10 Fun DIY Activities For Spring Break At Home With Kids From Our Friends At The Sitter Club
It's that time of year again! Though school still looks very different for many of us one year into this pandemic, Spring Break is arriving soon with a week-long reprieve for our little ones. Often a precursor to summer, Spring Break typically serves as the perfect excuse to get out of town, with families opting for trips to the beach or camping with friends. But while we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as vaccines roll out across the country, it's important to continue practicing safe social distancing to protect our loved ones and communities in the meantime. So for those who are riding out Spring Break at home, we're here to help!
To that end, we're back with our friends from The Sitter Club, a babysitter referral service designed to take the stress out of finding sitters in NYC. Former nannies themselves, Co-Founders Nic Gordon and Sydney Spellacy are our go-to for ideas on keeping kids entertained.
Last year we shared some fun activities from ‘Camp Sitter', their comprehensive guide to creating a DIY sleepaway camp at home which they created in response to COVID lockdowns. This year, they were kind enough to come up with some special Spring-inspired activities for the break ahead.
Tune in below and be sure to check out The Sitter Club on Instagram at @thesitterclub for all things kiddo-related. For any Families living in NYC (or planning to visit in the future), they've got you covered with their Top-Notch Fully Vetted Sitters.
Letter Stick Ornaments
"Head out to your backyard or fav neighborhood park. Collect sticks that are similar in size. Test out the sticks to see if you can form the first letter in your name. Glue the sticks together to form your letter and start wrapping with string. Secure the start of the string to the end of one stick with the hot glue gun and do the same when you are finished. You can use one solid color or use multiple strings for a more colorful look (we prefer the latter!)."
Coffee Filter Flowers
"Take a coffee filter, pick a color, and draw a thick circle in the middle. Fold the filter in half, then in half again, and place in a glass with about an inch of water. You will see the color start to bleed up the filter and resist the urge to touch! Do this with a bunch of filters and different colors to create your bouquet. After letting the filters soak for 30ish minutes, lay them flat to dry. Once completely dry, cut off any white edges, and fold in half 4x. Twist the bottom and attach to a stick with tape (or a hot glue gun) and Violà!"
Marshmallow & Toothpick Building
"Encourage the kiddos to build structures, geometric shapes, and buildings. Connect the marshmallows to the toothpicks and let the building begin! Looking for a challenge? Google "marshmallow and toothpick geometry" and challenge the kiddos to recreate the structures from the templates. No marshmallows? No problem… grapes and gummies work just as well!"
"Put a couple spoonfuls of seeds into the foot of one stocking and top with a few handfuls of soil. Before you tightly tie off the end of the stocking, form the soil into whatever shape you'd like your Grassy Head to be. Next, decorate the face of your Grassy Head using googly eyes and felt. Once your glue dries, soak the head under a faucet, put a few inches of water in your container and place your head on top of it. The end of your stocking will act as a straw and absorb the water up to the grass seeds to help them grow. You'll need to add a bit of water to your container every day or two. Place your Grassy Head in a sunny spot and wait for the hair to grow! Once it grows, feel free to give it haircuts over and over again."
"Gather some objects that you'd like to trace. Some of our favorites are figurines, block towers, people, flowers (literally any object that creates a shadow). Get creative! If you have a good angled light source, such as morning or evening light through a window, you can see interesting shadows created by the objects. If you don't have a good light source, you can create one with a lamp. Once you see the shadows you want to trace, position a piece of paper so that the shadows fall across it, and start tracing the shadow's perimeters. By the time you finish, you may notice that the shadows have shifted. That's okay! It's interesting to notice how the shadows move as the light changes. After tracing the shadows, you can add more details and colors, too."
What's In The Box
"A classic sensory game. The object of the game is to name the items in the box using only your hands. Take a cardboard box and cut holes in two opposite sides. Make sure the holes are large enough for your hands and arms to fit through. Gather random objects and place them in the box without the kiddos seeing. Then, one at a time, a kiddo will stand at the back of the box, put their hands through the holes and they have to guess which object they are feeling. The crazier the texture, the better! Examples: a handful of marshmallows, light bulb, buttons, furry stuffed animals, cold noodles...the possibilities are endless!"
"Fill each glass jar container 1⁄2 full with vinegar. If you want your eggs colored, add 10 drops of food coloring to the vinegar. Carefully place a raw egg inside each container. Let the egg(s) sit for about 48-72 hours in the vinegar. Over time, the vinegar will break down the calcium on the egg's shell, leaving the egg completely whole, but soft. When the surface of the water has a weird scummy film, the eggs are ready to come out. Remove the eggs from the jars (carefully) and rinse them in water. Gently roll and bounce the eggs and watch what happens! When the kiddos are done admiring the eggs, break them open. Pro-Tip: Crack a window. It could get a little smelly!"
Single Line Drawing
"Create a picture or pattern without lifting your pen from the paper. First, have the kiddos create a design to get the hang of it. Have them take it slow and really think about where the line is going. Next, have them draw with repeated shapes (ie. circles, squares, hearts). Finally, you can attempt to draw an animal or portrait. These can end up looking really cool and Frame-worthy."
"Grab a tent (or make one!), a bunch of blankets and pillows, and set up your campsite. Reminder: if you're not comfortable sleeping outside, this can absolutely happen indoors! We promise this will be a night that the kiddos will not forget. P.S. Don't forget the s'mores!"