The holidays are barely over and all of a sudden you realize that March break is sneaking up on you fast. Seriously, where does the time go?
If you’re lucky, you’ve booked a family getaway to somewhere warm. If not, there’s still plenty you can do to make the last break before summer fun, memorable and packed with activities so you don’t have to listen to the dreaded, “I’m bored!”
Dive Into Hobbies
Whether your kids are into dance or hockey, most dance schools or sports teams hold workshops during March break which is a lifesaver if you work.
Coordinate with other moms and share the drop-off and pick up days. It’s funny how things always seem to work out. If your kids are artsy, there are art camps. If they’re swimmers, it’s a good time to move up a couple of levels.
Most community centers release a spring break guide packed with fun activities for kids to try. Cooking, gymnastics, floor hockey, you name it. Let your kids pick a few and learn something new.
Preschoolers get a March break, too. I was fortunate enough to work only part-time when my kids were small, but on the days I had to leave them at home with a grandparent or sitter, I set up play stations around the house to keep them busy.
We had a small table and chair set which was perfect for rolling and cutting out playdough shapes. I bought fresh playdough (you could also make your own), some small cookie cutters in fun shapes, some plastic knives and small rolling pins and other fun accessories from the Dollar Store.
I hid everything and set up the table the night before I went to work. It was a nice surprise for the kids in the morning and made life easier for the babysitters.
At another table (or kitchen table) I set up a sticker activity station. Again the Dollar Store came in handy for supplies. Sticker books are inexpensive and fun and let the kids practice their spatial skills as they try to apply the stickers to the right outlines. My daughters especially liked the story sticker books and enjoyed finding the right characters or items to stick in the appropriate places as the stories were read to them.
Dress Up Corner
A few visits to the thrift store will yield enough inexpensive clothing and accessories for a dress up wardrobe. Throw in a few Halloween and superhero costumes and you have inspiration for budding actors. You might even be treated to an impromptu performance!
Living Room Fort
Actually, you can set up a fort or tent anywhere in the house. These were always my favourite because they felt like an escape from the world. Set two chairs apart and drape a sheet over them, nothing fancy. We used to read books, play games, pretend we were camping, in an igloo, you get the idea. A fort can transport you to anywhere in the world!
Relive Old Times
One of my favourite family activities (we did this on Family Day but it’s fun to do any time) was to pull out photo albums and videos (when my kids were young we had video cameras instead of phones!) and get into our king size bed and reminisce.
Photographs sparked different memories for each family member that others had forgotten. Hours went by as we made our way down memory lane. Going through old pictures of family members your kids never had the chance to know will give them an understanding of their heritage and where they might have inherited some of their traits from!
While planning activities is fun, packing too much into March break might not always give your kids the rest they need. Variety and balance is key to making the most of the time off before your kids hit the school year home stretch.