It seems like the kids just returned to school after the holidays in December and now March Break is just around the corner. You may already have plans for your kids or perhaps you’re lucky enough to be escaping to warmer climates. But if you’re like many parents and caregivers, you need to think of how to keep your children entertained. In the summer, the possibilities seem endless — from amusement parks and outdoor pools, to biking, and nature walks (basically anything that gets us outdoors!). But it’s a little tricky in March when the weather is still unpredictable. So, what’s a family to do? Here are 13 ideas to help bust the boredom:
Out and About
1. Check out camps. If you work full time and can’t take the time off, check out your local community centre or YMCA. Many have March Break day camps brimming with activities from arts and crafts, to sports and cooking.
2. Swap play days with other parents. Arrange play days with your child’s friends’ parents. Take turns taking groups of children out. This is a great idea for working parents who don’t have the full week off. The result? Happy kids and relieved parents!
3. Be free. Entertaining the kids doesn’t have to mean expensive outings. There are plenty of free activities around town. Look for retailers like Chapters/Indigo that host in-store events. Libraries usually have special activities and story times. And local community centres typically have free public skate times. Check your town or city’s website to see what’s planned in your area.
4. Soak up some culture. Visit museums and art galleries, and let your children pick their favourite attractions – as long as it keeps them interested and engaged. Call ahead and check for times of the day when tickets are discounted and ask about free admission for kids under a certain age.
5. Take a hike. Usher in spring by exploring local parks and nature trails. Some local farms and conservation areas offer fun activities like wagon rides and maple syrup festivals. Check out your municipal and provincial websites for locations.
6. Make ‘em sweat. With a whole week off, your kids are bound to need some energy-releasing activities. There are plenty of options to choose from, like bowling, laser tag, indoor mini golf, and trampoline parks. You can even try something new like a family-oriented escape room which fosters teamwork and gets the brain working too.
7. Get your game on. Forgo the electronics and pull from that pile of board games (you know — the one collecting dust!) for hours of family fun. Don’t have a lot of board games? Grab a deck of cards. And if you know any magic tricks, now’s your time to wow ‘em like Criss Angel.
8. Take a selfie. Get dressed up in different outfits or costumes and take a few selfies. Download the files and go through the pictures as a family, choosing the best pics to showcase in frames. And don’t forget to send your relatives some good old-fashioned print outs!
9. Channel your inner Monet. Bring out the water colours, pencil crayons, glitter (just have the vacuum handy or consider glitter glue instead!) and paper. Ask each family member to draw their favourite moment from March Break.
10. Tell tales. Make up a story. Ask one family member to start by sharing the first couple of sentences. Then, the next person chimes in by adding a few more lines to the story, and so on, until you’ve conjured up what’s bound to be a hilarious tale.
11. Make some noise. If you’ve got some instruments lying around, form your own garage band and play your favourite tunes. If you don’t have instruments, it’s easy to make your own. Grab some empty tissue boxes and wrap elastics around the middle for an instant guitar. Throw some rice into empty canisters and use them as shakers. As for those big empty boxes sitting in your basement? Instant drums! The kids can decorate them with stickers and glitter (who are we kidding? You’ll want to bedazzle them too!).
12. Guess the movie. This is a game my family plays in restaurants or while travelling. Everyone takes a turn choosing a movie (usually one that the family has seen on DVD or in theatre). Then each family member gets five guesses based on questions about characters, genre, and plot. Whoever wins gets to choose the movie to watch together as a family.
13. Show some appreciation. Invite extended family and friends over for brunch or dinner. Form a circle and start by choosing one family member to focus on. Each person takes a turn by sharing what they admire about that family member. It could be their smile, their upbeat attitude, or their creative ability to come up with game ideas on March Break! Then move on to the next family member. You’ll show your appreciation and receive some in return.
Whatever you choose to do, have a safe, fun and enjoyable March Break!
Do you have plans for March Break? Any ideas to keep the kids entertained? Let us know in the comments.