Keep Kids Busy on Fall Break

Keep Kids Busy on Fall Break

Don’t panic. Instead, try these ideas so your kids can have fun while you get stuff done.


They’re off school? But they just went back! Just when we’ve gotten into our school year groove, there it is: fall break. And whether you are for or against having the fall mini hiatus, there is one thing we can all agree on: We’ve got to do something with the kids.

So what do I do when fall break strikes? Well, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. Try these free, no-brainer activities to keep your kids engaged and out of trouble while you forge on with your weekly routine.

Tell Them to Leaf!
Did you get lucky with a beautiful day? Encourage them to make the best of these final warm days. Send them on a scavenger hunt for natural items like leaves, pinecones, hedge apples (aka osage oranges), seeds, berries and nuts.

What you’ll need:
Natural fall items
Tray or cookie sheet
Magnifying glasses
Plastic knife
Bounty paper towels

Have the kids place their findings on a tray for further examination. Give them magnifying glasses so they can inspect up close.

Younger kids can sort their findings by category, like color, size and type. Older kids may like dissecting to see what’s inside. Did you know the inside of a hedge apple resembles a kiwi? Be sure to keep a roll of Bounty paper towels nearby for easy cleanup of sap and other natural messes.

Pass the Time with a Capsule
Turn a “what to do with the kids” day into a memory that will last for years. All it takes is a box and your kids’ imaginations. This simple, DIY time capsule craft is a great way to help your children remember this time in their lives.

Let Them Build Their Own City
Have any budding builders or engineers? They’ll love creating a city out of boxes. Add some paper or cardboard roads and toy cars and let them go to town. This one is also great for a cold or rainy day.

What you’ll need:
Different-sized boxes
Empty Bounty or Charmin rolls
Construction paper
Markers or crayons
Tape
Scissors
Toy cars

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Show the kids how to use their supplies to create towering skyscrapers, shops, and other buildings out of empty cereal boxes, milk cartons and all those random boxes piled up from online shopping. From there, they can build their own city, constructing roads for their toy cars from spare cardboard or black construction paper.

Tip: You can use empty Bounty paper towel or Charmin toilet paper rolls to add some dimension to their cities, including towers, pillars and more!

Get Experimental
Halloween season is full of weird and creepy fun. Let your kids play mad scientist with these simple indoor science experiments. Overflowing lava? Swiffer WetJet has you covered.

Pull out the Shoeboxes
When they’ve done everything else, it’s time for shoeboxes and tissue boxes. Gather up the boxes from their new school shoes (or grab Puffs tissue boxes from the recycling bin), get out the craft supplies and you’ve got entertainment for hours. Here are a bunch of starter ideas to get them going:

  • Trains and Cars Make an axil with pencils or straws and attach cardboard or recycled lid wheels
  • A Diorama or Finger Puppet Theater A tiny vignette can feature cowboys and horses or princesses and fairies. Make a slit in the bottom to work moving parts like puppets
  • Mini Doll House or Doll Bed A great home for your child’s favorite figurines
  • Treasure Chest Decorate it with craft jewels and fill it with coins and play jewelry. Or you can fill it with treats and send them on a scavenger hunt to find it!
  • Monster Mask Use any craft supplies around your home. It’s perfect for Halloween!

And there you have it. With a few simple activities, any day off can turn into a day full of fun for your kids and an uninterrupted schedule for you. What keep-them-busy tricks do you use? Tell us in the comments!

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