Making Spring Break at Home Fun and Educational

Enjoy a Stay-cation This Year

Are economic woes keeping you near your home this year? Is work too busy to grant a full, away-from-home vacation? Change the view from the horizon and take a new look at your local offerings. Combine fun and relaxation with a hint of education around the edges and keep within a very reasonable budget this year by taking a stay-cation at home this year.

Local Attractions

  • How many times have you driven past the exit for the local museum and not stopped to look and learn? Have you ever taken a quick lunch in the botanical garden and not stopped to smell—or learn about—the roses? What about the oldest operating business or factory in your area? Is your child or you interested in local history or machines?
  • Have you ever been on a guided tour of the local newspaper? Do you know how the paper lay-out is designed, how the stories are chosen, or how long it takes to print, collate and arrange for shipping? Does your child?
family having fun together

Parents can make spring break fun without having to go far.

  • Bring science, history and even folklore to life this year. Lift learning off the pages of a school text and breath excitement into it for the whole family.
    Instead of simply going camping and fishing, visit a forest ranger, then perhaps take a tour of a fish hatchery. Make learning fun, and you’ve made learning easy and worry-free.

Information Sources

  • If you live in an area that has no obvious educational applications for a stay-vacation, all hope isn’t yet lost. Simply adjust your search for information to include librarians, school teachers or college professors.
  • Geology, ecology, zoology, archeology and even mining ventures are all possible almost anywhere in the country. Dig for minerals or crystals. Hunt for arrowheads. Tour caves and homesteads. All are possible activities of which alternate information sources often know a great deal. If your source is a local expert on the subject, invite him as a tour guide for an honorarium.

Alternate Activities

  • With proper supervision and equipment, tour construction sites. Learn how a building is constructed or a highway is built.
  • Teach your child about civics and government and tour the police station, fire station and even the courthouse and town hall. Attend a council meeting or introduce the child to the local representatives and officials.
  • Don’t forget the activities at the local libraries. Children’s reading hours, book signings and other activities can often captivate a child’s imaginations and stir the learning urge without them knowing it.
  • Build a raft or canoe and float downstream. Go hiking with a flora guidebook and a camera. Visit your local veterinarian or pet store and learn about caring for different animals, their habits, likes and dislikes.
  • Visit a farm and help with chores. Assist in planting or harvesting. Ask the farmer to explain the crops, their growth stages and end products for each food type grown. Help fix a tractor.
  • Teach your child about emergency services. Basic first aid can be helpful—using ice, cleaning cuts and scrapes, applying band aids, elevating an injured arm or leg or even making an ad hoc sling out of a shirt or towel.

Sometimes, the best vacations can be the ones spent at home. The best kept secrets are often the ones overlooked, so don’t forget to look closer to home and enjoy relaxing learning experiences on a stay-cation this year.

About the Author

JC Ryan is a freelance writer for My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.

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