Having Fun at Home During February Vacation
Feb 19, 2013 12:35AM ● Published by Erin Frisch
The new year is flying by! We’re already halfway through February, and here in New England, that means February school vacation for the kids. Some folks take time off from work and head up to the mountains for a ski getaway with the family, while others fly south to soak up some sunshine. Still others stay home to veg out and relax. If you’re planning on being home this year for February vacation, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the company of your kids. Check out these ideas.
Have an indoor picnic or tea party!
Break out the beach blanket or an outdoor tablecloth, lay it on the (clean) floor, and enjoy lunch together, picnic style. Kids think it’s a treat to do something commonplace like eating lunch in a different place, and the floor is one of them. If you’re not keen on picnicking on the floor, brew up some warm herbal tea, take out your cups and saucers, and enjoy a little tea party with your kids. Serve finger sandwiches, scones, or sweet bread for an afternoon treat!
Photo Scavenger Hunt
Take digital photos of different objects and places around the house, then print them out on paper and attach them to index cards. Set up your scavenger hunt while the kids are sleeping, and put a prize for each child (maybe a small toy or a special treat) in the last spot. Save the cards to use again; you can mix up the order or make two different, shorter scavenger hunts and have the kids race to see who finishes first. For older children, make the hunt more challenging by taking photos of little areas of objects (the legs of a chair instead of the whole chair, for example). This makes figuring out the clues a little more challenging and getting to the end a little more rewarding!
Montshire Museum of Science
If cabin fever strikes and you’re itching to get away from the house for a few hours, the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, is a hands-on museum just a short ride from the Hanover area. You’ll find more than 125 exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. The building is located on a 110-acre site near the Connecticut River, and the Museum's outdoor environment is a large part of the visitor experience. One of their most popular outdoor exhibits is Igloo Build. Learn how to build an insulated, sturdy house, strong enough to support the weight of a polar bear, using nothing but water and a handsaw. One of the longest-running exhibits at the museum, it encourages the whole family to work as a team in pursuit of a common goal. Check the website for the Igloo Build schedule. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm daily, and admission is $12 for adults, $10 for kids 2 to 17 years of age, and free for kids under 2.
Make a Fort
When the snow fort you made in the last big storm has lost its charm, create an inside fort! Kids love this chance to build a clubhouse of their own in the living room, playroom, or a bedroom. A big table or desk is a good start. If you have one or two foldup tables, break them out. Then gather some sheets and blankets and go to town. Use a few books or other objects to hold the sheets on furniture, or even masking tape to attach part of your fort to a wall. Throw some pillows or cushions on the floor of the fort, grab some flashlights, and spend the day in the fort bonding with your kids. Tell stories, listen to music, play board games, or color. The possibilities are endless.
Get out your old magazines and catalogs, or if your young children still have their Valentines from classmates, combining them in a bright and beautiful poster collage makes a wonderful room decoration, and one they will treasure until next February 14. Let your kids cut out pictures (safety scissors!) or arrange their Valentines on poster board or construction paper, and then use glue sticks to attach them. You might have each child choose a theme to go along with his or her bedroom, such as sports or favorite animals, and use the collage as decoration. Or draw letters of the alphabet or colors from a hat and have each child make his or her collage with pictures of things that start with the letter or contain only the color selected. Keep a wastepaper basket near your worktable for quick clean up.
What do you and your kids like to do at home during February vacation? Post your ideas or suggestions in the comments.