Archive - July 2012

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Summer Fun
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Whatever Floats Your Boat (or in this case, your child!)
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Summer Slide Is NOT An Amusement Park Ride

Summer Fun

The weather here in Ontario this summer has been perfect for outdoor fun. And what tops our list of family friendly activities? The drive-in and geocaching!  The Drive-In A starlight movie night IS summer. I’ve been going to the drive-in since I was a child and I love taking my kids now that I’m all grown up-ish.  Drive-in tips: Arrive early enough to ensure a spot not too close to the screen. This can mean up to two hours before the show (depending on the night and the weather) so come prepared with activities to keep the kids entertained. Many drive-ins have a playground for kids to enjoy while waiting for the sun to set. The drive-in near us happens to have the scariest slide and squeakiest swing set anywhere. Outside food/drinks are not permitted but, if a few bottles of water and some snacks should make it in undetected… so be it. I still head to the snack bar and buy popcorn at some point during the movie anyway. Bring blankets, a sweater, socks (in case it gets cold) and bug spray. Bathrooms get busy in between movies so go just as a movie is ending or after the next[…]

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Whatever Floats Your Boat (or in this case, your child!)

  We take water safety very seriously and my daughter always wears some kind of floatation device — a life jacket on the boat and this *Puddle Jumper floatie by the pool. One day last summer, due to a “code brown” situation, I broke my own rule and took off her floatie vest in order to rinse out her suit and attend to the “poop deck.” And I took my eyes off my child. Though it was only for a few seconds and I was less than two feet away, that’s all it took. She leaned over the pool to retrieve a ball and fell in, silently slipping under the water. That’s the thing about drowning; it’s not the wild, splashing scene often depicted on t.v. or in the movies.  It’s deadly quiet.  Kids, especially ones like mine with zero body fat, sink like a stone. Luckily her brother was right there to reach down and pluck her out out of the water. This summer Avery continues to wear her Puddle Jumper. ALWAYS. As well, she’s learning to swim without it but only when an adult is in the pool with her. It’s important for non-swimmers to feel the sensation of sinking.[…]

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Summer Slide Is NOT An Amusement Park Ride

It’s July and we’re fully immersed in summer fun: swimming, travelling, frolicking but all the while, my nine year old is slip-sliding away…. specifically, his math skills are. All the progress made in the spring is slipping away. I don’t tell my children this, but I despise arithmetic. Words are my thing. It seems my son has inherited my love of literacy and my distaste for addition, subtraction and all things numerical. As an elementary school teacher I know that though all children have strengths and weaknesses, all children can learn. The key is finding the way best suited for them. So this summer, before we slide any further down this slippery number line, we’re not playing around. Er, well actually we are, playing. Playing math games. We have discovered that our son responds well to math games, puzzles and other FUN problem solving activities. Here are three of the brain games we’re playing this summer: 1. Puzzles like this IcoSoku Game from Recent Toys I hate puzzles more that I detest math, but this turned out to be fun. Easier than a Rubik’s Cube, but harder than doing your taxes. It says it’s designed for ages 5-10 but I’d like to[…]

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