Most recent posts in Parenthood (see full blog here)
One of the traditions we started when the kids were one and three years old was a birthday guest book - but it's not the usual kind of guest book. I wanted a fun way to record the guests who shared their party with them, as well as a way to remember their interests and the theme of the party. Finally I wanted something that would be a special keepsake for them to enjoy through their lives.
I've been preparing to let go the only way I know how. It's the same way I prepared in those final weeks of pregnancy, through nesting. I've been baking and cooking every spare minute, but instead of making family size portions, I've been freezing them in single size portion for her lunches.
I've been organizing and sorting out drawers and supplies, but instead of folding onesies and teeny socks, I've been filling her backpack with freshly sharpened pencils and glue sticks, and helping her pick out just the right indoor sneakers.
Mornings, especially once you're thrown back in the routine of school and day care, often become crazy and chaotic trying to make sure everyone has everything they need and gets out the door on time. I've gathered up five easy-to-implement morning and after school hacks to make your life easier...and you might even have time to sit down and drink a whole cup of (HOT) coffee or tea.
We're only one year into this whole "big school" adventure but we've found a few items beyond the specific required items on the supply list that make a big difference in making your life easier and making your kids' life easier. Plus this is where you get to have a little fun in choosing colours and brands that you and your child like!
Tara Byrne is the owner of Swirls Nut-Free Baking in Fall River, Nova Scotia, She is mom to three kids, a preschool teacher, and a baker. She started Swirls: Nut-Free Baking in 2015 and her popularity has been growing steadily as more and more kids (and adults) taste her yummy and beautiful creations and want her to provide cupcakes or a cake at their party that all guests can enjoy safely, whether they have allergies or not.
Our guest blogger today is Taylor Hansen is a mother and early childhood educator who has worked in the field of Child & Youth Care for over 10 years. She has a Masters in Child & Youth Study from Mount Saint Vincent University and is passionate about nature-based learning and creative experiences. She is the creator of Experience Childspace Early Learning, a unique ecocentric early learning program based in Herring Cove.
Playgrounds are great. They are outdoor spaces created for children that aim to encourage play, being active, and getting outside. All great things for little ones. However, there is a lot that play in the natural environment can provide that traditional playgrounds cannot.
Our guest blogger today is Alex Smith, the founder of the CanadaPlays Association and the award winning blog PlayGroundology. Alex has been working with a small team of volunteers over the last 3 months to prepare Pop-Up Adventure Play’s visit to Halifax.
‘Loose parts’ skirt the edges of nirvana. Ask any kid. Now they probably won’t call them ‘loose parts’. They’re more likely to use the generic and all encompassing ‘stuff’ prefaced by cool, awesome, or great. It might even go the way of ‘this stuff is epic’.
Wood, rope, tarps, tires, milk crates, cardboard boxes, fabrics. PVC pipes, pallets and all manner of scrap materials can make up a loose parts inventory. Kids take them and create. They build up and pull down. They improvise, they move, groove and PLAY!
It seems the common understanding amongst professionals now is that whether or not your whole family sits down to dinner together once a day is the benchmark for how functional your family is. Whether or not it's true that's eating together is an essential element of family functionality, it's still something I want that for my family.I feel it's important. It's something my husband and I talked about and agreed was a value we wanted to incorporate into our daily lives. The reality is somewhat different though...
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...
I'm doing it. I'm taking you behind the preschool/daycare teacher curtain today and letting you know how they always manage to get your child to clean up a huge classroom without complaint when, at home, they can never put a single thing away.
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.
The internet is stuffed full of easy crafts for kids with instructions and an image of the perfect final product but should that final product really be the end goal? What if your child has a completely different vision and wants to take that carefully planned out craft into the complete unknown, adorable googly eyes be damned. Should you let them go wild or teach them to follow the directions? I was recently faced with this very dilemma...
When I heard about HelloFresh expanding to Halifax I was SUPER excited. Like telling all my friends: "GUYS, they deliver all the ingredients right to your DOOR. NO grocery store, NO wasted food!" It seemed too good to be true and that was the reaction of most of my friends. So I decided to test it out for you (I know, I'm a giver. It was all for you guys).
I asked some local bloggers for their best slow cooker meals and they didn't disappoint. We've been working our way through the list and they've all been fantastic so far. Bookmark this post so you have plenty of family-friendly options to make you look like a rock star at dinner time too.
I met with a sleep expert, Luanne Bruneau of BabySleepRight, on your behalf to have her review your questions and provide some advice. She tackled your questions about a newborn, a one year old and a toddler below with information that will be valuable to many parents dealing with the same issues.
As I was rushing around getting dinner on the table one evening I asked Miss M (5yo) if she could help set the table. When I arrived at the table I realized she'd given us all delicate bone china tea cups to drink from.
What do good parents do? Alison Smith, parenting coach, answers this question in a guest post today. She will be in Halifax on March 5 at Nurtured Products for Parenting giving a workshop for parents called "Beyond Time Outs." If you're available on that date and would like to attend, you can register today or read on for your chance to win a free ticket!
Learning how to follow the rules, and win and lose gracefully, are traits we want to instil in our children. It's okay to WANT to win and to feel upset about losing, but the key is to learn how to manage those emotions so that they don't affect the fun of competition or hurt someone else's feelings.
Is offering an incentive for good behaviour just lazy parenting? Or smart parenting? Is it bribing them or rewarding them? Is there even a difference?
A stellar performance of women at the Summer Olympics inspired many girls to take up new sports this year. But research by theWomen’s Sports Foundation shows that by the time they’re 14, girls are dropping out of sports at two times the rate as boys.
So, Halifax, you’ve got yourself a shiny new natural playground at the Dingle in Sir Sandford Fleming Park. But what is a natural playground? How does it help families appreciate nature more? Should we encourage kids to play on it? Is it even safe for kids to play on it?
I think it’s especially important to consider nutrition during the holidays when we are entertaining and party-going more than ever. Our little kids trust us to make smart choices for them and the Nutrition Education Facts Campaign gives you the tools to read the Nutrition Facts table properly.
I scroll through my social feeds and see all these "great ideas" and keep adding tradition after tradition to our life in order to feel like I'm giving my kids the best holiday I can...Kindness Advent Calendar? Right on! Make a new Christmas ornament with the kids each year? Oh yeah. Find matching Christmas jammies for the whole family? Sign me up! And YES to ALL THE REINDEER COOKIES!
When my daughter came home from primary telling me about the lockdown drill she had in gym class, I admit I had mixed feelings about it.
Miss M started asking about nicknames and how they work. She asked if she could ask other people to call her by her nickname and I said what I'm supposed to say, that, of course, she could. But I didn't really think she'd actually change her name...
Every two years I let my kids watch as much TV as they want in the hopes of inspiring them to follow their dreams.
I recently wrote an article about the value of little kid art with the help of the good folks at the Halifax Early Childhood School (HECS). They gave me some great - and easy to follow - tips about how parents can better understand and appreciate their little ones' art including a list of questions to ask your kids when they present you with their art that will stimulate discussion and, perhaps, help you figure out the true meaning behind their art.
Meal planning is a challenge for even the most organized person (I speak from experience here). Once you throw in jobs and kids and other responsibilities it gets even harder to find the time to plan your weekly meals and create a shopping list that ensures you have everything you need for the week. Then I figured out a system that simplified this process and the task became a BREEZE.
In January 2016 there were two reported incidents of children in the HRM being approached by strangers on their way to school. These alarming events reminded many parents that teaching children about “stranger danger” is something that needs to happen on an ongoing basis, however many parents aren't sure how to effectively have that conversation.