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Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Break Ideas

It's hard to tell looking out my window, but spring has officially begun.

Photo retrieved March 24, 2011 from 

If you are looking forward to a spring break with your kids, next week or sometime in April, you're probably also wondering what to do with them. The kids are used to having their days scheduled and packed full of activities. Like many parents, you may be wondering how to keep them occupied during the break. In every city there are fun and educational places to go and things to do that your family might not have time for otherwise. You could:
  • visit a science centre, museum or zoo
  • take in a play or concert
  • enroll the kids in a camp for a half day, full day or for the whole week
  • hit the skating rink, toboggan hill or ski hill if you live in the Great White North
  • go to a public pool or a kids' play centre
  • some recreation centres have drop-in activities planned for the week
  • participate in an art class or visit a craft studio (e.g. to make your own pottery)
  • spend some time at the local library where kids can run their eyes and hands over hundreds of books, choose a few books to take home, and have their favourite stories read to them by a lively librarian
  • schedule a play date with friends, maybe combined with one of the above

If you're like some other parents who think the spring break should be just that, a break from scheduled activities, there are still loads of laid-back ways to have fun:
  • knock a few things off of the to-do list - young kids in particular like to help, so let them!
  • bake a special treat and enjoy it with chocolate milk or hot chocolate while watching a family-themed movie together
  • give each of your kids their own day and allow them to plan the food and events for the whole day
  • put out a whole bunch of craft supplies and let the kids create to their hearts' content
  • go to the farmers market and let the kids pick out the vegetables for that night's meal
  • have the kids purge their closets and toy bins and pack up unwanted items to give away, then take them to a second hand store or garage sale to pick up a new book, puzzle or toy

Looking for something completely different to do with the kids? Why not give Geocaching a try? Geocaching involves using a GPS navigator to locate a hidden container with a logbook inside. Once you locate the container, you add the date and any other relevant details to the logbook. You might also find a small, inexpensive item inside, which you may take if you replace it with an item of similar value. Visit Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site to view the caches in your area. Also at this site you can download an application for your iPhone or Android that gives you real-time access to the more than 1.3 million caches worldwide. I haven't tried this yet, but it might even be possible to use an Amazon Kindle to hunt caches


However you plan to spend spring break with your kids, remember that the best gift you can give them is your time. If you have the time, take time to capture a few memories from your spring break. Snap a few photos or a bit of video, and write a few notes about what you did. You might include some memorable quotes from the week. Above all, have fun!

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