Canadian school holidays include Spring break also known as March break which closes down schools for one week.
When is March Break 2019?
March Break in Ontario runs from Monday to Friday, March 11-15th, 2019 which means parents who work either have to find March Break activities for the kids or take time off of work.
If you’re a planner you’ve probably already got your March Break sorted out but for those of you who want to stick close to home and keep expenses low.
The last thing you want is your kids finding themselves bored turning to the television or computer just to keep them occupied.
March break like other holidays will see a rise in prices because businesses know that consumers are out there and most people just spend money to keep the kids happy.
Our budget doesn’t reflect March break since this is our first one with our little guy being in school.
Unless you have to pay extra for babysitters, day camps or other activities where you can’t be around it’s important to budget these as projected expenses.
This way your budget won’t get hit with a big bill that you aren’t prepared to pay for when March rolls around.
Fun March Break Activities
Whether you go away on a holiday somewhere hot or plan for a week of indoor/outdoor activities with your kids it’s important to have something to do even if you’re not around.
Not all kids who are off for March break want to hang around their parents because they’d rather chill with their friends. For the wee one’s though they want to get busy doing something especially if they are used to the hype of going to school every day.
Unfortunately in my line of work I can’t take March break off which means we will be working around my schedule but we’ve created a blueprint so our son doesn’t feel left out.
Free Swims and Skating
I’m betting that almost all Ontario cities with rec centres will be hosting free skating and free-swimming time for the kids over the March break.
The only way to find out is to search your local community guide or call up organizations in your community. You may also find lots to do by exploring Facebook events in your area.
Free Arts and Crafts
Explore your local community centres or the mall to see what free March break activities might be hosted. I know at our mall there will be a reptile display that the kids can visit for free along with arts and crafts tables on the lower level where the kids can explore.
Start your Spring Garden
March break is the perfect time to get your Spring garden seeds growing and what fun it would be to do it with your kids. Our son is old enough now to understand growing plants and we’ve got about 10 packs of seeds ready for planting next week.
Visit the local library
The library is always free to visit and some even have a play centre for the kids inside like ours does. You can play on the computer, read books, rent videos, CD’s and meet other kids and parents in the process.
Bringing your child to the library also reminds them of the importance of quiet time, reading and exploring.
Try a new recipe
This is obviously going to be happening in the CBB kitchen because we love to cook and bake. Our son enjoys mixing ingredients and then dumping them so anything we make become a dump recipe. Haha.
I’ll keep you updated on what we make but it will have some sort of chocolate ingredient in the mix.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
For this activity all you have to do is make a list of items that you know are outdoors and print out a checklist. Once you leave the house have your child try to spot the items on the scavenger hunt list to bring awareness and education about our environment.
We’re a bird watching family and perhaps that might sound super geeky to you but we love it. Our son thinks that Canadian Geese are all Eagles but we continue to work on educating him.
Our bird feeder has many birds visit the house daily as we have them hanging outside for the winter which runs into Spring.
Actually, our plan is to create a bird feeder oasis in our front garden so we can watch them all year-long. So far we’ve seen a red cardinal, brown cardinal and a black-capped chickadee visiting us.
Spot the birds with your kids and see if you can take photos and later come home and try to identify them if you don’t know what they are when you spot them. Kids love to use the camera so if they have a keen eye for photography now is a great time to get out and explore.
Related: 7 Birds you will see over the winter
Play date with friends
It doesn’t get any easier than arranging a play date with your child’s friends alternating at your house and theirs to keep the mess equal. Haha! If you’ve done play dates before and your kids are a bit older you know how fast the house can get turned upside down.
Alternatively we make a trip to a McDonald’s play center after lunch for an ice-cream treat and free play time. It may cost you for a kiddie cone (some don’t charge for them) and the fun is free.
This can be fun and messy but as long as your child is learning something new, who cares. In our house we try to do one science experiment each week to keep on top of our son’s adventurous mind with tinkering and mixing.
So far we’ve made baking soda fix bombs in a pan, magic milk and this coming week we will be making a rain cloud in a jar for our March break fun. The magic milk was fun because our son loves colours so to see his little face light up was priceless and he enjoyed it.
Sugar Bush and Maple Syrup Events
How Maple Syrup is made in Canada
If you’re looking for some March break trip ideas why not take the kids to the maple sugar bush to see how maple syrup is made in Canada.
The sap is flowing and if you haven’t been (I haven’t) been to the sugar bush before now is the time to do so. Across Ontario an throughout Canada Maple Syrup Festivals and Events are in full swing and a great way to educate your child about early settlers and how maple syrup is made in Canada.
The ultimate list of maple syrup festivals, events and activities up north in Ontario! Check out these sweet festivals, events and activities. These are Maple Syrup Festivals near and far north from Toronto, depending how long you want to drive. It’s all do-able!
Whether your kids are tots or teens there are day camps available throughout most communities in Canada for March break. If you have to work like me then perhaps a cost-effective alternative to hiring a babysitter might be indoor camping fun.
Not only will the kids stay active in body and mind it gets them out of the house and doing something that keeps them motivated rather than at a sitter. Day camps offer camps that range from sports camps such as soccer, volleyball, hockey, basketball to arts and crafts, gymnastics and even cooking camps.
If camping costs are out of your budget talk to your community organization to see if they subsidize indoor camping based on your income. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Have a great March break everyone and share your photos and fun with us, we’d love to see them.
Discussion: What budget-friendly March break plans do you have? Share your comments below.
CBB Home and Blog Update
This past week has been a write-off for us as our son was sick on Monday which triggered a horrible response the rest of the week. He made it to school just fine but after school he was tired, grumpy and after a cry went straight to bed 3 days in a row.
We’re hoping now that March break is here that we can bring him back to life so he gets back into his routine again. It does get super draining when a child gets ill and their emotions get high.
Most of the week I’ve been thinking about our life insurance because we still haven’t sorted that out. I mentioned earlier in the year that we were thinking about transitioning over to permanent plans. I will work on a blog post about this to help anyone else who is contemplating the move from term to permanent life insurance down the road.
Nothing too exciting apart from I’m being arrested for income tax fraud so the person on the other end of the telephone told me yesterday. Apparently if I don’t pay up they are coming for me.
Just be aware of the Revenue Canada scam that is going around once again in full force as it is tax season. Remind those you love about scams especially if you feel they are vulnerable to falling for these people who prey on those who will be scared.
That’s all for this week.
Oh, I’ll be starting my garden from seeds soon so if you have any tips or photos you’d like to send it to share in my blog post please email me right away. Share your garden landscape with the CBB fans and tell us what you do to get it started and how you maintain it throughout the season.
Have a great couple of weeks and Happy Spring Forward this weekend, Sunday March 10, at 2am. The sun will set later and we will be enjoying more vitamin D.
Common Question: When is the first day of Spring 2019? This year it the first day of Spring will be Wednesday March 20, 2019 and end Friday June 21, 2019.
CBB Posts You May Have Missed
These are the blog posts I’ve written the past two weeks that you can catch up on if you’ve missed them. If you don’t already please subscribe to the blog and you will get my posts come straight to your email. Ta-da…CBB in an Instant.
- How to Catch Up With a Late Payment plus (Sample Letter) and Our February Family Budget Update
- Is Parenting Easier for Wealthy Parents?
- Baked Pepperoni Chips and Queso Dip (Keto, Low Carb)
- How your Budget is Affected by your Social Circle
- How to successfully host a Winter Open House for sale
Finance Read or Video Of the Week
Kerry Taylor makes a good point about rewiring your brain to master money because in essence that is what you MUST do to become successful with your finances. There’s no half-job when it comes to your money. Either you do it or you fail at it terribly, even the common sense stuff such as budgeting.
The problem is humans are not always logical with money. Rational humans would agree it’s sensible to save a portion of income while avoiding debt. But with the national savings rate dipping to 3.4% and our household debt at 171% – meaning Canadians owe $1.71 for every dollar of disposable income – it would appear something is getting the better of us, and our money.
Frugal Recipe Find
With St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th I thought I would hit you all up with a cool green treat that you can make for the family or bring to work.
I found these awesome Luck of the Irish Cake Balls from The Good Stuff blog that are green in the middle, white on the outside and just pop with colour. Doesn’t it remind you of Spring? I love them.
• 1 box white cake mix
• Eggs and oil in amounts directed on cake mix box
• 1 ounce green food coloring
• 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons white frosting
• 1 pound white candy melts or almond bark
• Optional: Green sprinkles
Mr.CBB’s Motivational Corner
Whatever life throws your way whether it’s good or bad treat it like new beginnings rather than dwell on what you can’t change.
Saturday Search Term Giggles
Every week I get tens of thousands of people who visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.
Most times funny, sometimes serious.
- Best No Need Buns– Haha, No need to but you need No knead. Say that 5 times.
- Anyone caught stealing from Save On Foods– Why are you planning on being the first?
- Keto peanut butter soup– If that doesn’t sound disgusting …
- How big can fish get?– This BIG!
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