Friday, 11 March 2016

First Day of Spring - 10 March Break & Spring Activities

This Sunday many of us are going to spring forward, with the promise of longer days, shorter nights, and warmer weather.  It also marks the beginning of March Break for many families, which means keeping everyone busy and happy is at a premium.

Below are 10 activities to consider working into your late winter/early spring "To Do" list when the weather is still a little unpredictable

Watching the rain

  1. Go jump in a muddy puddle, seriously.
    A couple of weeks ago I was unimpressed when Molly gleefully jumped in a giant puddle on the lawn of her before and after school program, spraying a mist of dirt all over both me and her brother.  As she squealed, "Look at me, I'm Peppa Pig and I love to jump in muddy puddles!" I knew it was worth the extra load of laundry.  Let kids be kids, get dirty, put on a pair of slush pants, rain boots and get dirty.  Take a hike and see what's blooming, just remember to dress in layers.
  2. Tackle some yard work together
    Clean out your grates and gutters, and rake up any winter debris, so when the weather gets really warm you can sit back and enjoy it a little sooner. For tips on getting yard work done while minding toddlers click here.
  3. Maple Syrup Season
    For the love of all things sugary sweet and maple infused, North America has so many events you can attend to get your maple on!  Some are more hands on and educational where you (and your kids) can learn about how maple syrup is made, or others where you can enjoy pancakes or maple infused bourbon.  For a listing of Ontario Maple events for 2016 click here.
  4. Hit the Markets
    While there aren't many outdoor farmers markets up and running yet, the quality of the produce available is improving each day.  For a listing of Ontario based winter indoor farmers markets click here.  Toronto residents, consider a trip to St. Lawrence Market to get some produce, meat and cheeses.
  5. BBQ
    Clean off your barbeque and enjoy your first grilled meal of the season.  Consider using an onion to clean your grill and amp up the flavour of your meats.
  6. Spring Clear-out
    Work on the garage, sort and donate old clothes, have your kids prepare some toys to give to kids less fortunate, and then all celebrate by doing something fun together like watching a movie.
  7. Watch some spring movies
    Speaking of movies consider busting out some kid movies with a spring theme like The Secret Garden, Bambi, Hop, or join Winnie the Pooh for some outdoor adventures in the Hundred Acres woods. For suggestions on spring themed kids books click here.  For adults or older kids I consider Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist to be critical spring viewing.
  8. You may not be ready to plant your garden, but start planning
    The sooner you get your kids involved in helping and planning a garden, including what you plant, the more they'll want to be involved.  Let them pick their favourite flowers, plants, and veggies to ensure that everyone can enjoy the bounty in the summer and fall.  
  9. Create your seasonal bucket lists togetherWork together to create lists of the best things you did this winter to consider for next year, what you missed (there may still be some time for some skating, even if it is indoor, or to hit a snowy hill).  Look forward with your calendar and figure out what you want to do this spring and summer in terms of booking camping sites, visits to amusement parks, walks along the beach, and more.  The sooner you mark it down, the more likely you can put your plans into action.
  10. Indoor Beach Party
    So maybe you didn't book that all inclusive this year.  You can still book a hotel room where there's a pool for an overnight, look at pool day play passes, or turn your house into a tropical destination.  Blast the beach themed tunes, eat an indoor picnic, go "fishing" in the bath tub and take comfort that warmer weather will be here before you know it!

    Cherry Blossoms blooming High Park 2015

    To learn more about what gardening teaches your children click here

    For some great indoor kid friendly activities click here.

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