After a year of off-and-on virtual schooling for them and never-ending Zooms for you, we’re willing to bet everyone in your household is feeling a little stretched thin. That’s why we’re soft on these seven simple activities for a slow and sweet March Break surrounded by the ones you love.
Slow down and spot the pines cones
Turn one of your regular routes into a winter scavenger hunt by getting the kids to ease up the pace and work on their observational skills. Spot snow sculptures, animal tracks, lingering Christmas lights or different types of trees. And don’t forget to fill a thermos with hot coco (and maybe a second one with hot toddies for the grown-ups) to sweeten the deal.
Get crafty while keeping it green
Gather some basic supplies—markers, construction paper, glue, string, whatever you’ve got—and have the kids sort through the recycling bin for more unconventional materials. Tin cans make great planters, cereal boxes easily morph into colourful monsters, and (our favourite!) toilet paper rolls can become binoculars, cityscapes, smartphone speakers and so much more. After all, one person’s recycled trash is another’s crafty treasure.
Cuddle up for a movie marathon
A binge-fest of your family’s favourite flicks is the coziest way to spend a frigid March Break day. To avoid squabbles over the line-up (we can dream, right?), have everyone pick their favourite movie and draw names to determine the viewing order. Go all-in on the snacks, too, with fancy drinks, oven s’mores, buttery popcorn—the works.
Make maple taffy at home
Next time we get a fresh layer of the white stuff, bring the sugar shack experience to your balcony or backyard. Firmly pack down an area of snow or fill a large bowl or cookie sheet if you want to work indoors. Boil real maple syrup over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until it hits 115°C. Drizzle the syrup over the snow in strips and let it cool for a few seconds before winding around a popsicle stick for a lollipop-style sweet treat.
Indulge in DIY spa day
First, decide if you want this to be a solo spa experience, or involve the whole family (though we will not judge you if you pack the kids off with your partner for a few hours of fun in the winter sun). Either way, pull on your comfiest robes, dim the lights and cue the spa music. Start with homemade foot scrubs (try sea salt, baking soda or coffee grounds) and a hot towel compress over the eyes. Follow that up with face masks; matcha tea, yogurt and bananas all make excellent bases, but do a little research to find one that’s right for you (and your brood). Then, finish the day with scalp and hand massages, or have your kids brush your hair out—something some little ones are surprisingly into (not that we’re complaining).
Play Secret Snowflake
The night before, each member of the family is randomly assigned another member of the family. Everyone then spends the next day doing nice things for their “target”, like prepping perfectly brewed cups of coffee, slipping surprises under the kids’ pillows and writing cute notes that list all the things you love about each other. If your gang is feeling particularly kind-hearted, top the day off with a group good deed, like shovelling a neighbour’s driveway. After dinner, everyone tries to guess the identity of their Secret Snowflake.
Make the most of leftovers with a family cooking contest
Turn your empty-the-pantry prowess into a family affair. Assign everyone a course—starter, sides, main, dessert—or pair off into teams, take stock of what you’ve got and get cooking. (Get inspired with some recipe ideas here. Bonus points to the team that uses up the most leftover items. Stack those empty cans and produce packages high like the trophies they are!
Check out more ideas on how to up the cozy here.