Spring Break Learning Activities for Your Kids
Spring break is upon us and whether you’re taking the kids on vacation or enjoying the one to two weeks away from school from the comforts of your area code, you want to make sure that they keep learning through it all, while still having fun. As a purveyor of outdoor education our Foundation has some great ideas for you and your children to enjoy as a family.
4 Fun Outdoor Learning Experiences for Families During Spring Vacation
1. Start a Home Garden
We dedicate a lot of time to promoting community/school gardens and urban farms, and participation is included in our many articles about outdoor eduction. However, if you’re staying at home this spring break, why not start a project that your kids will get hands-on experience with practically every day? A home garden provides children with an education in horticulture that they can apply to projects when back at school, but also offers a way to introduce nutritious food into your very own home. Trust us, your kids will be much more likely to eat their vegetables when they are the ones who grew them! A home garden is also great a way to support pollinators in your city, something that is becoming very necessary given the densification of urban and suburban communities. Don’t have backyard? No problem, a small pollinator garden can be established on your balcony/patio.
Need organic seeds? We have them here.
2. Visit Out of Town Community Gardens / Farms
Once again we return to the community garden concept, but this time it applies to families heading out of town for spring break. The more unique the climate is from yours the better, as it will give your kids the opportunity to see community farming projects that have to consider different variables, including temperature, access to water, soil type, and even crops endemic to a region. Heading to Hawaii? How does a tour of a pineapple plantation sound? Off to Florida? Take a day off from Disney World and head to a local citrus farm to learn how they grow oranges, limes, and lemons. Whether jumping from one province to another or one country to another there is a garden/farming project that will invite your family in to learn more, and perhaps even participate within. Your child can take the lessons learned and return to school to discuss them with classmates on the site of their own school garden.
Our recent feature on Alex Stark, one of the Foundation’s post-secondary bursary recipients, sparked this spring break vacation idea. Alex spent a significant amount of time outside of Canada, traveling to foreign countries (including Cuba and Mexico) where which he could apply his agricultural skill set to the benefit of communities in need.
Right at this very moment, there is a foreign community in need of help, and while it will take some early planning, these communities can become not only vacation destinations, but volunteering opportunities for your whole family to get involved in. This concept has been given a portmanteau known as voluntourism, a form of tourism where travelers participate in charitable work that serves the environment and/or community in another locale, typically an underdeveloped nation. The opportunity for personal growth and education is tremendous. Our Foundation has provided information about popular voluntourism opportunities for families, that you can reference here.
4. Spring Break Petting Zoos
It’s spring and your children already know what that means – baby animals! Wherever you live or are traveling to, there is a local animal farm that invites families in to see the next generation enter the cycle, many of which are instrumental in both agricultural, dairy, and responsible material production. Baby calfs, goats, sheep, ponies, alpacas and llamas can be found all over Canada and the U.S.. No matter where you are you won’t have to travel far to find a hands-on experience for your whole family to enjoy. Even exotic animals are closer than you think. For instance, in British Columbia the Kangaroo Creek Farm in the Okanagan allows kids to walk amongst (and pet) kangaroos, wallaroos, wallabies, emus, parrots, pot bellied pigs, and perhaps the most adorable and eye-catching of them all – the capybara.
View other springtime outdoor learning experiences that your kids may enjoy. If you would like to know more about our work in Canada, please sign-up to become a Friend of the Foundation.