Spring break is a time to unwind and enjoy a relaxing week or two off school. It can also be an opportunity to sharpen academic skills and learn new skills to bring back to the classroom with you. The 5 activities listed below will make Spring Break fly by whether you are away on vacation or having a “stay-cation”.

Learn To Type: Most kids enjoy some screen time while on break. To give this time meaning, why not learn and practice keyboarding. We recommend Keyboarding Without Tears, a program designed for students K-5. It is an interactive program designed to meet each student’s individual learning style. For young students, the focus is on pre-keyboarding and for older students it is a great introduction to actual keyboarding. You can challenge older students to keep an “e-diary” or blog their Spring Break adventures.

Family Book Club: A family book club is a fun way to get everyone reading. It can include several family members, or just one parent and child. Choose a book and either plan to meet each day for time to Read Aloud together or read independently and make a date at the end of the week to discuss the book. Help spark interest by adding an art project or select a book that has a movie-version and watch as an accompaniment to your discussion. Quizlet.com has sample questions to many classic children’s books.

Entrepreneur in Training: Become a mini-entrepreneur by opening a business for a week. Ideas can include the classics like car-washing and lemonade stands. Or, get creative and open a pet salon or neighborhood cupcake-delivery service. Help your child plan a business strategy, create a budget, advertise, buy materials and recruit friends to help.

Develop a Green Thumb: Spring break is a perfect time of year to start a mini-flower or vegetable garden. It’s a great opportunity to learn about your climate, the type of soil in your garden and how best to water your new plants or seeds. Designing your garden, choosing placement for your new plants and labeling them is the last step before putting on your gloves and digging in. Go to kidsgardening.org for gardening tips.

Get Back To Nature: Not only is hiking great exercise, but it’s all about discovery and adventure. It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach young children new vocabulary, including the names of the plants and animals around you. You can spot letters formed by rocks and twigs and practice counting and addition skills using elements of nature. Bring binoculars and hunt for rare insect species, or a camera to capture the beauty around you. Go to mommypoppins.com or Red Tricycle for family-friendly hikes in Los Angeles.

No matter which of these activities you choose, make Spring Break a time to sharpen skills and promote learning. It will make going back to school an opportunity to share your new knowledge and your adventures. For more Spring Break learning ideas contact Team Tutors at www.teamtutors.com or info@teamtutors.com.