Vacay at Home: 7 Days of Indoor Play Ideas

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Spending spring break at home means you probably won’t be digging out the skis or resort wear. But a beach umbrella could come in handy (see Day Three!) because there are a ton of opportunities for amazing adventures in the comfort of your own pad. From designing a toy car speedway to working on spy tactics, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for keeping your kiddos entertained. Check a few items off this list and don’t forget to have a blast — you’re on vacation, right?

Day One: Car Race Madness
Lightening McQueen would be proud. Hosting an awesome automotive day will get motors revving. Rebecca Darling, contributor blogger over at Kids Activities Blog, gives a visual tutorial on crafting a masking tape speedway and everyone at home can get involved (have older kiddos design the plans!). After a full day on the tracks, set up an exploding car wash — we love the one from Erica of What We Do All Day — to grab you another 30 minutes or so of undivided attention while you decide what to serve for dinner. May we suggest any of these amazing takes on the classic mac ‘n’ cheese?

maskingtapespeedway_7daysathome_national_redtricyclePhoto: Rebecca Darling via kidsactivityblog

Day Two: Game Day!
With just one or two of those paper towel rolls you’ve been hoarding, some paint, paper plates and tape, you can have an awesome DIY ring toss set. For handy tips (like getting the ring to stay upright), check out a great tutorial from A Little Bit of Learning for Two. Try vertical cup bowling. Sara Dees, blogger at Frugal Fun 4 Boys, shows just how much fun can be had with a few Dixie cups. Hone those building skills and get a good crash in! Round out your (hopefully exhausting) day with an indoor gym session … but may we suggest skipping the backflips? For inspiration, be sure to check out our story on exercising with the kids at home.

DIYringtoss_7daysathome_national_redtricyclePhoto: courtesy alittlelearningfortwo

Day Three: BYO Beach
If you can’t make it to the beach, bring the beach to you. Set up a resort-like theme at home and get those bags packed. See how Valerie, crafty mama at Inner Child Fun, lays out her plan — she’s got a flight lounge and some beachfront property on this trip. (Be sure to collect cardboard boxes for set design!) If there is any energy left, mix up a batch of sticky sand. Grab the instructions from mix-master Crystal Underwood over at Growing a Jeweled Rose or create a beach play sensory table. We love the one created over at sensory blog The Boy and Me.

minivacay_7daysathome_national_redtricycle Photo: courtesy Valerie via innerchildfun

Day Four: Play Detective
Get your undercover spy fix with a whole day devoted to detective tactics. James Bond has got nothing on mama Jaime of Hands on as We Grow. Her spy-style scavenger hunt would give even 007 some trouble. Follow up by writing and then decoding secret messages from one another written in invisible ink. We love the easy tutorial on making these mysterious messages found over at Juggling with Kids. And at the end of a spy’s hard day of work? A mocktail of course, shaken not stirred. Grab some sip-worthy recipes from our list of kiddo-friendly cocktails.

spygames_7daysoffun_national_redtricyclePhoto: Jamie Reiner via handsonaswegrow

Day Five: Make a Rainbow Connection
If you can’t find any rainbows outside, create your own! Almost any kind of play lights up when you include bright colors. Rainbow soap foam bubbles are easy with liquid watercolors (big thanks to Fun at Home with Kids for this groovy activity). Or, make rainbow pasta for necklaces, sensory time or whatever your fancy is. Be sure to check out the step-by-step post from Learn Play Imagine. When it’s chow time, the littles will love snacking on some colorful pretzel wands, and you can get some great dipping tips from Mom on Timeout.

rainbowpasta_7daysoffun_national_redtricyclePhoto: Allision Sonnier via learnplayimagine 

Day Six: Put Those Fingers to Work
It’s finger fun kind of day! Keep the house clean but the art vibrant with some mess-free finger painting in a bag. It’s pure genius from the Hippie Housewife. Then get gooey with homemade gak (we found a borax-free recipe!). This stuff can be molded, ooze down your arm, be used for sculptures … yeah it’s that awesome. Grab the ingredients from Asia over Fun at Home with Kids and get mixing. When it’s time to snack, check out the coolest muffin tin meals we’ve seen.

boraxfreegak_7daysathome_national_redtricyclePhoto: Asia Citro via funathomewithkids

Day Seven: Go Faux Camping
You don’t need to be in the woods to pitch a tent, and it’s possible to take a shower during this camping trip. Set up right in the living room. We love the twinkly lights added to the tent for a “night sky” effect over at My Frugal Adventures. Read books, pop popcorn and watch movies! When your campers get hungry, pull out the ultimate in camping treats: s’mores (is there anything better!?). Check out our list of seriously amazing (and unconventional) ways to make this classic treat.

indoorcamping_7daysathome_national_redtricyclePhoto: courtesy Charlene via myfrugaladventures 

What activities do you have planned for Spring Break? Share with us in the comments!

— Gabby Cullen

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