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Top 10 family activities to do in Toronto during the March break

March break is just around the corner, allowing families to spend some quality time together. We’ve found some activities taking place in the GTA that are educational and entertaining, activities that parents can also enjoy. They are all affordable and will keep the kids away from the television! Have fun!

1. Hands in the bowl

Join Evergreen Brickworks chef, Nyle Johnston for a cooking workshop designed for children between the ages of 4-7.

Children learn about the different tastes and textures of key ingredients used in day to day cooking. A hands-on program, it encourages participants to mix, grate and mash using only their hands.

For more information click here.

2. Where the Wild Things Are stage production

Maurice Sendak’s children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, is still just as popular as it was 50 years ago. The recent movie adaptation of the novel, proved popular with adults and children alike, so why not go to the stage production version during the March break. Produced by Presentation House Theatre, it’s showing at the Young People’s Theatre on Front Street east. You never know, it may encourage your child to read the book too!

For more information click here.

3. Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Does your son or daughter love history? This could be a fun activity for the whole family, while fuelling your child’s love of history and all things medieval. Guests enjoy a 4 course banquet whilst watching an authentic jousting tournament. It links modern society to the past and teaches the young about valour, glory and chivalry.

For more information click here.

4. Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival

What kid doesn’t love maple syrup? Head over to this festival to learn all about the history of Canada’s world famous syrup, there will be plenty of free samples!

There are numerous maple syrup festivals happening throughout March, have a look online to see which one is closest to you.

For more information about Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival click here.

5. Ripley’s Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium is the largest aquarium in North American, it house 15,000 animals including sharks. Walk your children through/under/above Canadian waters, the rainbow reef and the dangerous lagoon. With plenty to read, touch and see at each station, your children will become knowledgeable about all things under the sea.

For more information click here.

6. Hockey Hall of Fame

Is your son or daughter a budding sports star? Teach them the ways of sportsmanship at the Hockey Hall of Fame this March. As Canada’s national sport, looking back at the influential players could provide inspiration and determination to do well during gym class!

For more information click here.

7. Toronto Comicon

Do your children love comics, video games and fantasy television shows? This is the place to take them then. Attendees are able to participate in a Q&A session with various celebrities from hit television shows and  there will be numerous workshops and seminars. The best bit…costumes are encourage!

For more information click here.

8. Sneaking Around

The Bata Shoe Museum is holding a spy-themed event during March break. There promises to be lots of spy-themed arts, crafts and activities!

For more information click here.

9. ROM’s Dinosaur Gallery

From Jurassic Part to Ice Age, dinosaurs and mammals are used as a constant source of entertainment for families in films, so why not bring them to life at the Royal Ontario Museum. The gallery is home to 750 specimens including nearly complete dinosaur skeletons and fossil mammal skeletons.

For more information click here.

10. Toronto Zoo

Finally, if it’s a nice sunny day why not head to the zoo? There are over 5000 animals 460 species to see, all based on geographical locations.

For more information click here.

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Books every child should read

booksI hope you and your child had a great day reading on Sunday’s Family Literacy Day! Did your child by chance run out of books? Or maybe you’re interested in updating your child’s reading library. Whatever the case, I got you covered with what I believe to be some “must own” books that every child should read.
For Children in Early Elementary School (Junior Kindergarden to Grade 2)
  • A Light in the Attic by ShelSilverstein: This classic collection of poems is interesting, easy to read and a really a great starting book for any child. Plus, the rhyming scheme used in the poems helps children recognize the connection between how a word is spelled and that word’s pronunciation. With so many benefits you see why Shel Silverstein’s book was the inspiration for our tutoring center!
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: Another must own classic. Where the Wild Things Are’s beautiful pictures really bring the story to life and keeps children coming back for more. I swear, when most children pick up this book they can’t put it down.
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelans: This book maybe better for an advanced Grade 2 student, but with that in mind, if your child can handle it I say let them read it. This is a classic, more realistic story that every child should have the pleasure to read.
For Children in Late Elementary School (Grade 3 to Grade 6)
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: Another Shel Silverstein book (yes, we love him) for more advanced readers. The reason I categorized this book in the more advanced section is because it deals with many important, more mature issues, such as love, self-sacrifice and environmental conservation. A little more maturity that comes with age might be needed to fully grasp and understand this book.
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: Arguably the most classic book in all of literature, Charlotte’s Web has survived the test of time. For myself, the well mapped out characters really bring this book to life and make it a necessity for every person to read.
  • Early Harry Potter Series By J.K. Rowling (Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets): Has your child read the Harry Potter series yet? They should! They’re great books that tap and allow your child to grow their imagination. However, due to the more mature and darker content in the later books, I can only recommend the first two books in the series for younger children.
For Children in Middle School   
  • Later Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Just like the first two books in the Harry Potter series, the final five books in the series are amazing. However, these books are more mature so it might be better for a middle schooler to read it.
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen: The ultimate survival adventure story. This book is intense, adventurous and good for any boy or girl. Hard to really describe the book without ruining it. All I can say is your child should read it!
For Children in High School
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: The Holocaust will be discussed frequently during your child’s high school education. Before beginning grade nine, I believe an introduction to the emotional and complex time period should be given. This book by Anne Frank, a young girl and victim of the Holocaust, really puts the entire situation into context. However, just a warning, expect many questions about the Holocaust after your child reads this book.
  • How To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: If there is one novel that will stay with a child for the rest of their life this is the book. The book is extremely emotional and really a good lesson on why people act in certain ways. Mature content is why I believe this book is only appropriate for students in grade 11 and 12.
  • Macbeth and/or Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare: Shakespeare is hard to read. Some children might have an easier time with it, but for most of us, his style of writing is simply outdated. Even if his style of writing is outdated, his stories themes and characters are timeless. With Shakespeare’s impeccable storytelling ability, he is a must for any child to read. However, due to the difficult and vocabulary in the books I recommend buying your child a copy with some modern day of phrases translations in the footnotes.
 This is a small list of the thousands of books your child could read. What is your or your child’s favourite book to read? Tell me in the comments below!
All the best,
David

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