This past Valentine’s Day, we coaxed creative dads into spilling their guts and sharing love letters to their families. The stuff we got back was heartwarming and funny and probably scored those dudes some serious brownie points.
For Mother’s Day, we figured we could get a new crop of culturatti dads to open up and pen some sweet words to the mothers in their lives. Check out who was man enough to pony up below. Bunchland: getting men to share their feelings since February 2010.
A week without school? Yes please! But what are you supposed to do with all the oodles of free time ahead of you? Fear not, because Bunchland presents our Guide to March Break. We asked Bunchland families to submit their awesomest March Break ideas to us as part of our Monster Factory contest.
We’ve also brought in some insanely talented guest experts to give tips on having the best time. We’ve mapped out your March Break for your family, and we’re pretty confident boredom won’t be an issue.
Turn off the Food Network, sharpen your knife set and challenge another family to an IronChef-style competition in your own kitchen! All you need is a theme ingredient. Iron Chef competitor David Adjey serves up tips on grilling the competition.
We at Bunchland have to say we’re happy Lego still gets some play. We had buckets of the stuff back in our youth. These days, building huge towns out of the plastic blocks can have really impressive results like these. And did you know there are even theme parks devoted to it? Jennifer and Christian are gonna put on their imaginary construction hats and build a huge town using painted boxes, Playmobil and of course, Lego! But they’ll need a building plan before they proceed. Urban planner and author Tim Halbur is here to help.
CITY: Guelph, Ontario
OUR BUNCH:Jennifer. Christian, 6, Lego lover.
For our March Break, we’re staying home, but we’re going to have lots of fun building a toy town, using Lego, Playmobil and boxes we’re going to paint and cut doors and windows into. Maybe we’ll take a train set we don’t use anymore and make a train go through the town. These are my starting ideas, but I’m sure my son will come up with lots more! Read more...
Why blow a fortune on pricey paintings when you can create masterpieces in your very own home? This family plans to make art the fun way, as in the paint-splattered-everywhere, art-classes-who-needs-’em kind of way. We’d recommend renting the film Pollock for inspiration, except it’s not exactly wholesame family viewing. But even better, we’ve wrangled Toronto artist Thrush Holmes to offer tips on producing gallery-worthy work and having fun doing it.
March Break is traditionally our time to make huge messes, ’cause we’ve got lots of time to clean them up. Our favourite way to make a mess is communal art. We tape huge pieces of paper on the floor and throw paint on them with dramatic flourish, à la Jackson Pollock. Sticks, spoons, ribbons, toothbrushes — we can use anything except an actual paintbrush. Everyone gets a turn! It’s also a great way to repaint the kitchen while you’re at it. Read more...
Halina, Fil, Melody and Bianca are planning a family scavenger hunt to keep the good times rolling over MB. A good scavenger hunt can be insanely fun. You can play against other families or each other. Ridiculously large-scale scavenger hunts go on all around the world, including one that last four days at the University of Chicago. Yikes. For tips, we consulted scavenger hunt afficionadoCole Banningfrom Improv in Toronto.
CITY: Riverdale, Toronto, Ontario
OUR BUNCH:Halina, overtime employee of M.O.M. Fil, business owner. Melody, 8, witty artist. Bianca, 8, curious potion maker. Giglio, cat.
This is a game that you can reinvent every time. We have played on our own and with other families. You can create your own scavenger hunt and make it suitable to where you are and what you have access to.
Divide your family into equal groups, or play with or against other families. Read more...
Ayelet Waldman is the author of Bad Mother, a book that presents the controversial idea that women should love their husbands more than their kids. One Oprah audience member got so mad about Ayelet’s book that she tried to beat her up (Ayelet, not Oprah). We personally can’t see how someone who share This American Life episodes with her kids could be considered a bad mother. Depriving your kids of Ira Glass, now that’s bad parenting.
Our favorite books to read aloud or to play on audio during long car trips are often (though not always) books that my husband [Michael Chabon] and I enjoyed as children, and are eager to read again. Our kids run the age gamut from 6 to 15, so finding books that all can enjoy is a challenge. All the kids like fantasy, so we tend to be heavy on those. And we all love the audio of This American Life episodes. Not exactly a book, but perfect for the car. Read more...
Jason Collettis a member of Broken Social Scene and solo performer. His forthcoming album, Rat a Tat Tat, comes out March 9. Dan Zanes has released six children’s records with the Grammy-winning group he fronts, Dan Zanes and Friends. What’s one thing they have in common? Exceptional taste in music, of course. Here they’ve cherry-picked their must-listen MB tracks to download, so your family won’t have to make do with adult contemporary radio or whatever CDs you find under the front seat of the family car.
Jason Collett playlist
The Beatles – “I’ve Got a Feeling”
Bob Marley – “Stir It Up”
Fats Domino – “Blueberry Hill”
Feist – “Sea Lion Woman”
The Flaming Lips – “Buggin’”
Johnny Cash – “Nasty Dan”
Manu Chao – “Bongo Bong”
Gonzales – “Working Together”
Brian Wilson – “Vega-tables”
Nick Cave – “Breathless”
The Clash – “Lost in the Supermarket”
Stephen Malkmus – “Pirate Song”
Silver Jews – “Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed”
The Flaming Lips – “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song”
Bahamas – “Whole, Wide World”
Dan Zanes playlistRead more...
We’re not surprised that Clement Virgo, who’s directed episodes of the super-gritty crime series The Wire, among other things, would recommend a French New Wave film about a troubled child as family viewing. But we’re happy we got a more challenging list from him. If you don’t feel your 4-year-old is ready for The 400 Blows, you should definitely watch it yourself, and check out his other picks with your brood. After all, a day spent curled up on the couch sobbing over E.T. sounds pretty delicious to us.
The 400 Blows To Kill a Mockingbird E.T. The Wizard of Oz A Christmas Story
We don’t know if you’ve ever seen an episode of Iron Chef America, but it’s kind of like watching two celebrated chefs completely lose their minds for an hour. They’re pitted against each other in a high-speed cooking battle based around a theme ingredient, with the ultimate goal of impressing a panel of judges. This family plans to recreate the TV experience in their own home, but without all the crazy stress and high-stakes competition. Well, maybe a dash of healthy competition. Onetime Iron Chef competitor David Adjey explains how to keep cool in the kitchen.
CITY: Mississauga, Ontario
OUR BUNCH:Rushmi, 39, CEO of JazmYn Customer Contact Solutions. Jeff, 38, CFO of Redishred. Natalie, 7, dramatic performer. Nicole, 2, spontaneous budding engineer.