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Category Archive: ACTIVITIES

Jan
16

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

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Today is a perfect time to teach your kids about courage, freedom, discrimination, and poetry. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and message offers excellent opportunities for parent-children discussions about discrimination, love, tolerance, respect, and history. So today, from my freezing corner in Canada, my kids and I will be watching Youtube clips from the famous …

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Jan
13

Shakespeare Can Be Fun! is a very fun series for kids.

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Shakespeare for children?  Anon! (“Anon,” is often used by Shakespeare to mean “in short a short time, soon.”  )  In one of my ambitious moments, I thought it would be great fun to read scenes from Romeo and Juliet out loud with my kids.  Hysterics ensued every time the word “anon” appeared, followed by  “What …

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Jan
11

Laugh out loud books for children and tweens.

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Do your kids have a case of the back-to-school blues?  Cold winter weather bringing you down?  Now may be the perfect time to cheer up with a laugh out loud book.  These quality books are not only clever and well written, but are just downright funny! AGES 3 AND UP: 1- Don’t Let the Pigeon …

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Jan
09

How to encourage imagination and creativity

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Zipping between school and the next extracurricular activity has become a way of life for families today.  Perhaps we need to iphone-schedule unstructured time for imagination and creativity. Allowing the brain time to wander stimulates critical and lateral thinkers, who are able to play with ideas and imagine several possibilities and outcomes.  Research shows that …

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Jan
06

Finally! A simple solution to organizing and displaying kids’ art

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I love that my kids enjoy creating art at home and at school, but “masterpieces” can quickly pile up all over the house. Who has the time to construct crafty frames and display corners?  Not only do I not have the time, I suffer from craft phobia.  A magnetic fridge could do the trick, but …

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Jan
04

Worth the purchase? Mother-Tween book club’s verdict on Hugo Cabret

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a thick hardcover book, and it cost me $27.95 CAD at the bookstore. Rarely do I fork out that much money on children’s books, especially one that consists of about 50% illustrations. My kids convinced me to take the plunge, because we’re on a “read the book, see the …

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Dec
27

Don’t miss these MET opera productions for the family: Wed. and Thurs. at a movie theatre near you!

You don’t have to live in New York to catch the MET’s phenomenal operatic productions. “Front Row Centre Events” by Cineplex Odeon is the greatest invention since sliced bread.  Anyone near a North American city can watch operas from the MET, live theatre from Royal Albert Hall in London, live symphonic performances from the best …

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Dec
07

Read it, watch it, discuss it! Bonding over books and movies. PART ONE.

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Tell me, what’s better than snuggling on a couch with the kids and a favourite book?  Maybe snuggling on a couch together to watch that book on film?  Or seeing that book performed live on stage?  Okay, I can’t choose.  So, why not have it all? Why not kick up my parent-kids book club a …

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Nov
18

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! How to find the best music teacher for your child.

Friends will often ask me for advice about finding the perfect music teacher for their child.  It’s a pretty stressful experience for many parents, especially if they are not musically trained.  Experience has taught me that finding the right teacher for your child is like playing matchmaker. Unfortunately, there is no “eHarmony” for music teachers …

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Nov
13

Mother-tween book club showdown: THE HELP VS. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

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On the heels of our first mother-tween meeting on “To Kill A Mockinbird,” my daughter suggested we read “The Help.” It seemed like a logical choice, since both books deal with civil rights and with deep-seeded racism in the Southern states. My daughter finished “The Help” and announced, “Mom, this book is awesome!  It’s even …

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Nov
08

The “F” word in education: Flashcards. (Reposted by popular demand , because it was deleted in a mad frenzy of self-doubt!)

The “F” word in education: Flashcards REPOSTED! (By popular demand, because I deleted the post in a mad frenzy of self-doubt.)  When I was a kid, my Dad would say, “Learning should be boring.” Suffer first  so you can enjoy and appreciate later.  I know that runs counter to almost every trend in education today, …

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Nov
02

Looking for ways your kids can volunteer? Hipkids offers meaningful and convenient opportunities.

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By far,  my best hands-on educational experience was volunteering with my  daughters. It was not easy.   I had to search long and hard to find an organization that would allow young kids to volunteer.  I had to pull my kids out of school for a full morning once a month. I didn’t mind, because …

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Oct
25

Ready your berets: Art to admire, and easy art to make with the kids.

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Disclaimer: I have no artistic talent whatsoever when it comes to drawing and crafts. Yet, I persist in trying.  Not sure why, as my kids are old enough to openly make fun of me.  The thing is I really love looking at beautiful art, and enjoy the feeling getting messy once in a while. There …

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Oct
09

Project #4: The Mother-Tween Book Club

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Now that my daughter is a tween, I figure we can finally read some of the same books.   I told her that it would be our private book club, and that when we had both finished the book we would go out on a dinner date to discuss.  I am so excited!!  Finding a [...]

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Sep
25

Project #3: Take the kids to the symphony?

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Well, that all depends.  Here in Calgary, we are fortunate to have the CPO  (Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra,) which puts on family-friendly concerts called “Symphony Sundays for Kids Series.”   In this age of tweeting and gaming, it is definitely a challenge for  people to sit still in a dark room and listen to music for …

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Sep
19

Project #2: Take the kids to the opera?

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Last night (Sunday), we took the three kids ages 10,8,5 to a hilarious spoof on Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” put on by the Cowtown Opera Company in Calgary. The music was original from Mozart’s opera, but the libretto was in English and updated with a 21st century plot.  We all enjoyed the excellent singing and …

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Sep
07

PROJECT #1: Bribe the kids to love great books

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I have been throwing READING PARTIES for my three kids for years.  The party consists of high quality poems and stories (chosen by me), and a few chosen by the kids.  The key to the party’s success is the POPCORN.  As long as there is popcorn left to munch, the kids are my captive audience. …

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