March is winter’s last gasp—and we’re all pretty much sick of it, too. Hold tight though, because spring is busy and the days of pools and picnics will be here before you know it. Enjoy the break this month and take the chance to regroup before the heading into the final months of the school year.
Plan for summer
Why? Just because it’s too early to put the snow shovel away doesn’t mean summer won’t be here soon. Registration for summer camps and summer sports open this month—if they haven’t already—and they can fill up fast. It’s a good idea to take an inventory of spring and summer gear to see what still fits and what’s ready to pass on. And if you are thinking of renting a cottage or summer house for a family vacation, those tend to book up well before July hits, too.
Jaq Jaq Bird art supplies
Why? It’s a reusable, mess-free, portable series of chalk books that will rock your world. Seriously, we’re excited. Dust. Free. Chalk. Planning a long road trip this March Break? Maybe just some day trips in the car? Or maybe you simply need to keep the kids occupied around the house. Jaq Jaq Bird lets creativity run wild while keeping the colours off their hands, clothes, car…(you name it).
Why? Think Simon Says except with yoga moves. Cool, right?! How did we not think of this before? ‘Yogi Says … downward dog.’ Then all the kids do a downward dog with you. Keep cycling through some simple yoga moves that kids will like (here are a few to get you started) and every so often skip the ‘Yogi Says’ and just say ‘Do downward dog!’ If the kids do the move without hearing ‘Yogi Says’, they’re out. Or, if you’d rather not make them be out, you can give them a challenge—like doing three bunny hops. The whole fam jam will stretch their sillies out in no time.
Mitzi Bytes by Kerry Clare
Why? Toronto blogger Kerry Clare of Pickle Me This is releasing her first novel this month. We’ve already checked it out, and it’s fantastic. If you’ve ever worried about oversharing on the internet (and what parent hasn’t) then imagine keeping a tell-all mom blog that even your husband doesn’t know about. In Mitzi Bytes, Sarah Lundy’s secret life is threatened when she receives emails from a mysterious ‘Jane Q’ who says Sarah has been found out. It’s a beautifully penned story about truth, friendship, motherhood, and discovering who you are really are.
Why? A new app can help diagnose a concussion in kids and adults. The app was designed using evidence-based science and uses gold-standard tests to assess the signs of concussion such as concentration, balance, memory, and other symptoms. The app shouldn’t replace medical care in the event of a head injury, but can be used by trainers or medical doctors to help respond quickly to suspected concussions. It’s a great tool to have in your arsenal when you have teens playing contact or high-risk sports.
Why? CBC Kids has recently redesigned their website to make all the great content they’ve always had even easier to use. It’s chock-full of games, videos, articles, and other resources like printables and quizzes. Your kids will love it because it stars all their favourite characters and you’ll love it because you trust that CBC offers quality programming. Win-win.
Set up a backyard compost
Why? If you’re thinking of trying your hand at growing your own super-local food for the first time this summer, then the first thing you should do is set up a bucket for rotten food in your yard. Yes, really. Collecting fruit and vegetable scraps (avoid meat, bones, and fat) and assorted other food and paper waste in a compost allows it to decompose into an incredibly rich soil gardeners like to call ‘black gold’. Set it up now and you should have some ready just in time for the spring planting season. From a pile in the corner of a big backyard to fancy ‘indoor’ composting systems, there’s a method that will work for you.
Math fact triangles
Why? We’re here to tell you that the ‘new math’ is not all bad. As a whole, there’s an emphasis on understanding how and why numbers work together, estimating answers in your head, and arriving at solutions from different angles. This also means your kids aren’t doing things the way we learned, which can be frustrating. Making these ‘fact family’ math triangles is a fun craft that helps both parents and kids alike understand how numbers work together. Simply cut out triangles and then write the ‘fact family’ numbers in the corner. For example, for 3 x 7 = 21, you would write the 21 in the top corner and the 3 and 7 in the bottom corners. Cover the top to quiz for the multiplication, but then cover a bottom corner to quiz for division and to see how the three numbers are related. These also work for addition and subtraction. Here’s a great tutorial for making your own.