Two young children read a book by flashlight underneath a blanket tent.

Military Family Spring Break Staycation: Unleash Reading Adventures at Home!

March 26, 2024

The change in weather and longer light signals spring break is approaching. Hard to believe it! You don’t have to plan a grand vacation or have expansive travel plans to see the world as a family. Plan a staycation with reading adventures at home. As Reading Rainbow taught us, “Take a look, it’s in a book…I can go anywhere…I can be anything.” Reading together promotes family bonding, a critical element for families facing the unknown of military moves, deployments, and military-required training.

Check out these eight activities for reading adventures this spring:

Book Scavenger Hunt
If your “To Be Read” pile has been growing, now is the perfect time to make a dent in it with a book scavenger hunt. Create a list of clues about books you want to read as a family and hide them around the house or yard. Each clue leads to a different book. Your family will work together to solve the clues and find the books. Once the book is found, take turns reading passages aloud or discussing your favorite parts.

Make Your Own Storybook
Choose an evening for each family member to write and illustrate a short story. Provide materials like blank paper, markers, and colored pencils, and let imaginations run wild. Younger children can still participate by making a picture book. Gather together that same evening or the next night to share each other’s stories.

Genre Night
Looking for a week of book-tastic fun? Choose a different literary genre for each night of the week, such as mystery, fantasy, science fiction, or historical fiction. Select books or short stories that fit the theme and spend the evening reading the stories aloud. Add even more fun by dressing up in costumes or decorating the reading space to match the theme.

Literary Cooking
Select a book with a prominent food theme or recipes mentioned throughout the story. Then, spend the day cooking together as a family, making dishes inspired by the book. While you cook, take turns reading passages aloud that describe the food or related scenes.

Family Book Club
Choose a book that appeals to all family members and read it together. Consider a longer chapter book that will last the entire week. Look for classics like A Wrinkle in Time or Charlotte’s Web. Discuss the book’s plot, characters, and themes as you read. Act out scenes, or if it is a new-to-you book, predict what will happen next.

Outdoor Picnic
Take advantage of the spring weather by enjoying a family reading picnic in the backyard or at a local park. Pack a blanket, pillows, snacks, and a selection of books, and spend the afternoon reading together in the sunshine. Each family member chooses a book to read aloud or share with the group

Book-to-Movie Night
Choose a book adapted into a movie and plan a movie night at home. After watching the film, take turns reading passages from the book that were left out or discussing how the book differs from the movie adaptation. Compare and contrast the two versions, and take turns sharing your thoughts.

Campfire Night
Gather for a storytelling campfire night if you have a backyard fire pit or safe indoor fireplace. Read about mountain adventures or how to navigate by the stars while reading under the stars. Dig into books about camping while camped out in a sofa fort reading by lamplight. Encourage each family member to take turns telling their favorite stories or reading spooky tales aloud by the fire. You can even roast marshmallows and make s’mores while enjoying the stories.

Spring break doesn’t have to be about expensive trips. By transforming your home into a literary haven, you create a space for imagination, learning, and, most importantly, family bonding. So grab your favorite books, get cozy, and embark on a reading adventure together. This spring break, create memories that will last a lifetime, one story at a time.

Our literacy tips are brought to you by Reader’s Digest Foundation