We all know how disappointing Spring Break can be if you have no cash flow and no where to go – it happens to all of us at some point.  (Unless you’re independently wealthy and if you are, I accept cash or check and will gladly help you spend some of that wealth.)

Sometimes being at home can be less stressful – sometimes.

So here are some ideas to consider if you’re strapped for cash – some ideas require or assume you have some of the necessary items around the house:

1.Gardens – If you have a shovel, a small patch of land and about $3 or $4 you can get the kids to help you plant a garden. Go here to see a chart featuring popular veggies and when to plant.  Some are ready to be planted now.

2. Recreate board games or app games outside – One year I made a large Angry Bird game for my kids using every cardboard box I had in the house, buckets for the pigs and balls for the birds.  You could play Candy Crush – hard candy with tiny hammers and goggles, (you know like the commercial).  Get creative.  Make a giant tic-tac-toe board using painters tape or spray paint, then cut out Xs and Os from paper and let the kids place them in the squares.  You can also fill up 2 liter bottles with water and create a bowling game.

3.  Hike – There are plenty of free hiking trails.  Go here to find a trail by your home. 

4.  Book purge – Have the kids go through all of their books and make a stack of ones they no longer read. Take them to your local used book store and trade them in for store credit.  Let the kids spend it immediately.  They’ll have a new round of books to read this week.

5. Home movie marathon – Got old home movies you haven’t watched in a while?  Gather everybody together, pop some popcorn and relive days past.

6. Leaf and bloom collection – Walk your neighborhood or yard and collect leaves and blooms then identify them with the kids. Let them be detectives, find the scientific name but also the colloquial name.

7. Historical markers near you – Have you ever stopped to read historical markers in your neighborhood?  Start and let the kids keep up with them on a state map or a virtual map.  Go here to find all the historical markers near you.  There’s also an app to download.

8. Science experiments – Go here to find a round-up of easy home science experiments you can whip up in the kitchen. 

9. Camp out in the yard – Even if you don’t spend the  night outside, you can set up your tent and let the kids pretend or escape the house during the day.

10. Birding – While you may not start your Big Year, the kids can learn to identify the birds visiting their yard.  Go here for tips on birding with children.