Tag Archives: activities

Learning Games and Activities for Children to do During the Summer Holidays

6a00e55111563088340168e6f3fc88970c-320wiContinuing on from last week’s blog post, we’ve put together a few more activities to do with your children this summer. By keeping their minds activities during these few weeks off, they’ll be fully prepared for school in September.

Money

– Shopping
When shopping look for items that are cheaper than a dollar. Ask your children to pick a couple of items so that the total can be bought for $3.50. They’re rewarded with the items they’ve picked!

– Banks
Give your children piles of 5, 10 and 25 cents to count. If you give them fifteen 5 cent coins, how much is the total?
How many 10 cent coins will they give you to make a dollar?
If you have ten 5 cent coins, ask them how many 10 cent coins will they swap you for them?

– Piggy Bank
Most children like to collect money in a piggy bank, so every time they have earned pocket money give it to them in change.
When the piggy bank is nearly full ask you children to figure out the best way to count all the money. Big coins first? Make 10s? Put all the same values together? Randomly? Start with a few coins then add more, depending on your child’s confidence.
Shape

– 2D Identification
On walks, drives or at home, spot and name any 2D shapes that you see, for example: road signs = triangle and a window = square. Ask you children to draw them and then label them with the name of the shape.

– 2D Cutting
From newspapers/magazines, cut out pictures of 2D shapes to make colourful pictures.

– Shape Make
Use an old food box or greetings card to make a range of 2D shapes. Quadrilaterals and triangles should be easy, as should irregular pentagons, hexagons, heptagons and octagons.

– 2D Drawing
Use accurate ruler skills (or shapes made above) to make a picture using 2D shapes. For example, a house with square windows, rectangular door and circular door handle.

– Right Angle Hunt
Look around you to find lots of right angles (90 degrees). You could play an eye-spy type game (“I spy with my little eye a right angle on something blue and metal.”)

– 3D Identification
Draw and name any 3D shapes that you see at home or on your travels. For example a can = a cylinder, ball = sphere. Ask your children to name them and identify some of their properties.

– 3D Model
Make a model with ‘junk’ using mathematical names for the shapes. Discuss their properties, for example: vertices (corners), edges and faces.

Enjoy! Let us know which ones you try!

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Our Top 3 (Last Minute) Events to Attend on Canada Day 2015

canada-day-fireworks-586x438Canada Day, the best stat holiday of the year (in our opinion), but if you’re like us and you haven’t made any solid plans for tomorrow yet, here are some last minute ideas for you and your family! It’s always hard to keep track of what’s happening or what’s worth venturing out into the busy city for. Here’s a list of the 3 events we might attend tomorrow:

Fireworks!

We love the amount of fireworks on display around the city and the largest display this year is at Ashbridges Bay. It’s going to get started around 9.30pm but it’s bound to be packed so get there early! There are a few smaller shows too at Mel Lastman Square, Downsview Park and at Canada’s Wonderland.

If you’re looking to celebrate Canada Day tonight, the Harbourfront Centre is having a fireworks show Tuesday night at 10:30 pm and it will be accompanied by a playlist of Canadian music.

Fringe Fest

The Toronto Fringe Festival starts tomorrow with a lineup for 148 shows, including 60 comedies, 30 drama and 13 musicals. We’re thinking about taking our children to Hamlet, a kid-friendly puppet show (4.30pm at the George Ignatieff Theatre)! Also Uncle Tommy’s Campfire Ghost Stories (10pm at FIKA Cafe) sounds fun! However, there’s no rush to get the Fringe Festival tomorrow as it runs until July 12.

Ribs Ahoy…

Last Sunday Toronto Ribfest was forced to cancel its third day due to bad weather. It’s not going to take place tomorrow instead! So for meat lovers this maybe a fun event to attend tomorrow as the schedule is full of family friendly activities, live music, BBQ demos and of course tasty ribs to be devoured. The day concludes with a fireworks display around 10 p.m.

What are you guys doing tomorrow? Let us know!

HAPPY CANADA DAY EVERYONE.

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Kids Activities for Earth Day 2015

earthday_logo_2015We’ve put together a list of our 3 favourite hands-on activities to empower children to help the planet.

Earth Day Pollution Solution

What You Need:

Tub of water
Cooking oil
Glitter
Paper towels
Fabric squares
Cotton balls
Swabs
Feathers
Dish detergent

What to Do:

Children often think that if oil spills into the ocean, it could be easily scooped out of it with buckets. This is an experiment which will change their minds. Encourage your children to “pollute” a tub of water with cooking oil and glitter, and then use various supplies to try to remove the oil. They will soon figure out that the cotton-based material is useless and that the cotton fibres will not hold on to the oil. Will the fabric squares work any better? Ask them to place feathers (to represent birds) in their tubs and to observe as the oil-coated feathers sink.

Afterward, watch online videos showing how volunteers use dish detergent to clean up oil-covered animals in real-life oil spills. Repeated the experiment with the detergent, your children will be amazing at the result.

(Source Scholastic)

Earth Day Science: Crystallization

This activity takes time and requires a quite a few components but it will hopefully encourage your children to take an interest in how the world continues to change and evolve. Discuss global warming with older children.

What you need:

Blown-out eggshell
Alum powder
White glue
Small paintbrush
Plastic or glass container
Egg dye
Hot water
Craft stick or spoon
Latex gloves
Drying rack or newspaper

What to do:

Geodes can be grown without using egg dye. The resulting crystals are clear to milky white, like quartz. While large chicken eggshells are suggested in this process, larger eggshells can be used. Simply increase the size of the plastic or glass container and double or triple the amounts of dye (1 packet), alum (3/4 part), and water (2 parts) used to create the growing solution.

This science project shows kids how the natural crystallization process works. You can also buy ready-made Crystal Egg Geode kits available from Professor Figgy’s Fabulous Science Kits at professorfiggy.com.
STEP 1
Start by blowing out a large white chicken egg and splitting it in half, lengthwise. The egg can be cracked by striking it against a surface or cut with a small pair of scissors. Make sure the inside of the eggshell is clean and dry.

STEP 2
With a small paintbrush, apply white glue to the inside and cracked edges of each half of the eggshell and sprinkle with alum powder until completely coated. Set eggshell halves aside to dry overnight.

STEP 3
The next day, prepare your growing solution in a glass or plastic container by using a craft stick or spoon to mix 2 cups of very hot water (almost boiling) with an entire packet of powdered egg dye. Be sure to wear latex gloves to protect your hands from the dye.Tip: Liquid food colouring can also be used to dye the geode — 30 to 40 drops will adequately saturate the solution.

STEP 4
Add 3/4 cup of alum powder to the hot dye bath and stir until completely dissolved. If there are remaining crystals in the bottom of the container, place the solution in the microwave for a few minutes to dissolve them. This will prevent alum from being drawn away from the geode.

STEP 5
Once the alum is completely dissolved, let the solution cool slightly (for about 30 minutes) and then submerge one of the dried, alum-coated eggshells in the growing solution, allowing it to rest on the bottom of the container with the inside of the shell facing up.

STEP 6
Set the container aside in a safe place overnight to allow the crystals to grow undisturbed. The longer the eggshell is in the solution, the larger the crystals in the geode will be. Twelve to 15 hours will usually result in a perfect geode.

STEP 7
The next day, remove the geode from the growing solution very carefully (as wet crystals are quite fragile), being sure to wear latex gloves to prevent the dye from staining your hands. If you are not satisfied with the size of your geode crystals, return the geode to the growing solution and wait a day or two. As water evaporates from the solution, more alum will be deposited in your geode, increasing the size of the crystals.

STEP 8
Place your geode on a drying rack or newspaper and allow to dry completely before handling.

STEP 9
To grow a second geode in the other half of the eggshell, simply re-dissolve the crystals remaining at the bottom of the growing solution in the microwave and follow the instructions above starting at step 5.

(Source The Martha Stuart Show)

Earth Day Picnic

What You Need:
Bag lunches

What to Do:
Show your children how to reduce the trash generated by their lunches. Instructed them to pack their lunches as usual for day one of the activity. As they eat, ask them to keep track of how many pieces of trash they threw out. For day two, help your children to pack their lunches as free of trash-generating items as possible. Think of things like reusable containers. On day two, ask your children to count the trash from their second lunch and see how they compare. Or for older children set a competition: “Who can pack their lunch with the least amount of waste? Winner gets an ice-cream!”

For unavoidable waste, see if there’s anything fun you can do with it, like make a collage. Most kids love an outing to the park, so this task doesn’t have to seem like a chore, work in a game of catch or soccer.

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Easter Weekend in Toronto, Canada, 2015 – Family Events

EasterParadeI don’t know about you, but our little ones are counting down the days until next weekend, when we celebrate Easter! Our children love Easter for many reasons including the chocolate easter eggs, goodies, arts and crafts at school and easter egg hunts. But our children love Easter for another reason too, we spend the whole long weekend exploring the city and attend events and festivals. Here are some of our favourite events happening next weekend! Make sure to register in advance!

  • Easter Traditions at Colborne Lodge
    March 21, 2015 to April 5, 2015 – 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm
    Visit inside Colborne Lodge and learn about 19th century Easter traditions. Families will tour the museum and spot Easter treasures hidden in the restored rooms. Children dye their own eggs using natural dyes. Last tour at 3:15 pm.
  • Kidnetix Annual Easter Egg Hunt
    April 3, 2015 – 9:30 am until 4:00 pm
    A fun filled Egg-citing Easter Egg Hunt! 3 hunts to choose from: 9:30 am to 11:00 am, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Includes: indoor playground fun, crafts, Hunny the Easter bunny, tattoos and face painting, Easter egg hunt, Easter basket giveaway, free play passes, and lots more surprises! 2 locations: Brampton and Toronto.
  • Brooks Farms Easter Fest Egg Hunt
    April 3, 2015 to April 5, 2015
    Events includes: Train or wagon ride, barnyard playland, maple sugar bush tours and meet and greet with the mascots! Take part in an Easter Egg Hunt (1 to 6 years) and a Scavenger Hunt (7 to 12 years). Easter weekend 2015 overlaps with the Maple Sugar Festival, which means the Sugar Bush tours will be included with admission to the Easter Festival. Weather permitting.
  • Canadian Pet Expo
    April 3, 2015 to April 5, 2015
    The Canadian Pet Expo is a true pet lover’s and pet family experience focusing on promoting responsible pet ownership with interactive events, demonstrations, vendor support, and workshops. Kids can take part in special Easter activities on April 5.
  • Easter Egg Hunt at Alpha’s Discovery Club Indoor Playground
    April 4, 2015 – 10:00 am until 12:00 pm
    Alpha’s Discovery Club Indoor Playground in Mississauga is holding its annual Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter bunny. The children will make an Easter theme craft and hunt for Easter eggs hidden around the indoor playground. Space is limited so reserve your tickets!
  • Community Easter Egg Hunt at Adventure Valley!
    April 4, 2015 – 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
    Adventure Valley welcomes all families in the community to the Community Easter Family Fun Event! There will be entertainment, food, Easter egg hunting, arts and crafts, and more. Set on a country club-like setting, conveniently located right at Leslie and Steeles.
  • Easter Sweets & Chocolate Tour
    April 5, 2015 – 11:30 am until 1:30 pm
    Treat yourself and your loved ones to a sweet Easter on Toronto’s only sweets tour, eat your way through the colourful neighbourhood of Kensington Market. What to expect: guided tour on the history of sweets, introduction to 6 sweet stores, samples from each location, discounts at select merchants, fun yum times for all! The tour is from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Adult $35 – Children $20. At Ding Dong Pastries & Cafe.
  • Toronto Beaches Lions Club Easter Parade
    April 5, 2015 – 2:00 pm
    Over the years the Toronto Beaches Lions Club Easter Parade has grown into an event that the entire city enjoys. It attracts more than 50,000 spectators of all faiths, religions, and cultures. This is a very important event to the Beaches Lions Club, our community and the charitable organizations they serve. It begins at 2:00 pm sharp and runs for approximately two hours. It will begin the parade on Queen Street at Munro Park and proceed west along Queen Street ending at Woodbine Ave.

easter-parade-toronto

Toronto’s Easter Parade is one of the city’s oldest traditions, starting in the early 1900’s along the waterfront at Sunnyside Park.

  • Easter Chocolate Workshop
    April 5, 2015 – 4:30 pm until 6:00 pm
    A fun and interactive afternoon for parents and children playing with chocolate! Learn about chocolate history and tasting, then get creative making your own vanilla chocolate truffles and lollipops with the host chocolatier Odile (Odile Chocolat). What to expect: taste and learn about different chocolates, roll your own vanilla chocolate truffles, for the children, create chocolate lollipops, take home your handmade treats, happy times for all! Adult $49 – Children $39. At Odile Chocolate.
  • Easter Brunch at Casa Loma
    April 5, 2015
    Join CasaLoma to celebrate Easter with a spectacular Easter Brunch. This unique buffet brunch will feature a delectable array of traditional brunch classics and signature dishes. The complete menu can be viewed on the website. Reservations are required.

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Family Day Activities in Toronto

family-day-2Thankfully, winter this year has been considerably kinder to us in comparison to last year’s polar vortex winter. However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t all looking forward to an extra day off this weekend, a much welcome break during the long winter months.

Family Day is one of our favourite holidays; spending quality time with our family, having fun and being thankful for the people who are around us, what could be better. We’ve put together a list of some of the best events happening this weekend, let us know which ones you’ll be attending!

  1. Kids Fest

Running all weekend, Kids Fest features the largest indoor inflatable road show for kids. Located in Mississauga, head there this weekend for a great family outing day of fun.

  1. Ski Dagmar

Exercise and fun? If you and your family don’t often get the chance to leave the city to explore Ontario’s beautiful countryside now is the time, and it’s not even that far out of the city!

  1. Toronto’s historic sites

Maybe don’t tell your children that you’re going to look at old historic sites, it’ll sound more like a history class than a fun day out, unless they really like history class. Tell them about Fort York, where they can sample freshly baked goods made on a hearth, for example, or learn Irish dancing and listen to stories at Montgomery’s Inn.

  1. Hockey Hall of Fame

If you and your family are big hockey fans, the Hockey Hall of Fame is bound to be an interesting and informative few hours for you and your children. Why not dust off your skates and head to your local ice rink afterwards for a family game of hockey? If your family is large enough you could get into teams!

  1. Winter Stations

Five lifeguard stations along the Toronto Beaches are transformed into art installations. Chosen from among 200 different submissions, these installations will be open to the public to view and experience for six weeks, so no rush, but it could be a nice walk on Monday afternoon if it’s not too cold.

Also, how lucky are we to live in a country where we’re given a day off work to spend time with our families, just another reason why we love Canada.

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Make Dad proud this Fathers Day with thoughtful gifts and fun events

A simple but nice idea is to make a “Jar Full Of Love” for Dad. Encourage your little ones to write down a bunch of messages that tells their Dad just how much he means to them. Not only is it extremely thoughtful but it will help with your child’s writing skills!

Why not take Dad to a ball game? What we love about baseball is that it’s an extremely sociable sport. Enjoy some nachos and let Dad explain the rules, plus it’s a team sport so you can show your children way being a part of a team is often important.

Another cute crafty idea is to make notepad that Dad can take to work. Wrap a rubber band around a notepad cube and using a large felt tip pen help your children to write messages on the sides. Remove band and tie with a ribbon! 

Dads + Cars = A good day out. The Yorkville exotic car show takes place from 12-5 on Father’s Day, where you can see over 12 examples of classic and exotic cars. Fun game: see how many types of cars your children can remember.

Let us know what you guys get up to this Father’s Day and we hope you have fun!

 

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10 alternative activities to do in Toronto this summer

It’s always nice to do something a little different with your family, especially in the beautiful weather. We’ve researched a bunch of “out of the norm” activities for you to do during June and these were our favourite.

Camp without leaving the city

Have you ever wanted to go camping but you don’t have the time to travel a long distance. Or have you ever wanted just one night to sleep under the stars instead of in your condo? Toronto’s only camping spot, the Glen Rouge Campground, is easy to reach from highways and is on the banks of the Rouge River. With hiking trails and beaches near by, you don’t even need to leave the city for that one moment of tranquility. 

Music Festival

The free Waterfront Blues Festival this year promises to be fun for the whole family. There will be a kids fun zone so that you can enjoy a glass of wine while watching the Juno and Grammy awarded artists!

Gourmet picnic

Enjoy food from different parts of the city with the Culinary Adventure Co. They organise gourmet picnics on The Island and food walking tours around the different neighbourhoods!

Summerlicious

Take your family to a restaurant that you normally wouldn’t go to with Summerlicious. Expensive and exclusive restaurants will offer prix fixes at a low cost for 2 weeks this summer. 

Make homemade popsicles

Did you know that most popsicles contain high fructose corn syrup laden with red and blue dyes? Definitely not a healthy treat for your children, we suggest making them from scratch with fresh fruit! If you’ve never made them before here is a great article to get you started. 

Go for a bike ride in the Don Valley

There are some beautiful paths that run through the Don Valley which are great for all levels of ability. 

Cherry Beach

Cherry Beach is a popular beach linking the Outer Harbour to Toronto’s Portlands. It can get super busy here but if you’re able to go during the week it’s definitely worth a visit, especially if you have a dog! 

Go fishin’

Did you know you could go fishing in Toronto? Check out Ashbridges Bay Park and Rouge Park

Spend a night on a boat

What could be better than a boat bread and breakfast?! The Making Wave Boatel is open from May until September and offers a great family vacation or a romantic weekend away while the kids are at camp!

 

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