A simple Spring Break
Buzz Baby is a column about life with babies. Writer Annie McQueen is a mother of four children under the age of 6.
March’s arrival means the much-anticipated week known as Spring Break. It hits at a magical time when the weather is turning warmer and everyone is feeling an itch to have some time off and hit the reset button.
With travel and outings still limited, we asked some Buzz parents of toddlers what they will do to make their Spring Break days unique from the rest of the year.
Lindsey Cumbie, who works for an international trading company, has two kids under 3. She keeps a list of things to do and plans to get it organized for Spring Break.
Her family loves movie nights, and she likes to get together with her sister-in-law and her kids for a Disney-themed movie night. The cousins select their favorite movie, and then create a menu together based around the theme.
They also host outdoor movie nights at home, with popcorn and snacks. Lindsey ordered an outdoor projector and a blow-up screen. The kids snuggle up on blankets and watch their favorite movies outside.
Lindsey’s 3-year-old daughter, Poppy, had a tea party and pampering day for her birthday, so she now loves to have “spa” days with her mom. They put on their robes, slice cucumbers to put on their eyes, and paint their nails. They plan to have mommy-daughter spa days over Spring Break.
The family has regular homemade-pizza nights outside, and they are planning some simple scavenger hunts in their yard. They planted a small vegetable garden and tend to it daily.
Poppy and her brother William enjoy art, so Lindsey created an at-home art setup. One of Poppy’s favorites is to take an empty toilet paper roll, cut slits around the edges, and dip them in paint to create fireworks on the paper.
Another local mom, Alex Luton, has three boys, and she says they spend a lot of the time in their yard with outdoor toys and lots of soccer balls, baseballs, and basketballs.
She keeps her youngest (and neighbor friends who walk over for front-yard playtime) busy with toddler-friendly outdoor toys, so he can play with the older kids and friends on their street.
Her family enjoys spending time in Galveston for Spring Break, which is perfect for a day trip. The boys dig in the sand and hunt for shells.
Alex also keeps sensory kits on hand from a local mom’s company, Young, Wild + Friedman. She said it helps break up the monotony, especially on rainy days. The kits include supplies like homemade playdough, and her older son made a stop-motion film with his.
Their new favorite park is Atascocita Park in Humble. “There is a sky bridge that is so much fun for them. It has a big sand pit with water and built-in excavators for the kids to operate. It’s heaven for our boys,” said Alex.
Alex said it is important to remember that you do not need a fancy or busy Spring Break plan to make your child happy. “[Parents] are magical to their toddlers,” she said. “Instead of focusing on planning some big to-do, if that’s not what’s best for you right now, just focus on making eye contact, smiling, and saying yes when you can.”
Here are some other great ideas we got from Buzz parents: buying toddler fishing poles and heading to fish at Mary Jo Peckham Park in Katy, exploring splash pads around town (including Nottingham Park and Jaycee Park), riding the train (at Hermann Park and Memorial City Mall), painting pottery at a studio like The Mad Potter, picking strawberries at a local farm like Blessington Farms, playing at the Giggles and Fun indoor playground, visiting farmers markets, and rolling down the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
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