Here at the Lunchbox Season, we’re known for our action packed week of March BreACK! Madness. Each year, we illustrate an original book [based on a classic], and we make food, create art, and learn about the setting or environment of those stories. Below, you’ll find the schedules and summaries of each of our breaks, followed by a detailed archive, organized by year.
March breACK! Schedules & Summaries
March breACK 2015: Imagined Galaxies, A Tentative Schedule: Introducing our work of illustrating The Earl of Tellurine [A space-age take on a Dumas classic] and all of our plans for art projects and kitchen magic.
March breACK! 2014! Bearicles, Prince of Tyre, A Tentative Schedule: Introducing our work of illustrating Bearicles [a version of Shakespeare’s Pericles] and all of our plans for the week, including “Kids Make Mediterranean” and lots of sea-worthy crafts!
MARCH breACK! 2013, or Ahma, the Spirit Bear: A Tentative Schedule: Introducing Ahma the Spirit Bear, our take on Austen’s Emma, set in the Great Bear Rainforest of Coastal British Columbia! And a list of all our “bear” and “forest-friendly” crafts and food-fare for the 2013 break.
MARCH breACK! 2012: Sir Lochrann Holmes, A Study in Emerald, A Tentative Schedule: Our family twist on Sherlock Holmes, set in Ireland, and starring SNAKES! And a list of all of the related “snakey” activities we have planned for the week of March 12-18, 2012.
Looking Backward: March Break 2010, The Coronation of the Easter Bunny Bear, A Summary: A summary of one our most successful MARCH breaACK!s to date, featuring Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, a Handmade Go Fish! Game, and a Modeling Chocolate Recipe and Game.
March breACK! 2014: Bearicles, Prince of Tyre & A Taste of the Mediterranean
March BreACK! 2014: A Tentative Schedule
March BreACK! 2014: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Bearicles, Act One
March BreACK! 2014: The Kids Make Mediterranean: Manakeesh [Manakish] With Cheese or Za-atar
March BreACK! 2014: Hidden-Secret Cookies: Ma’amool with Nutella or Date-Nut Filling
March BreACK! 2014: Design Your Own Snakes and Ladders Board Game
March BreACK! 2014: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Bearicles, Act Two
March BreACK! 2014: The Kids Make Mediterranean: Lemony Grilled Calamari and Beer-Battered Fried Calamari
March BreACK! 2014: Design Your Own Shields and Mottoes and Have a Living Room Tournament
March BreACK! 2014: A Taste of Morocco: Paula Wolfert’s Lamb Tagine with Tomatoes and Eggplant
March BreACK! 2014: Illustrate-Your-Own Books, Bearicles, Act Three
March BreACK! 2014: Shipwreck Cookies
March BreACK! 2014: The Kids Make Mediterranean: Pizza Boats, or, Turkish Pide, Two Ways
March BreACK! 2014: Building Sailboats with Recyclables and Racing them in the Tub
March BreACK! 2014: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Bearicles, Act Four
March BreACK! 2014: The Kids Make Mediterranean: Baked Fries with Feta and Basic Hummus
March BreACK! 2014: Make a Blue-Print of a Pirate Ship
March BreACK! 2014: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Bearicles, Act Five
March BreACK! 2014: A Baklava Snake Even the Kids Could Make
March BreACK! 2014: Mapping the Ancient Mediterranean of Bearicles [or Shakespeare’s Pericles] Prince of Tyre
March BreACK! 2014: Stocking Up for Next Time Small Batch Pickled Turnips, Preserved Lemons and Preserved Limes
2013:The Illustrate-Your-Own-Book Entries
MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part I: Old Married Bears and Unmarried Bears: The kids illustrate the first chapter of our Spirit Bear version of Jane Austen’s Emma using oil pastels: In the village of Maaya’ol, a remote portion of the Great Bear Rainforest, Spirit Bear Ahma Gan-Walp’s long-time teacher and companion, Miss. Luup’is, has married a neighbouring widower-bear, Mr. Haymaad’m, and leaves Ahma’s home, Spa-Haayk. In front of her brother-bear-in-law, the gentle Mr. Mansm’, Ahma takes credit for making the match between the two Haymaad’ms. She announces her decision to do the same for the spirit-servant Mr. W’Nax. Ahma then befriends the Miss. Harriet Hootlga Gyemck and considers her a suitable spouse for the reverend W’Nax. She paints Harriet’s portrait and encourages Mr. W’Nax to travel to Prince Rupert to have it framed.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part II: A “Sleuth” of Proposals: The kids use pencil-eraser-in-paint pointillism for today’s illustrations: Ahma is discouraged by the news that Harriet has received a proposal from a salmon-guardian and beekeeper Mr. Yeni-Marten and persuades Harriet to reject the offer. Mr. Mansm’ criticizes Ahma’s interference as foolish and warns her against pushing Harriet towards the rather vain Mr. W’Nax. After a dinner with the Haymaad’ms, Ahma is stunned to receive an offer of marriage from Mr. W’Nax and, after rejecting him, is forced to break the news to Harriet.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, the Spirit Bear, Part III: In Which Harriet is Saved and Jane Tries Not to Be: The kids use permanent marker and watercolours to illustrate today’s portion of the story: Ahma meets new arrivals in town, Jane Ha-Liimi and Noosik Churchill, and together with the latter, comes up with an inspired tale about the torrid love-life of the former. Meanwhile, the new Mrs. W’Nax sets out to “save” the same Miss. Jane by finding her inappropriate offers of employment. Harriet, embarrassed by Mr. W’Nax at a dance, is saved by Mr. Mansm’. And, the next day, when Harriet and Ahma are surrounded by Sea Wolves, Mr. Churchill saves them both.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, the Spirit Bear, Part IV: A Berry Picking Party & What Follows: The kids go back to oil pastels to create covers and illustrate the final section of our exciting Spirit Bear version of Jane Austen’s Emma: On an outing to Amap’as Hill hosted by Mr. Mansm’, Ahma embarrasses the spinster bear, Miss Wax’l by uttering a crude remark. Mr. Haymaad’m brings news of the death of Noosik Churchill’s strong-willed aunt. News soon surfaces of a secret engagement between two of our spirit bears. Things resolve themselves, however, as they always do. And several others make matches of their own.
2013: The Related Activities & Recipes
MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear Portraits on Newsprint with Easy Stick or Dowel Frames: The kids draw bears on newsprint using oil pastels and then “frame” their work using cardboard, mod-lodge, and wooden dowels.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Kermode Bear Genetics: Learning About Biology and Probability By Copying a Scientific Illustration: We look a a National Geographic illustration which reveals how important the black bear population remains to the health and well-being of the white spirit bear. The kids copy these illustrations in their own hand in order to memorize this lesson in genetics and probability.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Mrs. Haymaadm’s “Salmon” Wedding Cakes: Chocolate Peanut Butter Peanut-Butter-Cup Cupcakes with Pink Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing: Included here is a fabulous recipe for a rich peanut-butter-chocolate cupcake with a mini peanut-butter-cup hidden inside. And we top it off with our recipe for Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing, gone “salmon pink” for bear week.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Quick & Easy Spirit Bear Claws [Puff Pastry with Chocolate Filling]: We make an easy breakfast with puff pastry and a few pieces of chocolate. Recipe and DIY included.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear Silhouettes, Two Ways: The kids make lovely silhouettes, first by filling in the white body of a spirit bear with colourful drawings and expressions of joy about the bears themselves, then by filling in the body or the outside of the bear with colourful scraps of paper. Free Printable picture and pdf versions of both types of silhouettes included.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Eco-Protest Posters: Save the Spirit Bear!: The kids investigate threats to the Spirit Bear population in the Great Bear Rainforest and create their own protest posters against Oil Pipelines and Oil Tankers.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Tea with Ahma the Spirit Bear: Little Bear Brioches, Strawberry Soup, and Honey Cinnamon Hot Cocoa: We make cupcake sized brioches with bear faces to serve alongside of a favourite treat of ours, Strawberry Soup. Also included is a honey-hot-cocoa recipe for those moments when you could use a little comfort. Recipes included.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear Dice Game: We play a fun addition (or) multiplication game using dice and a fill-in-the-bear printable. Free printable game with instructions included.
MARCH breACK! 2013: White Kermode Bear Paw Cookies and White Grape Gummy Bear Popsicles: We make super-cool bear paw cookies with butterscotch dough, peanuts, and white chocolate kisses for our high tea. And we make white grape juice and gummy bear popsicles for a late night dessert. Recipes included.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Mooksgm’ol [Spirit Bear] Drum Faces Inspired by Tsishmian Art & the Four Tsishmian Clans: The kids look at artwork and design their own bear drum faces. Printable Blank Drum Face included.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Kermode’s Path Math Game: Help the Kermode cub find his mother bear! A Free Printable Math Dice Game with instructions.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear S’mores: Honey Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-outs and Honey Marshmallows from Scratch: Our recipe for the best graham-cracker cookie ever. And a honey-marshmallow recipe that is golden-delicious! Together with a chocolate square, these make the perfect s’mores!MARCH breACK: 2013:
MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear Stick Puppets and Finger-Walking Bear Puppets: We make several bear puppets by decorating printed outlines of bears, cutting them, and either attaching them to sticks or to our fingers! Free Printable Templates included for all projects.
MARCH breACK! 2012: A Study in Emerald: An Illustrate-Your-Own-Book: Whether you’ve written a book specifically for them or simply pulled a chapter book off of the shelf, here’s a quick how-to on how to get your kids illustrating what they read and imagine. In this post, you’ll also find a brief synopsis of the book I wrote for my kids to illustrate over MARCH breAK!: The Adventures of Sir Lóchrann Holmes: A Study in Emerald.
MARCH breACK! 2012: A Study In Emerald, Day One: Story and Illustrations: I provide a summary of the first two chapters of The Adventures of Sir Lóchrann Holmes: A Study in Emerald. A gallery of the kids’ coloured pencil and oil pastel drawings follows.
MARCH breACK! 2012: A Study in Emerald, Day Two: Story and Illustrations: The kids illustrate the third chapter of their book, which I summarize, with permanent marker & watercolour.
MARCH breAK! 2012: A Study in Emerald, Day Three: Story and Illustrations: Marker Pointillism and Gel Pen Picture Pixel Pointillism are the phrases of the day as the kids illustrate the third and fourth chapters of the book. Summary included.
MARCH breAK! 2012: A Study in Emerald, Day Four: Story and Illustrations: The kids work with their father to create amazing mixed media illustrations for Chapter six of our Irish Snake Detective mystery.
MARCH breACK! 2012: A Study in Emearld, Day Five: Story and Illustrations: We illustrate the cover of our book and the concluding chapter to our story. A summary of our conclusion is provided, in part. But we’re not splling the beans about the identity of the culprit.
2012: Food and Crafts
MARCH breACK! 2012: Fingerprint Four-Leaf Clover Cards: We use fingers, green ink, and magic markers to create four-leaf clover St. Patrick’s Day cards for family and friends far away!
MARCH breACK! 2012: Shamrock S’mores: Recipes for Homemade Mint Marshmallows, Chocolate (Mint) Graham Crackers, all Shamrock Shaped, and fixed into a fabulous late afternoon snack, Sir Lóchrann Holmes’ Favourite Shamrock S’mores! The recipe ties into our book project, above.
MARCH breACK! 2012: Serpent Mobiles, Stick Puppets, and a Skip-Counting Game: We make double-sided watercolour snake mobiles (printable template included) and snake stick puppets with dowels, pipe cleaners and pretty papers. We also play a skip-counting game with coins (printable game-boards included).
MARCH breACK! 2012: Irish Soda Farls, Popping Mustard, and Lime-Berry Jam: We provide our take on Irish Soda Bread by baking sweeter, individual farls with a list of potential mix-ins. We also make low-sugar lime-berry jam using Pomona’s pectin. We follow that up with a fantastic new mustard for the next day’s sandwiches.
MARCH breACK! 2012: Necktie Bean-Bag Snakes…and Lunch: Our favourite snuggable so far! We make bean-bag snakes out of neckties. And we provide pictures of our lunch of oven-baked salt and vinegar chips (link to recipe on a great blog), snake sub sandwiches, and St. Patty’s themed shakes.
MARCH breACK! 2012: DIY Python Masks: How to make watercolour python masks like ours. We’ve included a free printable template of our hand-drawn mask!
MARCH breACK! 2012: Frogwiches! Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla or Citrus Cream: We make gingerbread cookie sandwiches, kind of like a gingerbread version of the oreo, really, correlating with a similar cookie in our original kids’ book, A Study in Emerald.
MARCH breACK! 2012:Snake Sock Puppets: We make a nest of snake sock puppets and perform a puppet-show version of our MARCH breAK! story, A Study in Emerald.
MARCH breACK! 2012: Sweetening St. Patty’s Day Brunch, Lime Mint Syrup: To sweeten the last two weekend days of MARCH breAK!, we make a lovely lime mint syrup to pour over pancakes and to sweeten mixed drinks.