Family Health

Staying Home for Spring Break? Here's How to Make the Most of It

Not everyone spends spring break lounging on a sandy beach. For those of us staying in Nebraska, the options for things to do – and ways to avoid cabin fever with the whole family at home – may seem limited.

But really, there are many activities you and your family finally have time to explore. Here are some ways you can stay active, both physically and intellectually.

Get outside

Getting out in the elements, even the snow, is a good way to get your blood pumping while enjoying Nebraska’s seasonal weather. Ice skating, sledding, shoveling snow and snowball fights are all good options. But keep an eye on the temperature. Some good rules of thumb:

  • Temperatures with wind chills above 32 degrees are considered safe for most people.
  • If you’re out in temperatures between 13 degrees and 31 degrees, take a break and come inside every 20 or 30 minutes.
  • Anything colder, stay inside altogether to avoid frostbite, which can set in quickly.

Keep in mind that younger children always need adequate winter wear when playing outside. That means proper hats, gloves, scarves and boots.

Have an indoor adventure

Looking for things to do inside? Check out your local library! It likely has activities planned during spring break. A new book or program will keep your minds active.

Other local venues, such as Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium or Mahoney State Park, offer indoor attractions that are perfect to explore on a winter day. I encourage parents to seek out activities that teach children about our region’s beauty. It helps kids appreciate their home and connects them to our lovely state.

You can also consider making your own fun at home – for free. Family dance parties and board game nights are a great way for family members to build relationships.

Turn to food in a positive way

Everyone needs to eat. That’s why you should consider making mealtime a family affair.

Cooking together improves eating habits because at home, you’re likely eating healthier foods. And the whole process, from preparing the food to cleaning up, can be a great way to bond.

Cooking together during the colder months is one of my family’s favorite things to do. Even your youngest family members can participate. Toddlers can help set the table, put dishes in the dishwasher and, if supervised, mix and stir ingredients.

Not sure what to cook? Seek input from the whole family and put together a meal plan. It may be easier to get your groceries delivered to your door. Depending on your budget, you also can consider paying for a service that delivers meals with all the ingredients measured and ready to put together. This is a great way to learn new cooking techniques and recipes.

For snacks, consider leaving a bowl of fruit on the table or chopped veggies with yogurt dip readily available in the fridge. Believe it or not, presentation matters! I’ve found that snacks placed in a pretty bowl or arranged in an eye-catching way are more appealing – and the kids will eat more of them.

Get social with the people right in front of you

The less time we spend on social media, the happier and healthier we all will be!

It might be tempting to feel sad if you come across a picture of a friend on the beach, especially during spring break. But what makes our vacations special is not the places we go or the things we do. It’s the relationships we build and the memories we make.

I encourage all parents to spend less time on social media and more time enjoying the people who are right in front of them.

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About the Author

Dr. Katrena Lacey is a physician specializing in internal medicine and pediatrics. Her mission is to help people live happy and healthy lives.

Dr. Lacey sees patients of all ages at Methodist Physicians Clinic in Gretna.

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