Taking it Easy With Your Preschooler This March Break

    TORONTO, March 2 /CNW/ - March Break is rapidly approaching. With so many
activities available, your preschooler may bounce around asking, "So, what are
we going to do...?," or talk about what his or her friends will be doing with
their families. Many parents feel pressure to plan and organize something that
will be enjoyable, fun, entertaining, yet safe and educational for their
child. Then, there's always the dilemma of what to do and where to go. There
are many choices at hand: camps, excursions, family outings, and so on; the
list of opportunities seems endless. And, often, all the planning and
scheduling can lead to March Break madness.
    "For me, it's important to give my son some balance between the
structured and flexible playtime," says Alison Reid, a mother of 5-year old
Owyn and Dylyn. Alison, a television producer with a very busy and often
changing work schedule will be taking time off from work during Owyn's March
Break. "We'll be making our own film at home, so I can show them what mommy
does and see how they enjoy it," adds Alison. Decorating their pet rabbit's
cage and having a dress-up day are other fun things they hope to do together.
    "Both parents and children need downtime to make choices about what they
want to do. March Break is a perfect opportunity to do that," says Chaya
Kulkarni, parenting expert at Invest in Kids, a national charity helping
parents support the healthy development of children from birth to age five.
"Giving children some control over what they'd like to do, helps them not only
to decompress and unwind from their daily routines, but also supports their
self-confidence and teaches them to make decisions on their own."
    Parents can visit Invest in Kids' Activity Centre at www.investinkids.ca
for the dress-up day activity that Alison will be doing with her children and
for other fun March Break activities. They are also an easy way for parents to
comfort, play with and teach their child, all the things every child needs to
feel fully supported:

    In the Kitchen
    Cooking helps preschoolers learn many skills and gain knowledge about
food. Try out the Very Blueberry Muffins recipe! Your child will learn the
names of various ingredients and how to say them properly. While the muffins
are baking, you can snuggle together, enjoy the aroma traveling from the
kitchen and read your child's favourite book.

    Arts & Crafts
    Make a Magical Me Mobile together and encourage your child to think about
what makes him or her special. Your preschooler will also have the opportunity
to practice printing letters. This will build his or her esteem as your child
learns to recognize words and to read them.

    Playing Together
    Spend time Telling Seriously Silly Stories by taking a few familiar
objects you find in the house (e.g., a mitten, a spoon or a brush), and
transforming them into interesting story characters. As you encourage your
child's expressive language and demonstrate enjoyment of his or her
imaginative efforts, you will strengthen your child's confidence in his or her
ability to communicate.

    Making Music
    Children enjoy hearing and singing familiar songs again and again.
Finding just a few recyclables and items around the house, you can create an
Instant Orchestra and start playing your favourite tunes together. Your child
will learn some basic music concepts through natural exploration.

    In addition to these and other March Break activity ideas at
www.investinkids.ca , parents of children aged 0-5 can also sign up for a Free
Newsletter to receive an activity every month appropriate for their child's
age that they could do together.

    Invest in Kids is a national charity dedicated to helping parents become
the parents they want and need to be. By translating the science of parenting
and child development into engaging, easy-to-understand, relevant resources
for parents and professionals, Invest in Kids aims to strengthen the parenting
knowledge, skills and confidence of all those who touch the lives of our
youngest children to ensure the healthy social, emotional and intellectual
development of children from birth to age five. For additional information,
visit www.investinkids.ca.

    Note to Editors: Invest in Kids has Parenting Experts who are available
    for interviews on the topic of taking it easy with your child.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: 1-877-583-5437 or (416)
977-1222; Lindsay Robertson, ext. 224, Communications Coordinator,
lrobertson@investinkids.ca; Rozvita Gabric, ext. 294, Communications Manager,

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