It happens every year. A long, cold Canadian winter gives way to the first whisperings of spring and Canadians are filled with a sense of renewal and energy. March break activities provide the perfect opportunities to get outside, connect with the family and embrace the season.
1. It has to be fun.
Can you impart the same sense of excitement and fun you have for the season to your children? Seasonal preparations have to be fun for both yourself and your children, so commit to finding entertaining and creative ways to get chores done.
2. Plan the summer garden.
Kick off yard cleaning with an end in sight: planning the family garden. Whether the garden is a large plot in the backyard or a few planting pots off the back deck, give each child an area of responsibility/opportunity. Allow them to plan what they will plant for the growing season. Consider going out to buy the seeds with your children, once the yard work and garden planning are done.
3. Get the spring-cleaning done inside the house.
It's hard to put a fun spin on housework, but it's possible. Since spring is a time of renewal, why not use this opportunity to mix cleaning with redecorating? It doesn't need to be big or expensive, but have your kids plan one new thing for their room. It might be a fresh coat of paint (their colour choice, of course!), a new picture for their wall or wall shelves.
4. Plan a cabin fever outing.
Once your objectives have been met, get out of the house! Take in a movie or an outing to a nearby attraction. Go out for ice cream -- after all, summer is right around the corner.
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5. Hold a garage sale.
Garage sales are a national weekend pastime. Garage sales provide a fun opportunity to make a little extra money and are great way to get rid of things you no longer use. Decide in advance how the family will split up the money.
Will everyone keep the proceeds from their own sales or will the family pool the money? Both have distinct advantages. If everyone keeps their own take, the money might be spent on decorating individual rooms.
If the family pools the money, it might be used for something the whole family can enjoy -- a foosball table or air hockey game. Just make sure the whole family knows -- and agrees with -- the decisions about the money.
6. Set goals and celebrate their completion.
A day's worth of work well done deserves a reward! Has everyone met their (attainable) objectives? Celebrate! Order in pizza and a movie and have a pajama party in the living room. Or have a backwards meal -- start with dessert and move to dinner.
Whatever activities you choose to indulge in over March break, make sure to involve the whole family. People -- including children -- are more likely to opt into plans if they're including in making the plans.
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