It’s here and we’re in the thick of it. Check out our most recent issue here for some great ideas on Fall Activities, when to investigate into dental issues and more.
In this issue, we’ve tried to pull together some resources to make your Summer
experiences a little smoother. You’ll find our extensive camp guide, tips on how to
entertain, tips on how to keep your young learners learning, and ways to make a
holiday more achievable on a tight budget.
Looking for places to go, people to see, party places? Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to Family Fun, Birthday Parties, Home, Education, Classes and Programs, Summer Camps and Family Health! All the contacts a BC parent needs to know for 2017.
Read the issue here!
Spring is in the air, and we’re so relieved to have some sun and say good-bye to snow. With Spring also comes time for a fresh start and time to plan 2017.
In this issue, we’ve highlighted a couple of changes that may be critical to your child, both in learning and health!
Have you ever considered Chiropractic help for your children? I know, as a mother, I’ve definitely considered it for myself, but I now realize how beneficial it is to infants and children and the various problems it can help solve.
For learning, we took a deeper look into Montessori schooling. Now that there are Montessori schools across the province, some even going to Grade 12, this truly is an option that may fit your child for the long-term. If you decide Montessori is not a fit for your child, our Preschool Guide helps to identify some of the amazing pre-schools schools around.
For older children, now is the time to ensure that they finish their school year on a high note. Consult our tutoring guide for help getting your child excited about school again and read our piece on How to Help children who won’t willingly go to school.
Enjoy the issue,
Transforming your child’s cherished art pieces
Cherishing your children’s art is a parent’s duty, but sometimes there is too much to put on the fridge and your house is overcome by pieces from your aspiring artist. How do you encourage your child and ensure that original pieces aren’t damaged along the way? How do you capture those precious drawings that only that adorable little hand could have made?
Visual artist, Joyce Ozier, has created a new type of fine art to help parents showcase their child’s prized pieces. The Little Picasso Series is a commissioned series that will take that magical image and work it into a professional, gallery-quality painting, well worthy of a special spot in your living room.
Joyce can relate to the art curating challenges of many. “Like most parents, I proudly displayed a changing exhibit of my children’s art on our fridge. I’ve saved a number of those precious drawings in a drawer, but they are now yellowed and dog-eared and some are starting to disintegrate.”
The delight Joyce felt when reminiscing about her children’s drawings was what inspired her to find a way to capture the joy and passion of those early beginnings and preserve their art by creating a large abstract painting that is gallery quality and suitable to proudly display for years to come. “Some children who show great talent for drawing when they’re small just stop when they get older, making their early art all the more precious.”
Even Pablo Picasso knew that a child’s art was irreplaceable, “Every child is an artist… it took me four years to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child.”
Wanting to get a better understanding of Joyce’s process, my son and I got started on an original collaboration of our own. The first step was going through my son’s existing art. I’m embarrassed to say, there were many pieces that I had never seen.
All the art had gotten tucked away and my five-year old’s collection was hidden. When we went through the pieces, it was a great opportunity to talk about the art, find out more about each piece and get rid of some that had been, sadly, destroyed along the way. In the end, we narrowed the collection to just five pieces to choose our favourite from. The choice was a beautiful owl he had drawn at school. It stood out to me because it wasn’t his usual spaceships and Star Wars inspired art—it was more whimsical. After we picked the owl, we sent a photo of it to Joyce to let her begin the transformation.
After doing some preliminary sketches, Joyce transfers the child’s drawing onto her canvas using a high-powered projector, tracing the exact lines. “I may repeat one section several times. My intention is not to restrict myself to the literal composition that is photographed, but to use the elements of the drawing in a designed arrangement,” she says.
Once the essence of the original has been transferred to canvas, Joyce employs a use of colour, a vital element of her overall style. “I start the painting using large brushes and actively apply colour using sweeping gestures over the whole canvas, instinctively melding the child’s drawing into a balanced abstract,” she states.
When we received our completed masterpiece, we were both delighted. The owl now has a stunning motif surrounding it and is ready to be hung on our wall. I’ll be proud to tell people the story of our newest piece of fine art, knowing that my son’s inspiration was what helped to create such a beautiful piece.
About The LITTLE PICASSO SERIES©
The LITTLE PICASSO SERIES© is a commission series by Joyce Ozier, Visual Artist, that will take that magical image and work it into a professional, gallery-quality painting well-worthy of a special spot in your living room.
The Bubble Guppies are getting ready to rock n roll with some totally fin-tastic tunes, but when a special band member goes missing, the show can’t go on! With a little help from Mr. Grouper and giggly little fish, Molly, Gil, and the whole gang embark on an adventure as they search every corner of their underwater world for their missing friend!
Featuring rockin’ music, comedic high jinks, and audience participation, the Bubble Guppies will leave no stone left unturned and no bubble left un-popped in order to get the show on the road.
Including a wave of playful characters, energetic song and dance and theatrical magic, Nickelodeons Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock will have kids, parents and grandparents singing and dancing along with this rockin interactive show!
On a recent trip to the UK, I was asked by my Mother in Law if I had a babysitting circle? I wasn’t sure what she was talking about, and when I Googled it I realized I didn’t have one and wow did I ever need one.
What is a babysitting circle, you ask? Well, in short, it’s a group (circle) of parents that know each other and agree to trade off nights of babysitting in exchange for points or tokens, so as parents, we can still have lives outside of our children.
How it works can be a little more complicated. It seems that the process has been formalized in the UK which makes it easier for us, Canadians, to adopt it. So here is the information that I found on setting up a babysitting circle.
To get started there needs to be 5 – 10 families. Ideally, they should all know each other. If not, each member should know at least two other members. It helps to get together socially from time to time with the children to make sure everyone is familiar with one another. It’s also an excellent way to meet new friends in your community. At the very least, before you get started you should arrange a meeting where you can decide the rules of how the group will run.
Here is a list of specifics to decide on at the first meeting:
- Form of payment. Each member starts with points or tokens to exchange. Choose whichever method works for the group. Personally, I feel tokens have less associated admin and can be bought from amazon.ca.
- Amount per ½ hour. For example. Every time you babysit you earn 1 point/token for each ½ hour before 11pm or midnight and 2 points for each ½ hour after 11pm or midnight. Some groups also double the points if it is before 7pm as bedtime is then the sitter’s responsibility. Time is rounded up to the nearest half an hour. When you go out, you give your points//tokens to the babysitter who came.
- Maximum tokens/points. Some groups recommend that members do not exceed a point or token amount – meaning they need to go out more. They also recommend a maximum negative number if you are working on a points system. Obviously, with tokens when you’re out you need to babysit to earn some more.
- Tracking points. If you’re using the points system, some groups have a bookholder where all the points are tallied. Others have each member with their own notebook (a school exercise book with columns drawn) in which points are recorded at the end of each babysitting night and signed by sitter and parent. Or, if you want to go digital, you can use mynightoff.com, a free site that organizes and keeps track for the group.
- Method of asking for a sitter. Do you want to have a group email? Call or text people?
- How to add new members. Some groups stipulate, new members can only join, if “approved” by two or more existing members.
- How to leave the group. Eg. In the event of a member leaving the circle, he/she should try to have an even starting balance, so they don’t get all the free babysitting and then quit.
- Acceptable situations. For example, some groups may decide that younger kids need to be in bed, older ones ready for bed and expected to put themselves in bed. Babies must be sleeping through the evening, but sitter may be asked to give a bottle, etc.
Once you have decided on the details with your circle members, then it’s time to make plans and have a night out. Whether you arrange nights out in advance at the monthly meetings or book them spontaneously, the key is to relax knowing that another parent is watching your sweet child and enjoy a nice night out!
- Members should only stay in the circle if they are contributing by going out and sitting reasonably often. Members who are not going out much should leave to make room for others.
- Encourage both parents to do their fair share of the sitting, but state who is coming mom or dad.
- Try not to exclude single parents just because they may not be able to babysit for others in the evening. They might be able to baby sit in the day/ pick up from school etc.
- Try to spread the points around by using different members of the circle. BUT ONLY LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN WITH SOMEONE YOU KNOW AND TRUST. You don’t have to accept someone to sit for you just because they are in the circle.
- More than a dozen members risk splitting into subgroups. If this happens it is probably better to split into two separate groups.
Things to leave with your sitter
- Estimated time of return to be agreed with sitter
- Emergency contact details
Where clean bedding is kept
- Where clean PJs are
- Handy hints to settle those who wake (they always settle quicker if it’s done the same way as mommy/daddy)
- Tips on how to work the TV
As fall rolls in and the weather changes from bright, sunny days to gloomy, shorter days, our focus also changes from outdoor activities to the education of our children. The first official feedback is coming from schools soon, and you may now be aware of some potential problems/struggles your child is facing. In this issue, we’ve pulled together some experts to give advice on helping them reach their full potential. This issue has tips on training your child’s brain, introducing them to STEM education and helping you find the right school for them. We’ve also given you a great babysitting idea to try, to give you more (always needed) adult time.
Find the complete issue here including the following topics:
4 Training Your Child’s Brain
6 The Opportunities in STEM Education
9 Independent School Guide
18 Is your child a good reader?
21 How to choose a specialized school for learning disabilities
23 The Power of Creative Play
24 12 Quick Privacy Tips for Parents
26 Time to Enlist the Babysitting Circle
28 More Magic and Fewer Meltdowns
30 Fall Footwear
|Looking for the best in the latest products and services for you and your baby? If you live in British Columbia, you are in for a treat at the premiere event for hopeful, expectant and new parents and families – the Mums, Tums & Babies Show! From Pregnancy to Playground, explore the world of baby and toddler gear from the top trending brands, get exclusive deals and discounts.
There is lots to see and do for your little ones in the Family Fun Zone with My Gym Langley and their bouncy castle and tumbling station. Twist Parties with balloon twisting and have your photo taken with the princesses. Sportball is sports instruction for kids and will test their skills and have fun.
Be entertained with Paw Patrol on stage and one of your favorite princesses!
Many presentations from your baby sleeping well to birth! Tony from The Average Father will do a special presentation just for dads!
Canada’s country music sweet heart, Jessie Farrell will entertain your kids with her catchy whimsical songs featured on the Kids’ CBC television series, Scout & The Gumboot Kids.
Enter to win our grand prize – a nursery from Ikea Coquitlam. Over $10,000 in prizes provided by our exhibitors. First 100 mommy will receive a Lucky Mummy Bag!
Have you ever had a war with your child over brushing their teeth? It can be the most challenging part of the morning or bedtime routine. We recently got a Philips Sonicare for Kids toothbrush which has been fantastic. The toothbrush itself is great. It is sonic so it works more effectively than a regular brush, but what makes it amazing is the app!
Phillips has created an app that syncs with the toothbrush via Bluetooth. The app shows an image of the mouth while your child is brushing to help ensure they got every tooth and brushed for the entire 2 minutes. The best part is the character they included in the app. The “Sparkly” is a cute little fur-ball that gets presents every time your child brushes. He gets clothing, backgrounds, colours and snacks (which he will turn down if you just brushed his teeth). It brings me back to the days of the Tamagotchi and feeling invested on keeping the digital pet happy and healthy.
If the sonic toothbrush is out of your budget you can still download the free app on your phone and have a great timer and incentive to get your child brushing!