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Get Active: March Break

March Break: two words that have kids leaping with joy as vacation begins but all too often have parents’ hearts sinking like a stone at the same time. After the initial euphoria of being out of school wears off, kids all too often end up whining "I'm bored. There's nothing to do," before the week is even half over.
Whatever your plans, there are fun ways to get physical activity into the March Break mix. It just takes a bit of imagination to keep the little darlings happy and to stop them – and you – from climbing the walls.
Active vacations
Are you one of the lucky ones who get to escape the sleet and slush of our Maritime winter in exchange for sunnier skies (and temperatures most likely)? Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you and your family have a free pass to be lazy. Family holidays offer lots of great opportunities to expose your kids to sport and physical activity (and best of all, they will just think they’re having fun on vacation). Take them to the hotel pool, go beachcombing or play in the surf, explore local parks or spend the day exploring theme parks on foot.
Involve your children in the planning
Spending March Break at home? No problem! Kids are more likely to actively engage in the activity if they have had some say in it. Have everyone write down their interests and then pull together a list of activities to do based around those interests. Ask everyone to suggest a few indoor activities, a few outdoor activities and a few ‘field trip’ activities but make sure everyone makes at least one ‘active’ activity suggestion for each category- that will help to ensure your activity list doesn’t end up filled with sedentary activities like movie and/or video game marathons.
Put together an activity jar
Now, take that list of activities you and your family just made and go one step further: put each suggestion on its own slip of paper and put them in a jar. Then have everyone pick an activity or two out of the jar each day. It doesn't really matter if they are activities you might have planned on doing anyway — it's fun to pick out of the jar and be surprised!
Divide and conquer
Working parents often scramble to find childcare arrangements over March Break. Divvy the week up between other parents who are in the same boat, with everyone arranging one day of childcare. Whether it's a trip to the Emera Oval, a morning of building snowmen, an afternoon at the playground, or an evening at the movies, joining forces with other parents can make the daunting task of planning a whole week’s more manageable for all involved, not to mention that kids get a change of scenery by going to play somewhere else with their friends.
Check out what’s available in your community
Local businesses, community centres, art galleries, museums, etc will often put together special March Break programs and activities to help keep your kiddies busy and having fun. Dalplex, for example, has special daily open swims available during the week, in addition to the usual basketball and volleyball open rec times, the Fun Zone, badminton courts, etc.

Dalplex, Dalhousie University's main fitness and recreation facility, has been proudly serving the community for over 30 years, offering a wide variety of fitness, wellness and recreation programs and classes for adults, children, youth and seniors.  Visit their website or follow them on facebook

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