By Angela Zimmerman, Common Sense Media Content Manager
Let's face it: Not everyone can go to Bermuda for spring break. But sometimes a "staycation" is just what the doctor ordered, because you can hang out with the kids and tackle spring cleaning. It's also a good opportunity to weave media and technology into your daily lives in a mindful way. Use this day-by-day guide of media picks and activity ideas to maximize every moment with minimal stress.
A few things before spring break begins: Set limits on computer time; pick a photography app and brush up on your photo-snapping skills so you can capture memories all week long; download some road trip music for when you're piled in the car; charge up your smartphone or tablet; locate your library card and check the weather (and adapt the schedule as needed).
And you're off!
Monday: Music and Movie Mayhem
Get spring break started with kid-friendly dance songs. Try a free streaming service like Pandora or Grooveshark for nonstop tunes. Help kids find their voice with music-making apps. When you're ready for downtime, check what's streaming on Netflix or have a special movie marathon of a few essential films.
Tuesday: Tinker and Teach
Discover 25 cool things kids can learn to do online for free. Help them build a house for spring songbirds -- or fairies! Try Pinterest for tinker tips and DIY craft ideas for kids and teens. Come dinner time, find a recipe and teach kids to help with meal prep and planning with cooking games.
Wednesday: Go Wild Outside
Start with a geocaching treasure hunt, then plant seeds in your backyard or find a community garden near you. When the sun goes down help kids identify constellations with one of these astronomy apps. Too cold to play outside? Here are 20 activities if you're stuck indoors.
Thursday: Trip to Town
Head to your local library, browse the aisles and show kids some of the treasures within. Find a quiet spot to read a graphic novel or a literary award-winner. Use Fandango to find a matinee near you. The LEGO Movie and Muppets Most Wanted are great picks for the whole family.
Friday: Travel Back in Time
Find a museum or gallery to discover a mysterious world or thought-provoking art. Kids can use their imagination to create stories about the exhibit. Stay immersed in the past with history TV. (Kids won't even realize they're learning.) Or turn them onto your childhood favorites with classic streaming TV.
Now that spring break is winding down, create a scrapbook of memories from your staycation. Kids will be delighted to see the photos you've been snapping all week!
About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to:www.commonsense.org.