Next week, many school children across Fraser Health will be out on Spring Break. It’s a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the warmer spring weather, get outside as a family and try something new.
Instead of parking the kids on the couch, help them continue their physical education outside of the classroom. Laura Loudon, a healthy community specialist with Fraser Health, says Spring Break is an excellent time for families to enjoy active play together, rather than holing up inside with screen time.
“Physical activity is essential for kids’ development,” she says. “Establishing a healthy lifestyle now is essential to ensure they become healthy adults.”
Keeping kids active can help them return to school energized and ready to learn. Here’s a list of active ideas to take you through week one of the break:
- Explore: BC is blessed with beautiful hiking trails and nature walks. No matter your family’s fitness level, there’s one right for you. Pack a picnic and find your trail at Vancouvertrails.com.
- Adventure: Hold a treasure hunt. Set up scavenger hunts in the woods or use a smartphone for geocaching – hundreds of caches are hidden in the Fraser Valley. Learn how at Geocaching.com.
- Bike: Try a flat, family-friendly cycling route. Take a bike ride on Barnston Island, on a riverside trail in Fort Langley or around Mill Lake in Abbotsford. Check other routes at Letsgobiking.net.
- Play: Check out a new playground. Coquitlam’s Queenston Park gets rave reviews. Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope have sports gear boxes free for public use from Live 5-2-1-0 in some parks.
- Swim: Many community centres offer free or low-cost public swims. Try one with fun features: Langley’s Walnut Grove Community Centre has a waterslide and rope swing. See Tol.ca.
- Skate: Many local indoor rinks offer low-cost public skating with support frames for beginners. Or try skating under the sky at Grouse Mountain’s outdoor rink. Visit Grousemountain.com.
- Safari: Enjoy scenic walks with animal attractions. Try birding at Chilliwack's Great Blue Heron Preserve or Delta’s George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
Have a two-week Spring Break? Here are more ideas to fill your kids’ vacation with healthy activities:
- Create: Use a rainy day to teach kids how to cook healthy recipes. Ideas at Kidshealth.org.
- Ski: Several local ski hills offer March Break drop-in programs, ski schools and student nights. Or try snowshoeing together. Visit CypressMountain.com and MountSeymour.com.
- Jump: Get hearts racing with backyard trampolining, or sidewalk double-dutch. Rainy days, jump like crazy at indoor trampoline play centres in the region. See Extremeairpark.com.
- Climb: Kids love climbing. Take little ones to playground rock walls, take family treks up the Squamish Chief and offer older kids practice at indoor climbing gyms. Visit Funtopiaworld.com.
- Stretch: Yoga is great for calming kids’ minds and strengthening their bodies. On a rainy day, put on soothing music, stream a free session and get zen. View programs at Doyogawithme.com.
- Race: Challenge yourselves to an aerial obstacle course at Wild Elements Play Park in Maple Ridge. This outdoor adventure will get the whole family zipping, climbing and jumping. Visit Wildplay.com.
- Perform: A few balls, hula-hoops and mats can become a big top circus ring. Older kids may enjoy circus lessons: there are several schools in the region. Learn more at TheCircusLab.ca.