With our city’s school boards shifting Spring Break to April we’ve been on the look out for what we can do with the family. As restrictions (hopefully) easing up and better weather on its way we can get out and do more. Of course, April also means rainy season so a few indoor activities handy are welcomed by any parent. Here are some activities you can do with your kids…
Enter your artwork to the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) Portraits of Resilience: It’s been a difficult year for most of us and sometimes we haven’t been able to find the words to describe how we feel. AGO is inviting everyone no matter what age to submit images of their artwork created during this pandemic.There is no cost to enter images of your artwork. All submissions will be received by the AGO Education and Programming team and a curated selection of entries will be displayed onsite at the AGO later this year. Images can be submitted online until May 10th as part of a new exhibition, Portraits of Resilience.
Visit SPRING ON BASTEDO STREET (TORONTO): *Postponed until further notice. If you’re in Toronto around Danforth and Coxwell during Spring Break 2021, you won’t miss the fun whimsical display that will take over the lawns! Of course, Canadian Tire is behind all the fun. For the week, visit (social distanced and masked please) the street lined with inflatables and pool floats. From 15 foot unicorns and flamingos, 11-foot dinosaurs, 4-foot cows, palm trees and hanging beach balls.
Go on a TASTE ADVENTURE: We don’t need to be reminded about not travelling, but honestly, we miss it! But we can find ways to recreate all the most memorable parts of travel including food, music, arts and culture. Check out the site tasteadventure.ca for themed meals created for families in mind. Easy to follow recipes created by Patak’s, Blue Dragon, and Al’Fez make for a great family activity (or create your own recipes!). Visit popular foodie destinations including Thailand Mumbai, Morocco and others and be sure to check out their curated playlists! Learn a bit of history, play games, check out live cams, learn a few words and more. There are six days worth of exploring on the site. There’s also a contest to win prizes!
Spring Break Drama Camp with Young People’s Theatre: April 12 to 16. The popular camp goes interactive and online with programming available for grades 1 through 6. Includes drama games with movement and voice exercises, plus character development and story-building inspired by a book. Optional follow up activities include arts & crafts and scavenger hunts. Aside form the camp, there’s also a new literacy based drama camp titled “Do I Have a Story for You” that is created with more focus on storytelling activities (suitable for grades 3 & 4).
Jammin’ on Garage Band App: For older kids, Garage Band (Apple) is a fun and creative way to explore and make your own music from scratch. Add in your own beats, instruments, to create original tracks …you know for all those TikTok videos. Plenty of tutorials on Youtube for beginners and more for aspiring DJs.
National Film Board (NFB) Spring Break Lineup: There may be some downtime to fill on those inevitable rainy afternoons. Check out NFB online for a slew of great short films to watch. The Tournament follows youth sledge hockey teams from the U.S. and Canada battle for supremacy over the course of a weekend tournament, . Designed for players who have a physical challenge, the fundaments of the sport — passing, shooting, trash talking your opponents – remain the same. Director Sam Vint captures the end-to-end action as the Manitoba Sledgehammers do it all. Blackberry Subway Jam is a short animation based on a popular children’s story by Robert Munsch that tells the story of a young boy with a major problem: his apartment has become a subway station but his mother doesn’t believe him and blames him for the commuters’ mess. Jonathan takes his problem to City Hall and gets his first look at what bureaucratic bungling is all about. A Sea Turtle Story is an animated short chronicles the life cycle of the critically endangered sea turtle. Capturing the beauty of the ecosystems that sea turtles inhabit, the film is ideal for all audiences, and for teaching young and old alike about these fascinating creatures. Many more titles to check out!
Redecorate Your LEARN AT HOME SPACE: with fun decals and stickers. Okay, we’re not talking goofy little ones you stick on your journals or trade with friends (although that’s super fun too!) I was inspired by my local candy shop with their incredible city scape that took up their entire wall all done with decals by a local graphic artist. I discovered a wide range of inspiring ideas with Toronto-based StickerYou. Look for removable decals that are safe for indoor and outdoor use as they won’t do damage to the surfaces and can be easily be repositioned. Build a city with skyscrapers or a country landscape. Make a Minecraft inspired wall space. Older kids may be inspired by their favourite graffiti artists or inspiring quotes — Amanda Gorman comes to our minds!
Miss your family and friends? How about updating your Photo (Fridge) Wall. Create some fun personalized fridge magnets is another idea discovered with StickerYou.
Make Origami Paper Cranes: Cranes are creatures that symbolize peace and healing in Japanese culture. We can spend time as a family to create a Senbazuru – it is said that folding 1000 paper cranes gives a person a chance to make a special wish come true and it will bring you happiness and good luck. In Japanese folklore it is said that a crane lives to 1000 years and in order to get that wish, some believe that 1000 cranes must be folded within a year. Origami paper in all various colours and patterns can be found at your nearest arts & craft supply store. If you’re interested in the true story about Sadako Sasaki, a brave young girl who was just two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on her city of Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Ten years later, just as life was starting to feel almost normal again, this athletic and enthusiastic girl was fighting a war of a different kind. One of many children affected by the bomb, she had contracted leukemia. Patient and determined, Sadako set herself the task of folding 1000 paper cranes in the hope that her wish to be made well again would be granted. (suitable for middle age children) available on amazon.com
DIY Garden Boxes: Now is the time you’ll want to get started on the garden. Small vegetable gardens, herb gardens and dreamy whimsical gardens will continue to be strong this year. We’ve been searching up inspiration over on Pinterest for the growing trend (pun intended) of creating gardens in small and unusual spaces as well as tiered and raised gardens that kids can help with. During the spring break everyone can help decide what to grow, plan and help determine location (sunny? no sun?) and begin the planting season. Work on a schedule of who is taking care of watering and be sure to document the whole seed to table experience in a journal with photos and drawings.