The upcoming March Break is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend quality time with each other. Engaging in fun, recreational activities is an effective and enjoyable way to encourage open-ended discussions, and for families to really get to know and appreciate each other as they play together. Children grow up so quickly, passing through the range of developmental stages,that we need to take every opportunity to enjoy their young personalities and provide enriching experiences to encourage their growing interests.
Through family involvement in recreational activities, there are many opportunities for open-ended discussions, creativity, and exploration of new ideas, whereby a child can express their insights, opinions, and growing passions. Although many families are unable to get away on a formal vacation, there are still many interesting activities that families may wish to consider. All are fun, inexpensive, and educational. They include:
Using a road map, plan some day trips to neighbouring towns with your child. Together, search the internet for information, local history, and points of interest. Plan the route, calculating the time and miles, and together decide on places you and your child would like to visit. Bring along a camera, and if the weather is nice, a picnic lunch. Your child may want to bring along a travel game to play in the car as well. Pamphlets and brochures that are collected along the journey can be included in a future memory album of the week’s adventures.
Put on your Tourist Hat
As a family, choose some local tourist sites to visit such as the African Lion Safari, Dundurn Castle, the Niagara region, the Elora Gorge, Museums of Art and History, or one of the many areas of interest in Toronto.
Learn Something New
Have a family discussion to decide on a special project of interest. The sky’s the limit on project ideas! Some ideas include: chocolate making, setting up a vegetable garden, building a bird feeder or a backyard deck, ceramic or pottery making, or learning a new sport such as bowling, badminton, or how to play a board game such as backgammon or chess.
As a family, choose a country to focus on and learn more about. Search the web, the local library or museum, bookstores, and even movies. Plan a family dinner featuring food from the country, and encourage everyone to share their new knowledge. This is an excellent opportunity on modelling how to become a life-long learner.
Renew Old Friendships
Plan to visit relatives and friends that you haven’t seen in a while or invite them over. Play family games, review old photo albums, and update family histories. Take plenty of photos to add to the March Break memory album.
Spend the Week with Relatives
For working parents, there are several local March Break camp experiences that may be of interest to your child. Alternately, your child may wish to spend some quality time with a special aunt, uncle, or their grandparents. Time away can provide parents and their child with a fresh perspective and an opportunity to develop more worldly views into how other people organize their lives and priorities.
The most important thing about making March Break plans is to show your child that their ideas are important and valued, that you love and appreciate them for who they are, that you listen to and hear them, and you support their budding passions. Whatever you decide, enjoy this special time together and have fun as you create magical and memorable memories with your family.
Linda Sweet M.S. Ed.
Founder and Director, Glenburnie School
Providing a progressive, innovative private school education