Do You Want to Build a Snowman.

Movie night

While you want to encourage active, outdoor play during the day, night-time is a great time for gathering in the living room in your pajamas with some popcorn and beverages and enjoying a fun, family-friendly flick. Some great newly-released options include Big Hero 6 (check out this one with the collectible lenticular packaging) and 101 Dalmations. If you want to get a non-animated movie, a good one for families is Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, or, for the older kids, Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1

Get your bake on

wilton cupcake shaped pan.jpgKids love to help out when mom and dad are cooking, so why not have a bake-out? Everyone can gather together to make some fun treats, from cookies to cakes and breads. Have fun decorating them, too. Grab some decorating bags, food colouring, icing sugar and butter to make your own frosting, then let the kids go to town making their own masterpieces. Use this super cute cupcake-shaped cake pan that kids will love. Or this really cool giant cupcake pan that they can use to put together a massive sweet treat. Don’t forget the sprinkles!

To make this a breakfast activity, whip up a batch of pancake batter, and make some cool, bear-shaped pancakes

If you’re worried about the kids breaking your glassware, check out this Joseph Joseph Nest 9 Plus Prep Set, which comes with measuring cups, mixing bowls, a mesh sieve, and strainer. The bases are non-slip with carrying handles, making them perfect for little kids to use. And everything fits together in a neat stack so it won’t take up much room in your cupboards.

Identify flying objects

parrot jumping sumo mini drone.jpgHave some drone flying fun with a model like the Parrot Bebop Drone, which you can control with your smartphone using the app, and even take videos that would be great to add to your family movie (see above.)

If you’re worried about flying outdoors (or it’s just too cold), you could opt for something like the Parrot Jumping Sumo mini drone instead, which can also be controlled by a smartphone. But, instead of flying in the air, it rolls, zig-zags, turns, circles, and jumps around the floor as you guide it. It, too, can take video that would be worthy of adding some flare to your Spring Break home flick.

Family games night

If you’ve got a spacious basement or rec room, outfit it with some fun games that everyone can enjoy, both during Spring break and in downtime after. Everyone loves a foosball table, and guaranteed it’ll get used just as much by the adults as by the kids.

alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day blu-ray.jpg 

Bottom line

Some parents dread Spring Break, not because they don’t want to spend time with the kids, but because it means a week full of time that needs to be filled with productive activities. After all, you don’t want the kids lounging around, watching TV all day. And while doing some workbooks and reading up for school is a good idea, the kids deserve a bit of a break, too. (Hence the name!) These suggestions involve fun things kids can do on their own at home, as well as activities that are great for the whole family.

You might not be basking in the sun on a beach this Spring Break, or zooming down the ski slopes on a resort. But you can still have just as much fun on a staycation.

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.