A tropical beach vacation would be nice right about now but if you’re like us and stuck in the city for March Break I have a few suggestions to keep you (and the kids) from going stir crazy. From gamer to gourmand, Toronto has a variety of camps and day activities to appease your child’s latest passion.
For the Scientist
The latest exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre, The Brain, will give you a peek inside that human machine that has us seeing, hearing, tasting and basically functioning in the world. See how your brain translates images. Understand how your short and long-term memory works. Participate in live research on concussions (something many sports families know about all too well). Plus enjoy a number of other interactive experiences throughout the Science Centre.
For the Gamer
If you have a gamer in your family TIFF’s Gaming News Nexus will get them out of the family room and in front of the camera. Kids will work as a group to create a short news-style program reviewing their favourite games, shaaring industry news and interviewing gamers and game producers. They’ll even get a behind the scenes peek at this year’s digiPlaySpace.
For the Disney Fan
Disney films have been a part of our childhood and now as parents we enjoying sharing some of these films with our own kids. You may have a library full of them but nothing beats seeing the Wizard’s duel from The Sword in the Stone or a Dumbo the elephant swinging from a trapeze on the big screen at the famous TIFF Lightbox. Now’s your chance as a selection of Walt Disney Classics will be played on the big screen.
For the Chef
Knowing basic kitchen skills and getting involved with making their own meals not only fosters a child’s independence but it will go a long way toward less food battles at home. Petite Chefs Academy offers a full week of learning about food while the kids prepare their own lunches.
For the Maker
I love the Maker movement, encouraging the merging of technology, creativity and DIY. MakerKids (one of the only makerspaces for kids in the world). From minecraft to woodworking, the MakerKids camps will call on your child’s creativity and ingenuity to develop something unique. You can register for just one-day camp or go for the whole week.
For the Artist
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) understands that art isn’t just for adults to appreciate, kids offer a unique perspective of what they see. The new Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit will certainly bring out some interesting discussion. Plus families can enjoy guided tours geared toward families, try their hand at stamping and collage making, add their graffiti name to the tag wall, listen to interactive story telling and more as part of their general admission to the gallery.
For the Creative Thinker
I’m always amazed at the creativity that comes out of TIFF’s digiPlaySpace and this year is no different. The whole family will love seeing their moves with the Pop and Lock Dance Machine or have a friendly competition with the Push Me Pull You Dogs game. Try using your body to transfer energy and change the colour of blocks with Six Forty by Four Eighty or monitor your brain waves as you control a virtual world in aMUSEing Wonderland. These are just a few of the amazing hands-on exhibits in the digiPlaySpace.
For the Bookworm
If your child is content with a quiet corner to reach during March Break, give them a copy of Scholastic’s Reading Resolution. From reading a book that takes place in a foreign land and reading out loud to my pet to rereading a favourite baby book and to sending a “shelfie” of me with my favourite book, the list will take more than March Break to complete but it’s a good starting point.
For the Outdoor Explorer
Inside isn’t for your family? Get outside and enjoying what’s left of the winter season. For inspiration visit Hibernot.ca, an initiative from Land Rover Canada to encourage families to get out of the house. Or add your own outdoor fun idea to encourage other families.
For the Person Who Just Can’t Decide
I’ve written about DIY.org before but March Break is the perfect time to call up the site again. Whether your child can’t decide on exploring the stars or breaking codes, DIYorg will enable them to explore all the possibilities and earn badges too.
Now with the TTC fare changes enabling kids 12 and under to ride transit for free, getting out and about to some of these camps and day activities is even easier for families.