Archive | Children and Play

Fun Activities To Do With Kids This Summer

This summer with my clan is really flying by.  We are having a blast staying local and just trying to spend as much time in nature, with friends, and staying cool. I’m actually looking forward to some lazy days to try some awesome crafts I’ve seen in an old OWL book. I also came across these great activities from a Canadian Living article with their top 30 summer activities ideas. The following really appealed to me and I’m adding them to my to-do list when things hit a lull at home. To check out all 30 ideas, visit the article: 30 fun things to do with your kids this summer. Here are my favorite picks – activities I want to try and others I’ve done with my kids that have been a success!

Activities To-Do:

♥  With an insect book in hand, discover the creatures living in your garden, and learn about their benefits together. Continue Reading →

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Karito Kids – Dolls Helping To Change Our World

Kirsten, the owner of The Village Toyshop, speaks to parents about carrying dolls that aren’t sexual with body image and risque outfits. Beautiful, wholesome dolls that are still ‘edgy’ and cool do exist without the commercialism. My girls started with their Corelle babies from this store and the selection for older children is amazing.

During my last visit, I was actually stunned by the beauty of a new line of dolls I hadn’t seen before. They are called Karito Kids. If you haven’t heard of them, but have a daughter over the age of 5, brace yourself. Continue Reading →

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Recycle Bath Toys With Phthalates Into A Learning Activity For Kids!

Want to recycle your tubby toys containing phthalates?  Unless they’ve been stamped on the packaging as ‘phthalate free’, I would recommend staying clear of having your kids bath with them and mouth them.  Refer to my previous article ‘Protect Your Family From Phthalates In Your Home’. Here is a great activity from National Geographic Kids that promotes early science type learning for a young child and keeps a phthalate filled rubber ducky from sitting in the land-fill.  Try creating a Motion Ocean!

Source: National Geographic Kids

What does this project accomplish? 

Teaching kids about density with liquids. Water is denser than oil and the two materials never mix. So when the water moves, it pushes the oil around, making shapes like waves.

Materials:

♦  Clear jar with lid
♦  Water
♦  Blue food coloring
♦  Glitter
♦  Baby oil
♦  Plastic floating toys

1. Fill the jar halfway with water.
2. Add drops of food coloring until you like the color you see. Shake in a little glitter.
3. Pour in baby oil until the jar is three-quarters full.
4. Place a floating toy on top of the oil, then screw on the lid tightly.
5. Shake the jar gently to set your ocean in motion.

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Happy Canada Day – Celebrate And Climb A Tree!

Happy Canada Day!  I hope all Canadians get to celebrate in the fresh air, under a beautiful warm sun, enjoying the amazing nature that surrounds us all!

A sentence I’ve quoted before keeps ringing in my ears whenever I’m out with my kids in nature.  It’s from the site Green Hour and I thought it was brilliant and was thinking about it at the park with my kids tonight. 

“Twenty years from now, your child may not remember every piano lesson or soccer practice you took them to. But you can bet they’ll remember climbing a tree with you!” 

The boys were climbing a tree and having the best time, so I thought I’d practise what I write about.  This picture might say it better than words.  Happy Canada Day!

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Support Your Village – That Includes Our Toyshop!

How exciting that our local village toyshop has recently gone ‘online’ with an awesome, new web site.  I couldn’t be more thrilled for the owner Kirsten. She already has a monthly guest spot on Global TV for hot tips on new toys and trends because her suggestions were SO popular from Christmas.   I discovered her store, shortly after having Francesco and boy is it a magical place.  You walk through the door and find toyologists wearing lab coats armed with more product knowledge and recommendations that you can handle!  <smile> Not only do they know all my kids by name and are super friendly, they are able to answer any question!  Each toyologist can tell you about a toy’s manufacturer, the materials it’s made from, and how you can maximize the toy’s value. Their customer service is amazing and the intimate shopping experience is one that everyone should experience.

In a time where cheaper toys are being recalled for malfunctions or paint is testing high for chemicals, upper scale toys are in demand for parent’s peace of mind. I don’t mind Playmobil’s prices because I’m confident they’ll never be recalled or have any problems (haha…have I mentioned I’m a hug fan of Playmobil?).  This may sound really paranoid, but I’m certain right before a company like Mattel or MEGA Brands recalls millions of toys, I’ll see these products at highly reduced prices at Winners. I remember being tempted to buy the Magnimals game for next to nothing the week before they were recalled.  I’m sure there’s a big conspiracy between large toy manufacturers and discount retail stores.  In recent years, I’ve realized that buying crappy toys just adds to the clutter in my house and doesn’t offer much value with the kids and how they play.  Toys offering a social message, that teach science or math, dress up clothes, puzzles, card games, or Playmobil sets encouraging imaginative play are the focus of our toy purchases these days.  These are sustainable items…not massive amounts of cheap plastic that will end up outlasting my life span at the landfill.

I’ve written many articles about supporting local farmers or purchasing clothing through Etsy to support a stay home mom that can sew, well the small toyshops are no exception.  Continue Reading →

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