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Category Archive: ACTIVITIES

Jan
08

5 Cures for the winter back-to-school blues.

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Winter break was fabulous! We languished in pyjamas and played board games, watched movies, and read books. We played tourists in our own city, exploring new sites and catching events downtown. So, no one was happy about going back to school this morning.  Since it’s going to be a rough week, I thought why not …

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Dec
04

Do NOT go to the mall. 5 cool websites with original stuff for kids.

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Many people don’t realize that I have two superpowers: Laziness, and Money spendingness.  I know, this doesn’t make me Superwoman. It just means that I like to stay home in my PJs. It also means I spend too much money.  Thanks to advancements in technology,  my two powers in combination have become highly useful. While …

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Oct
25

Opera for kids? Si si! Thanks to Cowtown Opera.

Last week, my kids sat through an entire opera production of Hansel and Gretel. They loved it – for real. It helped that they sat on a mat with other kids right at the front, and munched on popcorn while they watched. On our way out, the kids were handed some delicious cookies and cake …

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Oct
10

Perfect fall activity: Rock hounding

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Fall is my favourite season.  Warm colours are all around us, and there’s nothing like a walk in the crisp autumn air. Here in Alberta autumn tends to be brief,  so all the more reason to savour the season by getting outside with our kids.  Plus, there’s no better teacher than nature herself. A few …

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Oct
05

4 awesome math resources to use when homework is a nightmare.

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  Don’t let math homework bring you down! I’m back, and I have some great math resources for you to share with your kids. Whether you’re a math wiz or math-challenged, you CAN help your kids when they’re frustrated in math.  Check out these 4 resources I posted on Yummy Mummy Club.  Stay tuned for …

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Aug
23

Love word games? You and the kids will flip out over “Letter Flip.”

I have an addiction to word games, so I get more than slightly excited when I find one for the family.  “Letter Flip” levels out the playing field between me and the kids, so my words are more difficult than theirs. Nobody gets bored, and everyone has a chance of winning. “Letter Flip” builds spelling …

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Aug
03

Music videos get kids excited about history

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Kids love music, but they find history boring.  So, what do you get when you mash up Lady Gaga with Marie Antoinette, or Gwen Stefani with the Black Plague?  Music video spoofs that make learning history fun. Quirky, catchy, and educational, the videos are the brainchild of two talented history teachers.  They are successful: Lady …

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Aug
01

Your kids can bake this: Two minute chocolate mug cake

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Up until I discovered this recipe, baking with three kids was a test of their patience. Taking turns measuring and mixing into one bowl can get boring, lengthy and messy.  So, I was excited for my kids to try out this recipe for Microwaved Chocolate Cake in  Mug.  They each made their own batter right …

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Jul
06

5 Ideas to Promote Independent Play this Summer

Are you finding it a challenge to carve out some “me time” with your kids at home this summer? My post this week on Yummy Mummy Club is about 5 ways you can nudge kids to play on their own.  Not only is independent play good for your kids’ creativity and self-esteem, it is also …

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Jun
26

Surviving June: What to do with the mountain of papers and binders headed your way.

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  We’re officially into the last few days of school, so naturally my house is buried in mountains of papers and binders.  It feels like teachers’ revenge:  Hah!  We’ve had to put up with your kids’ mess all year, so now we’re sending it all home to you.  Have a great summer.  Hahahahaha! The binders …

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Jun
11

Kids need spelling tests, not spellcheck.

What do CDs, personal mail, going to the bank, and pay phones have in common?  Relics from the pre-internet era that can make you feel oddly old and nostalgic.  Add one more to this list: SPELLING TESTS. Remember when you had weekly spelling tests at school?  I had them all the way from grades one …

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May
30

How to give your kids’ learning activities a summer makeover!

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  Ah, the lazy hazy days of summer. Picture it:  Games of badminton on the lawn, swinging in the park, swimming outside, sticky popsicles,  and: MATH ACTIVITY WORKBOOKS!  Ugh. I don’t think so. Let’s face it, workbooks have no place among summer activities.  Regular routines of instrument practice, reading exercises, writing, and math can become …

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May
07

Your car is your “classroom.”

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If you have kids and live in a North American suburb, chances are you spend a lot of time in your car. Oy, the agony of being stuck in rush hour traffic with three restless and squabbling children.  On the other hand, being “stuck” in the car has its advantages. Sometimes the best conversations about …

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Apr
25

Foreign language learning at home with Rosetta Stone

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I was very lucky. As a child of immigrants, I was immersed in languages from an early age. I wasn’t even aware I was learning! Later in life, I chose French immersion and other languages. I’m sure I had a much easier time than my monolingual friends. My kids don’t have it as easy. They …

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Apr
23

Getting spring-crafty with coffee!

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Coffee makes everything better. To those who suggest I have dependence issues around caffeine, I say “Poo poo.”  My morning cup makes me  feel happy and energized, and I could care less that it’s caffeine induced.  Great for the mind and the body, it turns out coffee can even be useful for crafts. Who knew? …

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Apr
20

Instrument practice without tears – 5 Tips.

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My 11,9, and 6 year olds  play musical instruments.  That amounts to about eight years of wrong notes, mismatched teachers, screaming (mostly by me), and intense (ahem) coaxing.  Obviously, it hasn’t been all bad or we would have all quit long ago!   These years have presented a real learning curve – for ME. While …

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Apr
02

Writing, camera, action! Easy spring writing activity.

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Finally, back to blogging again! Spring has finally arrived in our corner of Canada, and we’re kind of in sensory overload.  The kids were so excited to find lady bugs in the yard, and to splash around in the mud from melted snow.    I thought it would be great to turn the impressions of …

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Mar
12

Drawing and writing with pop songs

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Today has been quite the day! I wasn’t feeling well so when I woke up, my mom, EducationDiva asked me to guest post on her blog. When I asked her about what, she had the craziest idea… a year earlier, we were exploring Chapters for something neat to read when my little sister came across the …

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Mar
05

The Magic of Reality: Renowned scientist Richard Dawkins talks to kids about evolution on the IPAD.

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British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is best known for his book, “The Selfish Gene,” (1976), and for his outspoken atheism.   This has made him a controversial figure in some circles, especially since he has called for an end to teaching creationism in science classes. No matter how one feels about Dawkins, there’s no denying …

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Feb
22

Embracing the “Mooooom! I’m BORED!” moment.

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“Moooom!  I’m BORED!” might be the three most dreaded words in the English language. I tend go into panic mode.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I do feel like that’s my cue to keep my kids entertained, NOW!  I’ll search my mental rolodex of  activities and games, or bring out a stack of books to …

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Feb
06

Books for Your Budding Artist

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Even Picasso needed a dose of inspiration now and then. We know it’s important to let kids experiment without structure, but it’s also a good idea to expose them to new technical and artistic ideas.  Creativity shouldn’t be stunted by reading a “how to” book, or by looking at famous artists’ work.  On the contrary, …

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Jan
31

Creating a space for writing, reading, and art.

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As my kids get older, I’m noticing all kinds of neat ways they are integrating writing, reading, and art.  Sometimes a great picture will inspire a piece of creative writing, or a favourite book will inspire an artistic creation. Every so often I like to reorganize the kids’ space to keep things interesting for them …

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Jan
25

One product, infinite possibilities.

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Looking for an inexpensive educational product that will appeal to a variety of ages? Looking for something that offers practice in math, reading, composition, and penmanship all in one place? How about a product that  is environmentally friendly, and can be used at home or on the go?  I have found it!  Don’t worry, it is …

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Jan
23

“Comics are books,” and other lessons from kids on reading.

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Reading doesn’t always go the way I pictured. Well, it does have a lot of pictures, but that’s not exactly how I imagined reading.   “Reading,” according to me,  means curling up with a good book and becoming immersed in its words.  My kids would beg to differ.  Problem is we don’t always agree on …

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Jan
18

Why kids still need cursive.

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It recently dawned on me that my daughter is in grade six, and she can’t form all her cursive letters.   Well, I was up in arms! “What’s with schools today?  Can’t they just teach the basics?” I began to rant.  ”When I was kid, we knew…” “Mom, please!” my daughter interrupted. “We don’t NEED …

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