Oops. Registrations are full, and you’re green with envy as your friends get the airbrush tan in preparation to head south. March Break is here and you kind of forgot to plan anything. Worse? The whole family is feeling burnout from the holidays, school, and our treacherous Canadian winter. Is a change as good as a rest? We think so. If you’re creative and have a semblance of a plan, you can pull through. Here are a few ideas.
Explore Your City
No – not the traditional ‘attractions for kids’ like the aquarium and the museums. They are all packed during the breaks, and you deserve a rest as well as the kids.
1. Grab a book on hiking trails in your city, and plan a few days of special hikes with the kids. Pack amazing (light) food, and throw in a book on bird watching or animal tracks.
2. Book a nanny or babysitter twice, and have a romantic date with your partner at a restaurant you’ve never tried.
3. Go on a tour of your city. Take a bus. Be a tourist. Grab an old camera and a black and white film, and do artsy photos the old-fashioned way.
4. You don’t have to splurge on a sports event – instead support youth. Do the OHL, see a junior curling match, or watch a ski race at your local hill.
Hone Your Skills
1. Is there a skill you’re dying for your child to know? Learning the art of bike riding, skiing, skating, swimming, or golf in a concentrated period of time can allow kids to advance quickly and efficiently. Commit to an hour a day all week, and you might be able to avoid the horrid swimming lesson fiascos for the remainder of the year.
2. What one thing would make you feel like a better Mom? Improving your cooking? Toning the triceps? Commit to it just for the break, and we bet it could stick.
Organize Your Life
1. How is your recipe book looking? Why not make it a great family activity to organize and create a cookbook? They can look through magazines for fun pictures that look like the recipe in question. Put together a fun book of the kids’ favourite recipes.
2. Pull out all of your sheets, and make a huge fort with the kids. Take all of the pilly ones and set them aside. Have a painting party or a tie-die fest, and ditch the pilly culprits.
3. Plan a fun garden project with the kids in anticipation of a warm spring. Playhouse? Lighted paths? Fairy flower bed?
4. Make a list of all of the annoying things that don’t work in your home. Have the kids help you with their play tools, and do something every day: change a light bulb here, add a few hooks for robes to the bathroom, use some chalkboard paint to make a chair rail in a kid’s room and practice the alphabet with chalk.
5. Do your holiday decorations, Halloween stuff and St. Patrick’s Day cutouts need some TLC? Why not get EVERYTHING out all at once. Have a ‘holiday party’ with the kids. Paint Easter eggs, sing Christmas carols, and put on old Halloween costumes. Then organize, donate, toss and put away the good stuff (with the next holiday in the most accessible spot).
1. It would be nice to be in Bali, but there the next best thing is a National Geographic film, a huge plate of Nasi Goreng, and an orchid. You could pick 3 countries to learn about over March Break. Cook the food, watch a movie, and you could even get into the fashion. (It’s a great excuse to visit a library too).
2. The cost of a trip for 4 to Disney may be prohibitive, but how about a night in a hotel close by? If it’s in the budget, try a local hotel and have many pillow fights, room service and fun in the pool.
Please feel free to add your own ideas to our list, and have a great break! (PS. You deserve a break).