Spring break is the perfect time for a mother and daughter bonding experience. The week is usually a bright spot in the school year, as it marks the downhill slide when school resumes. It's a great opportunity to engage in a variety of activities, either old favorites or new adventures, including art experiences, sports activities, entertainment outings, cooking adventures, or perhaps a short road trip. The most important part of whatever activities you select is that they provide for an opportunity for plenty of interaction, conversation and plenty of fun.
Plan a week of art experiences, both as creator and critic. Stock up on art supplies, including some you may have never tried, such as pastels, decoupage materials, clay, papier mache. Before you begin, you might want to check out a video from the library with some basic instructions. While you're at the library, you might also want to check out a stack of art books to peruse or a film depicting the life of a famous artist. Then plan to visit local museums and art galleries. Go on your own, or find out if any tours are available. Talk about which artists you each prefer and what particularly attracts you to their work. You may even be able to arrange an opportunity to meet an artist working in her studio.
Depending on the week spring break occurs, you may be able to see a game of college or professional basketball or baseball. If bowling, for example, is a favorite activity for both of you, spend the kind of time working at your game that you don't normally have time for. But also try to work in time for a couple of other sports; you might try tennis, golf, bicycling, swimming, skiing, skating, or anything else appropriate to your area and season. Perhaps you might be able to find someone to provide a few basic beginner lessons for sports that appeal to you.
Go for a show-biz week. Look for any professional, college, or community theater productions running during the spring break. A dinner theater outing would be lots of fun.
Find out if a ballet or opera will be performed during that week. Search out venues for listening to jazz, rock, classical, blues, or any other kind of music the two of you can agree on. Have a movie extravaganza. Try to see a comedy, a historical drama, a romance, and an adventure film---either in a theater or on TV.
Sign up for a cooking class that features some specialty you both like, or plan a week of international meals (Indian, French, Spanish, Chinese and Mediterranean, for example). Shop together for specialty ingredients needed for each meal. Alternately, you might enjoy trying cake decorating, bread baking, making sushi, or other cooking adventures. Invite friends---both yours and hers---to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Visit the library to research the area within fifty to one hundred miles from your town. Find everything of interest and create an itinerary together. Look for little-known museums, restaurants you'd like to try, areas with attractive scenery, shops selling regional artwork and crafts. Find out if any festivals or special events will be occurring at any of the spots on your road trip itinerary. Bring along a camera and take photos of each other all along the way, and then have fun putting together a scrapbook when you get home.
Peggy Epstein is a freelance writer specializing in education and parenting. She has authored two books, "Great Ideas for Grandkids" and "Family Writes," and published more than 100 articles for various print and online publications. Epstein is also a former public school teacher with 25 years' experience. She received a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.