March Break Activities: Keeping Kids Engaged
March Break is just around the corner – a whole week free from both schoool and the usual extra curricular schedule. So whether your child needs a few quick boredom busting project ideas, or is taking advantage of the extra free time to start a new hobby, here are the best new activity toys this year.
With twenty different playing surfaces, there's plenty of variety to keep your kindergartner busy all week. It's a wonderful introduction to board games and provides a good opportuity for discovering which types of games your child enjoys best.
Using an iPad, this set helps turn your child's creative figure play into a stop motion movie. It takes some time to photograph each micro movement, but what better time for this than the school break, and it's cool and rewarding to see the final movie.
Well designed to make the felting process a bit more kid-friendly. Fill the mold with layers of soapy, wet un-spun wool, then machine wash and dry it on high heat. And voila, a cuddly new stuffie friend. A great kit to introduce a new hobby.
An attractive, easy-to-do project that takes a fair bit of time to make. A perfect project for the school break, with great looking results to accent any room. The kit includes four balls of yarn - enough to make over 100 pom poms, which are then tied to a gridded base to make an 18" (45.7cm) round rug.
LightUp is a simple, elegant way to introduce kids to the world of electronic circuitry. Especially helpful is the complimentary mobile app which contains step by step instructions and shows not only the flow of electricity in your circuit, but also any problems with how you have it set up. The Tesla kit adds a microcontroller to the components allowing you to program tasks like creating light shows, music and more. Note: Requires Bluetooth 4.0 or higher.
Does your child dream of making a video game? These colourful little Bloxels make it easy - thanks to all the pre-programmed options, we designed our first game in about five minutes. Once they're ready, the App allows kids to move beyond the pre-programmed content and dive far deeper into the nitty gritty of design and programming to create their own truly unique games.
A fabulous new way to enjoy classic hands-on play. The red mirror attachment reflects the area in front of your iPad through the camera to interact with the programs, effectively turning that real world space into a digital-like touch screen. So far there are five great apps to offer an enriching range of brain building fun: Words, Tangram, Newton, Masterpiece and Numbers.
"I love using the Masterpiece game to draw my sister's (5) animal stuffies for her to colour. And I liked with the Newton game how you can use different objects to move the balls and get them to drop in the right spot. Some of the pictures in the Word game were hard to guess, but it was fun playing together and I liked that you could keep going even if you got a few letters wrong."
Designed with a rich variety puzzle solving options. We love that the rope clasps allow puzzlers to set up their own challenges without revealing any hints for the solution. An absolutely superb puzzling set, and one of our all-time favourites.
"I like to putter away at puzzles and Houdini was a challenge from the beginning. I liked being able to choose a puzzle and create it [myself] on the board."
The ultimate hands-on craft! Our testers loved using their fingers instead of knitting needles to make these super easy, ultra kid-friendly knitting projects.
"I wanted to learn how to knit so I can make stuff like my great aunt does, but my mom never learned how. So we both learned together, and mom watched me make my first scarf. I can't wait to learn how to make different things, too."
Our testers loved how these darts light up the night – an awesome effect that also makes it easier to see where they land. The fireworks-like whistling sound as the dart shoots through the air was another popular feature, especially when it attracted playmates from all over the neighbourhood. Best played outdoors (even in winter!), but also great in an open basement space.
"I love, love, love this bow and arrow set! I can shoot the arrows super far and because they light up you can find them, even in trees, so I'll never lose one - not even in the dark. And I like the cool whistling sound they make! All the kids came over to see what I was playing with and they all wanted to try it too!"
Other Great 2015 Award Toys
- Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Scooter (12-36 months, Fisher-Price/Mattel)
- MEGA BLOKS FIRST BUILDERS Friendly Farm (1-5 years, MEGA Bloks)
- Barbie® Pop-Up Camper (3+, Mattel)
- My First Fun Felt Safari (3+, Creativity for Kids/Faber-Castell
- My First Sticky Mosaics® Princess #72742 (4+, The Orb Factory)
- Sticky Mosaics® Pirate (5+, The Orb Factory)
- Sticky Mosaics® Sticker Flip Frame Jewelry Box (5+, The Orb Factory)
- Go Bong! (5+, Foxmind Games)
- Fox's Party (6+, Zoch Verlag/Lion Rampant)
- Sew Softies™ Sea Creatures (7+, The Orb Factory)
- Attila (7+, Blue Orange Games)
- Color Clash (7+, Blue Orange Games)
- Crowded Waters™ Game - Survival of the Fishiest (7+, Educational Insights)
- King's Gold (8+, Blue Orange Games)
- Makey Makey An Invention Kit for Everyone (8+, JoyLabz)
- Loopdeloom (8+, Ann Williams Group)
- String Art (10+, Klutz/Scholastic)