When I worked in a daycare center the before and after-school kids would come for full days over the March break. This meant that we would come up with an entire week of ideas to entertain the school-aged set. So, if you’re in need of some inexpensive, exciting and easy things to do with your kids this March break, look no further. These 20 March break activities are broken into two categories: Activities to do at home and things you can do out and about in your neighborhood.
At Home March Break Activities
These activities can be done in your own home and require just a few supplies and a little prep. Bonus; these ideas are also inexpensive and perfect for a stay-cation.
1. Make-Your-Own Pizza Party
Hit the grocery store with your kids and let them pick out the ingredients for some pizza-making fun. Make your own dough using this recipe from Spend with Pennies or buy a ready-made crust. Let your child customize their pizza to their liking, pop it in the oven and watch the cheese melt. I use ready-made crust and bake at 375 degrees F until the cheese is melty and the crust looks golden-brown.
2. Art Extravaganza
Ok, this one’s a bit messy but it will keep your artistic child occupied for hours. Grab some dollar-store supplies and let your child create to their hearts content. Some excellent options include: glue, paint, pom poms, pipe cleaners, construction paper, scissors, glitter and buttons. Set everything up in dishes and bowls to keep materials organized and accessible. Lay down a place-mat or tray to keep mess to a minimum.
3. Board Games
I love to spend quality time with my kids by playing board games with them. Spend a whole morning or afternoon playing your child’s favorites. If you don’t have a lot of options games like tic-tac-toe or charades just require a pen and paper.
4. Salt Dough Creations
Salt dough is great because it’s made from simple ingredients you already have at home- water, salt and flour. My go-to recipe is from allrecipes. Use cookie cutters to create shapes or have your child make their own creations. After it’s cooked and dry you can paint the dough. I also coat our creations with mod podge afterwards so they’re nice and shiny and the paint doesn’t peel. Don’t want to make your own dough? I’ve used this air-dry clay with excellent results as well.
5. Crazy Forts
Grab some blankets, drape them over a few kitchen chairs and there you have it: a simple fort. We also have a crazy forts set at our house that the kids love to use for this purpose. For this March break activity be sure to throw some pillows, flashlights and books inside the fort for hours of relaxing fun.
6. Pajamas, Popcorn and a Movie
No need to get out of your jammies; just grab some snacks and pick a movie or two (or three) and snuggle up on the couch. Relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.
8. Sensory Bins
I love sensory bins! Find some ideas here or come up with your own. Pull out a large container or bowl and fill it with any material your kids can play with using their hands, scoops or other tools. Rice, pasta, dry beans, buttons and water are all great and simple sensory bin ideas. This March break activity will keep your kids entertained for hours.
9. Treasure Hunt
Plastic Easter eggs start hitting store shelves at this time of the year. Fill the eggs up with picture or word clues and hide them around the house (each clue leads to the next egg). Make your “hunt” as long or short as you want and put something awesome at the end (a special treat, a new board game or a small toy for example).
10. Chef for a Day
Let your child’s inner chef shine and let them plan an entire meal. Pull out your recipe books or browse the internet with your child to find the perfect recipe. For an added bonus; make a list and go to the grocery store together to shop for the ingredients. Use your fancy dinnerware, tablecloths and candles for a little extra pizzazz- just don’t forget dessert!
Getting Out of the House
These March break activities are for those times over the week when you just need to get out of the house!
1. Public Library
If you’re looking for local March break activities the library might be your best bet. Most public libraries have special (and free) events going on over the break. Check with your local branch to get a calendar of activities.
2. Ice Skating
Contact your local arena or community center for public skate times. Most community centers will have additional skate hours over the break and many have skate rentals available.
3. Indoor Swimming
Going to the pool all year long is a family favorite at our house. It’s cheap and great exercise for everyone. Again, many community centers with pools will have extended swim times over the break so check with your local pool.
4. Catch a Movie
Seeing a movie in the middle of the afternoon can save you some money on admission. Bring a few purse-sized snacks to make this outing even more inexpensive.
5. Go Out for Lunch
Let your child pick the place and go out for something to eat. Bonus: If your child chooses somewhere with a play area then your lunch date doubles as a gross motor activity.
6. Indoor Playground or Trampoline Park
Over the March break indoor playgrounds are hopping. Many will have special hours for the break and many have discounts for younger siblings.
7. Playground or Park
Often, March break gives us a peak at some lovely spring weather. If that’s the case, it’s time to hit your neighborhood playground.
8. The Mall
When it’s rainy or too cold to go outside my kids and I will often visit our local shopping mall. It’s a great place to just go for a walk and get the kids to burn a little energy. Grab an ice cream cone at a food court kiosk or let the kids pick out a small treat from the dollar store.
9. Museum or Science Center
If you have a nearby museum or science center check to see if they’re doing anything special for over the break. Chances are, they’ll have a promotion or event happening for the week.
Don’t forget that many cities and towns put on special March break activities and events for the week. Here in Toronto we have a couple of indoor carnivals geared toward the 5 and up set. Check your local newspaper for events.