March into magic: it's our annual guide to surviving spring break!

With the kids home for March break, it's the perfect time to cook up a little magic in your kitchen! We've got science experiments, toy ideas and more.

Photo credit: Channing Rodman. All rights reserved.

Feel like you’re running your very own March break camp as you try to wrangle kids and sanity? Don’t worry: your kitchen’s got everything you need to keep your kids entertained, from science experiments to toys to—you know, actually using your kitchen for cooking. This spring break, march into a little kitchen magic with us!

Your kitchen’s full of entertainment, if you know where to look. We love this kitchen dollhouse idea - a little painter’s tape, plus paper dolls and you’ve got a ready-to-go dollhouse anywhere in your kitchen! When you’re ready to get a little messy, try making homemade watercolour paints using five common pantry ingredients—or, for littler kids, try these taste-safe paints. This edible dough is a nutty way to get children molding silly sculptures. For crafty kids, these veggie stamps make beautiful rose patterns out of your food scraps. And of course, you can always raid the recycling bin for instruments —we’ve got ideas here on how to make your very own oom-pah band, not to mention tin-can stilts, milk carton cars, and sensory bins.

Science experiments:
The kitchen’s also a fantastic place for scientific discoveries and “magic” tricks—and you don’t need much to get your kids' imaginations cooking! We modified this fantastic graham cracker plate tectonics tutorial to work with crackers and peanut butter, and our tiny testers were totally enthralled. A two ingredient tornado in a jar is a classic experiment with high wow factor (and as an added bonus—it gets your jars really clean). Starting a kitchen garden from scraps is easy and fun. And instant ice cream is a classic experiment that’s a crowd pleaser no matter what the weather. Finally, if your kids are still bouncing off the walls, make ‘em walk on eggs!

Cooking and snacking:
Obviously, our favourite way to spend time with the kids is by using your kitchen for actual cooking.  If you’ve been doing science experiments all morning, try pancakes as the ultimate kitchen science experiment ...and if you liked those, we've got tons of family-tested pancake recipes for you to try out as a follow-up!  Get inspired by this great read on teaching your kids kitchen independence and then get set for snacking. For beginners, try starting with this great list of practical tips for how pre-schoolers can help you cook,  and then try these ideas for teaching young children to make their own snacks. Don't worry about making it fancy—just laying out ingredients on a cutting board and letting kids put together their snack (or pour their own drinks!) makes meals a special event. Once your chefs are feeling confident, we’ve got lots of kid-approved recipes for them to try—our archive is full of ideas for every meal, plus we’ve pulled together some great spring break snack ideas for you. And don't forget Fido! We've got recipes here for feeding your furry family members too. To wind down at the end of an action-packed day, we recommend these after-dinner reads and recipes.

Has your family got a recipe or an activity idea that we missed here? Head over to our Facebook Page or our Pinterest boards—we're always sharing ideas there and we'd love to hear from you!

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