10 Fun Things to Do on a Day Off From School
Wednesday, 15 January 2020

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In my last post, I wrote about some ways you can tell if you need to take a break from schoolwork. We work hard at our studies and try to keep a predictable school routine. Sometimes we just need to take a break, and I bet your family is pretty similar. Our routine can start to feel really exhausting between therapy, school, chores, and errands. If you have kids with challenges like mine, you may need to take a break or a half-day more often. Try to focus on making progress, not completing every single thing in your curriculum. Without further ado, here are our ten favorite ideas to use on your spontaneous day off! Choose one or a few and have some fun with your family!

10. Gardening/Yard Work

This can be a lot of fun or just a change in routine. We like to plant bulbs in the fall that will give us a special gift when our long Michigan winter finally ends. My kids all love to rake big piles of leaves to jump in, too! We usually end a long day out in the yard with a campfire and s’mores as a reward for all of our hard work.

9. Go to the Park

Do your kids need to burn some energy? I know mine do! Not only is it a great idea to just get out and let your kids run wild, but playgrounds offer loads of different sensory opportunities! I find that they get the stimulation they were seeking through good old-fashioned play and are able to focus better when they get back to school.

8. Go to the Library

Whether you are looking for the next book in your favorite series or doing research for a new project, the library offers a nice, peaceful place to spend a morning, afternoon, or whole day. I love libraries that have great toys to keep busy toddlers and preschoolers busy. They can play and explore while I thumb through a few books of my own, usually in a comfy chair! I love that my kids ask to go to the library!

7. Visit a Friend

Building and maintaining good friendships are very important to me. We will sometimes get as much school done before lunch as possible and then spend the whole afternoon with friends. Most of the time, we have most of school done by lunch, anyway. Other friends live farther away, and we will take the whole day off to spend visiting them or having them visit us.

6. Serve at a Nursing Home

Many residents of nursing homes do not get visitors very much. We love to bring a little sunshine into a local assisted living or nursing home whenever we can. I was really concerned about the noise my children would cause, but the vast majority of residents have told me that they LOVE to hear the laughter of a child, and they don't mind a little crying from a baby either.

5. Visit Family

When we have the opportunity to visit family, we jump on it! We don't have any family living close to us. The closest is about 45 minutes away, and the farthest is in … Japan. My sweet nephews live there with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. We love investing time into these relationships. I want to be sure I do my best to help my kids know their families, and with them being so spread out over the map, it is important to be intentional about this. The history they can learn from their grandparents and great-grandparents is priceless.

4. Visit a Museum

This almost counts as a school day since museums are so educational, so count it as a field trip day if you want! We love to hit our local public museum and children's museum just for fun! In fact, if you are looking for non-toy gift ideas, annual memberships are a great option. We have seen exhibits on dinosaurs, Egypt, space, and toys through the years (our current favorite), and have seen some awesome planetarium shows, too. A day at the children's museum is sure to be a day of exploration, pretend play and fun! Ours has a grocery store, a veterinarian's clinic, an ice cream shop, a pizza shop, and a stage with some cool drums to explore. Our biggest challenge on days we visit the children's museum is stopping for lunch!

3. Have a Beach Day

If it’s warm out, pack a picnic and head out to your local beach. Our favorite beach has a playground, fairly clean bathrooms (so important!), a picnic shelter, and plenty of room to spread out a blanket and enjoy the day with your family. If you are landlocked or have a baby that'll just eat the sand, have a "beach" day at home! Spread out blankets in your yard, bask in the sun, and let your kids play in a little pool or the sprinklers if you don't have a larger pool. We have a sandbox where I stick a beach umbrella and some sand toys to make the experience more authentic. This is also a fun one to do inside in the winter, just don't add sand! Picnics on the floor, a summery movie, popsicles … get creative!

2. Board Game Day

Pull out your favorite board games and spend a day just playing and making memories! We love Sorry, Battleship, Guess Who, Othello, Chess, Checkers, and of course, Candy Land. Our kids are starting to try out games like Ticket to Ride Junior and Catan Junior. Check your local library to see if they have any games you can take out. We have found new favorites this way! Board games can be educational but don't have to be. Leave a comment and let us know your favorite education games.

1. Pajama Day!

My personal favorite! A day snuggled up with my kiddos, just watching movies for the fun of it. We love a good comedy or an adventure flick. They say laughter is good medicine, and I believe them! Sometimes you just have to hit the brakes and rest. As a wise friend of mine told me one day as I was struggling with mom's guilt, "Rest is not a waste of time!"

Whatever the reason, I hope you enjoy your day off! Let go of the guilt and take time for your family. We all need a reset sometimes. If you are having a hard time keeping all of your plates spinning and need a more permanent rest from teaching all.the.subjects be sure to talk to your local HomeWorks Consultant about BJU Press Homeschool video lessons. They have been a homeschool saver for my kids and me.

Meet the Author

Sharon Huizinga - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant