April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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Spring Break At Home

Every year the struggle with figuring out what to do with our kids during spring break begins sometimes in January or earlier.  For those of us who work, we need to figure out some sort of arrangement for care.  Some of us even have to use some of our vacation to make sure our kids are taken care of during the week. Here are some ideas if you are home with your child to make spring break special for your special needs child and you don’t even have to travel out of the city!

Sidewalk Chalk Art Display-Most of us have some sort of sidewalk near our homes and even if you are in an apartment, you can always go to a park or a friend or relative’s home to do this.  Chalk is relatively cheap (under a $1 at most places) and your child can use their imagination.  Even if your child needs assistance in getting around, they can draw or color their artwork.  It’s more fun when they have buddies working on their own art as well.  This is also a great time of year in Arizona to be outside!

Camping at Home– Even if you don’t have a yard or your child has too many limitations to actually camp, you can create your own camping experience.  Using your furniture and what blankets you have, create a tent in one of your rooms.  Have your child bring their favorite pillows or stuffed animals into the tent and create a space to hang out.  You can create your own smores using your microwave, have your own “campfire” with a candle at a table or a flashlight, have “nature” walks around your neighborhood, etc.  It’s really as fun and creative as your imagination.

Surprise Your Parent Day-If your child is old enough and understands the concept, have them create a special day with activities that you can do at or home or close by that doesn’t cost anything.  Let them know that they can use household items to create stuff.  For example, use empty toilet paper rolls to make binoculars with string.  It’s a pretty cheap idea and it keeps them occupied crafting.  Let them use their imagination and you’ll be surprised what they want to do!

Theme Days-If you prefer to have specific themes, you can create a different theme everyday and have them try to dress accordingly.  Beach day can be the color blue, go to a splash pad at a mall and eat things from the sea or shaped like the sea.  You can do a dinosaur day and look for bones in your backyard or Pirate day and pretend your house is a ship.  Kids love dressing up and pretending they are someone different, so create activities that are fun and easily done by your child.

Surprise Fun Day Trip-If you don’t have a lot of extra cash, you can check to see what Museums or locations close to your home that you haven’t been to or would love to do and see if they have coupons or free days.  Take advantage of these types of outings and your child will get a kick out of doing something out of the ordinary.  If you plan ahead, you can make sure that these events are something your child can do.

Plant a Garden-Kids love all things that are natural, so either plant a garden indoors or outdoors.  If your child has limitations or your home doesn’t have a yard, you can always plant an herb garden or something simple that they can water and take care of on their own.  It allows them to learn responsibility on something that isn’t human or animal and it looks nice, too!

Picnic in the Park-This never gets old and children love the great outdoors.  Since we melt during the summer, this is a perfect spring break activity.  Bring balls and other things that your child can play with while you are setting up the picnic.  Have them help you make the lunch and involve them in planning the trip.  If you can’t get outside, have it in your house and make it as fun as possible with special music and activities.

There are many more activities that you can do to make the week fun and interesting for your child.  These are what great memories are made of and many children will remember the great time they had spending it with you.  Take your camera and take pictures or video of your activities.  Maybe have a video premiere of some highlights of the week with the other parent or grandparent that wasn’t able to participate.  Involve the rest of the family in going over the memories and share some laughs.  Have fun!


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