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Creative ways to spend PD days with your kids

Sometimes it feels like you’ve just recovered from the last three-day weekend when the next PD day rolls around. You deserve a break! It’s time to pour yourself a cup of tea and sit down with this list of home-from-school activities. If you jot down a few ideas, five minutes from now you’ll have an action plan for an easy-breezy PD day the next time one rolls around.

Move those bodies

You know what makes a kid quiet? Being exhausted after a busy day on the go. Try to work in as much outdoor activity as you can, whether that’s getting them to help with yard work, taking them on a hike, planning a scavenger hunt, or playing some old-school playground games (hello, red light green light and “what time is it, Mr. Wolf?”). If weather is keeping you stuck inside, it might be time for a dance party or a session of Cosmic Yoga. Check out this post for more ideas.

Take in the recycling

It’s time to pillage the blue bin and pull out all the interesting cardboard boxes, containers and packing materials – they look like rubbish to us, but kids can transform them into hours of fun. You supply the cardboard, tape, markers and glue, and any other prime dollar-store craft supplies (pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, pompoms and paper plates are a good start), the kids provide the imagination, and before you know what, you’ll have a fort, a vehicle or a time machine…or whatever else they come up with. For easy clean-up, put down a tarp or old sheet for the kids to work on. When they’re done, pick up the four corners and head back to dump the leftovers in the recycling bin.

Get to work!

OK, this one might be a hard sell, but what better time to teach kids basic housekeeping tasks? Take advantage of the extra people-power and get the kiddos sorting laundry, scrubbing toilets and vacuuming. Maybe they won’t do a perfect job, but something is better than nothing! Add a bribe if you want to – by mid-day on a PD day, who isn’t ready for a quick cookie break?

Cook up some fun

Speaking of cookies…preheat the oven to 350F and get those mixers ready. Whipping up a batch of cookies is a good way to get kids into the kitchen (talk about a high-reward activity!), and you’ll have them practising their reading and math skills, too. We liked this round-up of kid-friendly recipes.

Get cultured

Many community centres, libraries, museums and galleries are likely to offer special programming on PD days. Check with your local listings to see what’s on offer, from drop-in story time at the library to free admission at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (until mid-January 2024). And if you’re lucky enough to live near a library with a pass-borrowing program, you might be able to make it a two-fer – stock up on some books, then borrow a pass to your local museum or aquatic/fitness centre.

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