spring break

Spring Break 2021 has a very different feeling around it. I am trying to make sure that my mindset is a positive one and that I approach it with the best attitude I can. There are certain things we cannot change and this year has been one giant lesson in restrictions.

Spring Break will officially mark 1 year of no out of province travel for our family and although we generally avoid travel during Spring Break I know for lots of families it is a time they do travel. Keeping in mind our current restrictions and assuming you are sticking local and staying safe during this years Spring Break I thought I would share some of my ideas for having fun at home or locally.

Lots of these ideas are things we have actually done last Spring Break or through out this past year. My kids are happiest outside or getting messy so lots of these involve one or both of those things. I know one other element that really impacts our days is the weather, sunshine makes us all happy even if it is cold or windy. However I tried to make a list of things that are varied or able to be adapted regardless of the weather. Check out the list and see if you and your family might enjoy some of these ideas too!

#1

MOVIE NIGHT

We love a good family movie night, but these are fairly typical for a weekend night at our house. Why not take it to the next level by setting up an outdoor movie night (weather depending) or building a fort indoors to watch from and order your snacks from your local cinema to give it that real movie theatre feel!!!

Doesn’t have to be fancy to be fun, we ordered an inexpensive projector last year and have had so much fun using it indoors and outdoors, at home or taking it with us to the cabin. This was just on a white sheet thrown over the trampoline but we have since bought a “screen” to elevate our Movie Nights!
Order your favourite Movie Theatre Snacks through Uber Eats or Skip the Dishes (depending on where you live and where your theatre is located). The kids love popcorn so this was a huge hit at our house. Definitely made our movie night feel special.

#2

Order a DIY Flower Bucket.

I loved this and originally ordered it for myself. To my surprise my kids wanted to join in on the fun and it was a great activity for us to do together. We ordered a DIY Bucket of mixed stems from OLFCo but I am sure if you called your local florist they could put something together for you. The kids and I placed them through out the house and they loved having a bouquet beside their beds. My sister and nieces also did this and they actually had fun making little mason jar bouquets that they dropped off for family and friends. I think it really is a great way to welcome spring, play with scissors, cutting stems, pouring water into vases and even getting to smell the flowers. My kids love all those things and putting it all together was the perfect activity.

Flowers are such a sign of Spring and my kids all love using scissors, trimming stems, “playing” with water and making beautiful flower arrangements. Bonus is you have a bunch of beautiful bouquets to either gift family and friends or spread out around your house.

#3

Gardening.

Gardening was fairly foreign to me last year but with Covid we just kinda took it on as something to do from home. It was so rewarding and quickly became something the whole family enjoyed.

I love how gardening can be whatever you want it to be. Whether that’s grow bags on a sundeck or patio, container gardening, trying to grow your favourite foods and starting a vegetable garden or growing a beautiful flower garden. You can really do anything that makes you happy and the worst that can happen is it doesn’t grow and you try something new.

Last year we built raised garden beds and that was a fun project the kids helped with, they actually painted all the boxes and helped fill with soil, as well as planting and watering. They just love digging and finding worms or adding water to make mud! They also loved harvesting their veggies, pulling out radishes, carrots, peas and tomatoes while we were outside and eating straight from the garden was a very rewarding experience.

We are looking forward to expanding our gardens, trying some new plants and seeing if we can help Nan with her cut flower garden this year. During Spring Break I think we will start some seeds as well as prep our beds and “play” in the garden.

Having fun during Spring Break doesn’t have to be expensive, or even over the top… I think my kids are often just as happy helping us do our errands as tasks as they are doing an extra special activity. So use the break to try and get some of your to do’s done too!
When you get the kids involved in from the beginning they are more invested and willing to help out later with watering and weeding and even trying new veggies if they took part in growing them.

#4

SPA Day

Set up a spa at home and offer each other manis, pedis or facials. My kids have just as much fun setting up the “spa” as they do giving and receiving treatments. Don’t forget to get creative with your set up and include snacks, flavoured water, some warm bags or cucumber slices for the eyes. My kids love going all out, well lets face it so do I! I was even able to find some hand cut outs at the dollar store and my daughter will make nail polish sample cards on them for her “clients”. If nails aren’t the right thing for your kids and your feeling adventurous you could also try your hand at some temporary hair colours. No better time to attempt a temporary colour then while your kids are out of school for a couple weeks! That way in the off chance it isn’t fantastic they really aren’t going anywhere! We were able to get some great products from our local salon, Atomic Hair Studio.

Grace loves to set things up and organize, its a good reminder to enjoy the journey not just a destination. She is all about special details and the preparation. I also try to take any opportunity I can to slow down activities and make them last as long as I can.
Our local salon had fantastic temporary colour products that was safe to use in the kids hair so we played salon and had fun! The kids loved this and the colour washed out fairly quickly which was perfect.

#5

Beach Day

We are huge beach lovers, so whenever we get cabin fever and have spent too much time at the house or whenever we have a super beautiful Spring Day we try to head to the beach. We are fortunate to have lots of local beaches close by and a few favourite spots that are less crowded that we can go to. Some of our most loved beach days include grabbing take out to bring down and enjoy a picnic or packing hot dog and s’more ingredients and roasting around a beach fire! The kids all have kayaks and last year I bought a SUP so if it’s a calm day we will go for a paddle. The kids are also just happy beach combing and building forts with driftwood, it doesn’t take much to be happy at the beach.

Rowen has gotten very strong with his paddling and has had a pretty good fall out in deeper water. It was great to see him recover so easily from falling out. I like knowing he didn’t panic and is okay if he tips.
Grace is pretty good with her kayak but we ended up catching a bit too much wind this day. It was great “practice” and she stayed nice and close to shore which turned out good because she got a little freaked out when the waves started to hit her. I try to watch the weather and pick the ideal times to go out but I also like the kids to have. a little experience with less than ideal or perfect weather
Little Surfer Grom Squad.
Weenie Roast.

#6

Fun with Eggs

If you live in the lower mainland you are in for a treat because there are many amazing local farms that offer all sorts of farm experience type market shopping. One of my kids current favourites is called The Chicks of 96th (check them out on instagram @thechicksof96), not only is this a super clean farm but it is such an experience. You can collect your own eggs, the packaging is beautiful, the pricing is very affordable (IMO too low for all that they offer) and they offer some play items like a big sand box and digger. There are lots of easy to read informative pictures inside the barn and it is all self lead so super easy to safely socially distance yourself if you go during a non-peak time. They are open 7 days a week, 8am to 5pm.

If a visit to the farm and collecting the eggs has your kids interested in chickens then I suggest levelling up the whole farm and chicken experience and look into hatching some chicks at home. We just finished hatching three chicks from eggucation.com and it was a super cool experience for the whole family. Chicks hatch in approx 21 days, but it could be less time depending on when they were produced and on what day they are dropped off to you. They come with instrutions, all the equipment you need and they are super easy to hatch and to care for. You can keep them for a bit after they are hatched or return them as soon as you want.

#7

Park Play

If you were to ask my kids what they want to do the majority of the time they would answer go play at a park. It is probably the most agreed upon activity and definitely something we try to do lots.

PLAY is what Spring Break was made for and I know we have our “usual” spots (including Memorial Park, Centennial Beach and before Covid the park at TFN). However I am a big fan of finding and trying new places. Lucky for us we are homeschoolers and able to venture to a park in the middle of a weekday when it is less busy. We rarely park play on a weekend because we don’t love the crowds. With that in mind you may want to plan non-peak times to visit some of these fun parks!

First, a few of our newest spots we have tried and really liked are Mundy Park (in Coquitlam), Penzer Park (in Langley) and Action BMX Park (in Surrey). These are just recent favourites and new ones we have tried but if you are looking for ideas I would suggest checking out @braveandfreeadventures on instagram. They are always outside exploring metro Vancouver and I have found lots of good spots to try from them.

Mundy Park not only has an amazing playground but lots of trails, dog friendly, frisbee course, outdoor pool and lots of ball field space too! We have only been twice and haven’t explored much beyond the local Starbucks and the playground but this is a fantastic spot.
Penzer Park is so diverse I love it. There are sports courts (BYOB, bring your own balls), huge bike park and then two different playground/ play structure areas. The kids loved all the climbing.
Action BMX Park is really cool. My kids surprised me with their fearlessness and I loved the way the park has a mini bike section behind the huge track.

I think the biggest things to remember is keep positive. When you feel the kids getting tired or you are getting cranky or any shift in energy just try to shake things up. Often for us it means getting outside but it might mean taking a team nap or giving yourself and your kids permission to have a rest day to recharge! If we have learnt anything this past year it is that we can control our own moods, and when we do things to make sure we are relaxed and fed, rested, maybe a bit challenged and just overly happy it can impact others and the feeling will spread. So take time to start Spring Break with the best attitude you can and try to enjoy this time with your kids.

I hope this list sparks some ideas for you and your family! I would love to try some new things with our kids this Spring Break so please share your own adventures and fun and inspire others.

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