The kids are thrilled. School’s out for spring break. Time to sleep in and play all day, no homework or reading lists. They always anticipate their time off, telling you how busy they will be with friends, playing, shopping…and all that bustling energy lasts about two days. Then when they run out of things to do, you hear:

“Mom, there’s nothing to do!”

“Dad, it’s too cold to play outside!”

“Can somebody drive me to (my friend’s house/the mall/the activity centre) because I’ve been stuck in this house so long, I think I’m growing roots!”

Before boredom gets to the point of tears and tantrums, here are eight ideas for things to do with the kids that won’t cost much, and some of them are free:

The local library: It’s more than just books; there’s story time for the young ones, computers and games for the older kids and magazines and newspapers for the grownups.

The community center: Basketball courts, indoor pool, game rooms, online classes, art instruction and homework help (if the teachers dared to assign homework over the holidays) are available at the town center.

The school district’s after school programs: Many school districts put their empty buildings to work during spring break by offering testing, tutoring and homework assistance. Offering specialized reading, science and math programs not only provides help for students falling behind, it offers those kids who can tutor others a chance to earn community service hours, which they can showcase on their scholarship applications.

Headleveler free fun activities kids healthy

Check with your local hardware store for kid-friendly workshops: Some of the larger chains offer hands-on sessions for children ages 5-12, complete with aprons, tools and videos. The kids learn valuable yet simple construction techniques in a safe environment, make a mess somewhere besides your house and bring home a finished project.

Volunteer: Volunteering with your children teaches them the value of sharing what they know, what they have and why giving back without expectation of receiving anything but gratitude is one of life’s most important values. Opportunities are everywhere, from pet sanctuaries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens to Habitat for Humanity, clearing debris from a nature trail and visiting the elderly and veterans in nursing homes and hospitals.

Headleveler free fun activities kids healthy

Find a hill and go sledding or snowboarding: A new sled from Santa makes it easy, but any smooth-bottomed metal or plastic object, such as a large cookie sheet, trash can lid, baby bathtub, kitty litter box, old cushions from outdoor furniture or a plastic tarp will also work.

Had a good snowball fight lately?: You can build a quick snow wall or snow fort, or go all out and try for an igloo, complete with snow bricks. Pack a stash of snowballs and may the best family member win!

Ice skating without a rink: If the weather is awful, rink time too expensive or the drive too far, find a flat parking lot or backyard and create a cheap skating rink. This method requires a few tools, but you control the size of the rink, you’ll always know where the kids are and there’s no worries about anyone falling through the ice or spending all their allowance at the snack bar.

For maximum fun; make sure they get their best rest with Headleveler pillows, custom-designed for adults, children and travel for over 25 years and recommended by health-care professionals. Our pillows come in a variety of sizes and prices, they’re machine-washable and designed to provide comfortable sleep by stabilizing your neck, eliminating the discomfort in your neck, shoulders and upper back that wakes you in the middle of the night and keeps you from being your best all day. Contact us for more information on how to have a good night that turns into a great day.