"I'm bored. There's nothing to do."
Those words are enough to make a parent's heart sink like a stone. Spring Break, or March Break, is just around the corner and a week of unstructured time could be a kid's recipe for boredom. However, a little planning around your personal time and budget, and you can craft a unique and interesting March Break plan for your family. Check out the ideas below to get you started.
1. Involve your children in the planning
Kids are more likely to actively engage in the activity if they have had some say in it. Have everyone write down their interests and then pull together lists of activities to do based around those interests.
2. Check out what's available in your community for day camps
Working parents often scramble to work out childcare arrangements over March Break. Check out community leisure centres, the library, planetarium and zoo for day camps that meet your child's interests.
Community centres will often put together special March Break programs, as well. Hockey, dance, cooking, writing and art camps give parents and children a wide scope of activities to choose from.
Again, this is an opportunity for kids to take some ownership of their time and interests. Older kids can do Internet research for themselves to find programs that appeal to them.
3. Put together an activity jar
Injecting a little fun and excitement doesn't need to be time consuming or expensive. Draw up a list of activities that your child enjoys (a trip to the park, paint-by-numbers, Cranium, Monopoly, an afternoon story, a trip to the movies) and put them in a jar. Then have your child pick an activity each day. It doesn't really matter if they are activities you might do anyway -- it's fun to pick out of the jar and be surprised!
Page 1 of 2 -- Pay a visit to Grandma and Grandpa, or be a tourist in your own town for March Break! Find more fun activity ideas for the whole family on page 2
4. Involve your extended family
Is March Break a good time for your child to spend with Grandpa and Grandma? Think back to when you were a child. Did you bake with Grandma or build a birdhouse with Grandpa? Chances are, both your parents and your child will enjoy a little quality time together. You might even choose to front the money for tickets to the movies or the zoo.
5. Be a tourist for a day
Many people have never been to the city sights in their hometown. Take a look at your surroundings with fresh eyes. What sights and venues bring tourists into your city?
Do some research; plug into the Internet to search your local tourism link for ideas for things to do locally.
6. Band together with other parents to fight spring break boredom
Divvy up the Boredom Busters with other parents. Whether it's a trip to the zoo, a morning craft time, an afternoon at the playground, or an evening at the movies, joining forces with other parents in the same boat can make a week of planned activities more manageable for all involved.
7. Have a backup plan
The weather is always variable this time of year, so have a backup plan for outdoor activities. The only thing worse than a bored kid is a wet, cold one!
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