Learning How To Take Time For Myself

When I tell people I'm a stay-at-home parent who also works from home as a writer and blogger, I often get that faraway dreamy gaze that seems to suggest I've reached the Top Level of the Parenting Game for managing to do what many parents dream of doing while on mat leave: figuring out a way to stay at home with the kids and make money.

Unfortunately, it's not always quite as idyllic as it sounds.

Don't get me wrong, I count my blessings (along with my hats) every single day. But that doesn't mean it's not a challenge. And, while I'm busy trying to keep track of everyone else's needs, my own needs often keep getting pushed further and further down the priority list...

Be A Night Detective Evening Scavenger Hunt & Constellation Scratch Art: Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club

Be A Night Detective by Peggy Kochanoff encourages children to explore the natural world around them. It answers all those questions that kids ask us which, let's be honest, we adults really don't know the answers to (why don't lightning bugs get hot like light bulbs? Are shooting stars really stars falling from the sky?). To explore the book further we created a night time Scavenger Hunt and constellation scratch art for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club that we're sharing with you today.

Why you need to visit playgrounds on your next Canadian road trip, no matter how old you are (and here are 150 of the coolest to get you started!) #Canada150

There are themed playground, accessible playgrounds for people with special needs, and natural playgrounds inspired by and made with elements found in nature. But the main reason you need to incorporate playgrounds into your Canadian road trip is because so many of these playgrounds have taken cues from their home communities and incorporated the local values and history of the area into the design.

Critter Collages with Atlantic Animal ABC: Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club

Atlantic Animal ABC, our May Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club pick, introduces children to collage art. The author, Angela K. Doak, uses all sorts of found materials for her collage work - from junk mail and scraps of fabric, to candy and gum wrappers! This art activity will teach little kids how to create their own Atlantic Animal collage art.

Matching & Fishing Game with Atlantic Animal ABC: Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club

The Atlantic Animal ABC book by Halifax artist, Angela K. Doak, is our pick for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club this month. This fishing and matching game was inspired by the book's brightly coloured artwork and teaches little kids their letters, develops their fine motor skills (not to mention they'll have lots of fun doing it!). **Information on how to enter to win a copy of the book AND a print of Doak's artwork in the post**

4 Classic Ways To Celebrate Mother's Day in Halifax

To make this easy on everyone, I've rounded up a few of my favourite ways to spend a day with my family in Halifax and included a list of supplies and details needed to make the day happen AND a suggested little gift to go along with it.Now all you need to do is forward this post to your day planner who can pick one, follow the directions and you're good to go. 

Backyard Makeover: Creating a Natural Playspace

The yard/property attached to our house is both a blessing and a curse. We are surrounded by trees that are so dense during the leafy part of the year that you can’t even see our neighbours’ houses. This is exactly the privacy and connection to nature that we desired when we moved in, so there’s the blessing. The “curse” is that the property is oddly shaped with minimal lawn space which basically makes it impossible to have a traditional playground structure on it...so here's what we're going to do...

13 Halifax Family Resource Centres

If you're feeling the need to connect with other parents in person, or you need a little extra support or advice, resource centres are a valuable option in our community. The Greater Halifax region is lucky to have at least thirteen fantastic organizations that provide low cost, and often free, programming, and many have a focus on families with young children. Have you visited any of these centres?

Let's Read! The Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club

*CONTEST* You could win a copy of this book!

Our selection for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club this month is for our littlest readers. Let's Read! is a board book that will grow with your baby from infancy to toddlerhood. It has bright colours, photos of real babies, lots of smiles and a wonderful, singsong, rhythmic text that you will love to read and will be as familiar as a favourite song to you and your baby in no time.

Name Egg Puzzle: Easter Activity

Trying to teach your toddler or young preschooler how to spell their name? Yeah, that can be challenging, especially if their name has more than three or four letters *guilty as charged.* I came up with this fun egg puzzle to help my kids learn how to spell their names. All you'll need are some plastic Easter eggs, an empty egg carton, permanent marker, scissors and tape.

Ask The Expert: Family Speech and Language Services

Are you struggling to understand your child and concerned that his or her language is not developing at the pace it should be? Wondering at what age they should be able to pronounce certain sounds? You sent your questions and our expert, Natalie Corbett Sampson, Speech Language Pathologist at the Family Development Centre, responded in this month's Ask The Expert post.