|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!
Are you undertaking a DIY day camp? A field trip is a great way to fill your day. Here a couple things to keep in mind.
Mini-Van: If you’re considering taking the kids on a field trip and are fortunate enough to have a mini-van, don’t forget to think about booster seats. Plan ahead and get each parent to drop off their booster seat when they drop off their child.
Public Transit: A bus ride can be an adventure all by itself. Find out if the other parents have taken their child on public transit. If they have, they may already have a compass card. If you’re sticking to the bus, you can keep using cash, bus transfers and FareSavers on buses, but you’ll need Compass to transfer to rail or SeaBus.
Think about taking the kids to the beach, a museum, or a park. Don’t venture too far, aim for no more than 15 minutes travel time. Plan a picnic or arrange with the other parents to send a packed lunch. Make the outing the entire day camp.
If you haven’t heard of Geocaching before, you’re missing out. “Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System(GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.” In other words, Geocaching is a treasure hunt!
Login to geocaching.com to open your free account and see what people have hidden nearby. You don’t typically take anything with you, but some geocaches are more aimed at children and have a treasure to trade.
If you’re using this as one of your DIY Camp days, make sure to find the geocache by yourself first to ensure it’s still there. Better yet, you could start your own!
Summer break is long, and although Summer camps can be a great solution by giving your children exciting learning experiences, the costs can add up quickly. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly way to achieve the same benefits that a day camp provides, you might want to consider teaming up with other parents and putting together a DIY Day Camp!
How it works:
Join forces with other parents to provide a day camp by each taking the kids for a day. Five is the ideal number of parents involved, with one child each. This way you have an entire week taken care of and are just responsible for the kids for one day.
Planning: Discuss with the other parents details regarding drop-off and pick-up time, packed or provided lunches, and possible themes. Be sure to find out about each child’s abilities, allergies and soft spots.
Choose the activities: Parents can choose their activities based on their skill level or tolerance for mess. Some suggestions include outdoor games, arts and crafts, music and dance, gardening, cooking and baking, science projects, story time and of course, lunchtime. Other options include teaching a new skill like how to sew on a button. If your group is small, you might also consider a short field trip. Of course, if it’s sunny and hot just turning the sprinkler on might be all you need to do.
Don’t get too hung up on following the itinerary, depending on the ages of the children they may just want to have free play time. But planning ahead can save you if the group is bored so have the activities available and see what interests them.
Here is a suggested itinerary:
9:00 am Drop Off, general playtime
9:45 Skill building activity
10:30 Snack Time
2:00 Pick Up
Set a theme: Using a daily theme for each day of your camp will help to provide inspiration to the parents involved and tie the activities together. Some themes are western, space, superheroes, Star Wars and travel. Pinterest has endless ideas for theme-related crafts, games, and snacks.
Don’t forget to capture the memories: Take a lot of pictures of the kids at camp. You can find inexpensive photo booth printouts online and at Etsy or snap candid shots of the kids in action. Exchange the photos by email or through Facebook.
The best thing about a DIY day camp is that you can hold it with any number of parents. If you have more than five interested, split the group and mix it up over a couple of weeks. Unlike other camps, these parents will be a part of their child’s camp experience, an advantage that is priceless.
Risky play is one hot topic right now. Parents, educators, researchers, administrators and kids all seem to have an opinion on what exactly risky play is and whether or not it has a place in a young child’s life. I recently spoke at the International Physical Literacy Conference in Vancouver and,, by far, the presentation that generated the most discussion was the one on Risky Play. And for the sake of our children’s health I couldn’t be happier that this topic is getting so much attention.
“Risky play can be defined as a thrilling and exciting activity that involves a risk of physical injury, and play that provides opportunities for challenge, testing limits, exploring boundaries and learning about injury risk (Sandseter (2007; Little & Wyver, 2008).” But, and I want to be really clear here, it is not about encouraging or promoting injury nor is it about neglect or negligence. In fact, the whole idea is to develop strong, resilient adults that are capable of making safe and confident choices in life. Let me explain.
Risk taking is an essential part in the healthy physical, social and emotional development of children. Developmental psychologists are linking the importance of play, particularly play that involves some element of age-appropriate risk, to a whole host of positive outcomes including the ability to regulate emotions such as fear and anger, improved gross motor skills and perhaps most significantly, a decrease in adult mental health issues such as neuroticism and anxiety. (SOURCE) Studies are showing that during critical times of early development children need to learn to manage fear and anger, develop self-protecting behaviours and hone their decision making skills, in order to develop into healthy and happy adults. It is play that involves age-appropriate risk that gives children the opportunities they need to learn these skills. And this makes sense. If a child is able to learn to manage fearful situations and make the appropriate social and physical decisions then they will be far more confident as adults when faced with difficult or dangerous situations. Ultimately, removing risk only leads to an inability to assess danger.
Now, as a mom of 3, I know it is an enormous leap between understanding that risky play is important for my child’s development and actually being confident exposing my kids to risk. After all, it seems completely counterintuitive because my job as a parent is to keep them safe. But after much thought, I have come to realize that Risky Play is no different that any of the other difficult parenting topics that we all have to navigate. And similar to talking to your children about sex or drugs or bullying, talking to your kids about risk taking (in play or in life) involves education, patience and a whole lot of open communication.
First, I think it’s important to answer the question of “how much risk is too much?”. Vancouver researcher and mom of 2 Mariana Brusonni sums it up best.
|A hazard is something a child does not see.
A risk is a challenge a child can see and chooses to undertake or not.
Mariana Brussoni, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor |Faculty of Medicine | Department of Pediatrics | School of Population and Public Health
The University of British Columbia |BC Children’s Hospital Site
This means that our primary job as parents is to remove the hazards- not the risks- from our child’s life. Your child may not see a hazard either because it is literally hidden (glass buried in the sandbox) or because they are too young to developmentally see it (a toddler stepping into a pool). As our children grow and mature, the line between hazard and risk is always changing. For example, a 2 year old crossing an intersection by themselves is a hazard. But a 12 year old crossing the same intersection is a risk. The 12 year old has the cognitive ability to recognize the dangers and make an appropriate plan to manage them. The 2 year old does not. Once we have removed the hazards then our role as a parent must be to teach our children to manage the risks in their lives.
Our natural instinct as parents is to simply remove any risks or problems that our children face (this has recently been called bulldozer parenting). But it is far better in the long run to actively teach our children how to handle those risks themselves. This does not mean stepping completely away and letting them figure everything out themselves but instead, giving them the tools they need to succeed and then gradually stepping away as they (and you!) are ready. This process will be different for every parent-child relationship but starting at very young ages children can begin to develop these tools to manage risk.
Step 1: Teach your child to identify the risk. Work together to label it, point it out and talk about it. For little ones this is as simple as saying “big step” as you hold your child’s hand down the stairs. For older ones it can be a longer conversation. “I know you want to bike to school with your friends. Can you tell me some of the risks you might face?”. As your child gets older their ability to see the risks in a physical (or social) situation will get better and better with practice and guidance.
Step 2: Teach your child to assess or measure the risk. Discuss what the consequences are or the ‘worst case scenario’ is. This is the step that takes a lot of practice. And, it is the best opportunity for you to measure your child’s developmental readiness to tackle the risk independently. If they can’t accurately tell you what could happen then you know they are prepared to take action if needed. Use a lot of open ended questions like “can you tell me what might happen?”. Or “I see that the slide is wet today. Can you tell me what that means?”. If they simply can’t tell you how big the risk is then step in and help them out (“Wet slides are much more slippery. You will go much faster.”)
Step 3: Teach your child to manage the risk. Talk about a plan of action. Get them to describe to you what they would do if they found themselves in a difficult situation. If they can openly talk to you about how they plan to manage the risks then it is so much easier to feel confident letting them tackle new tasks. For example, once your child can tell you the risks of biking to school and tell you what they would do at a busy intersection or if they get a flat tire or if they wipe out then you know they are developmentally ready to take on that risk and it is far easier as a parent to let them go.
Step 4: Allow your child to take the risk. This might be the hardest- and the most important- part. Once we have prepared our kids it is time to allow them the freedom to practice their new skills without us hovering and swooping in to ‘save’ them. The freedom to make mistakes and learn from them is one of the best gifts we can give our kids. And the more they practice now the more they will develop those critical self-protecting skills that will help them grow into happy, healthy adults.
If you are looking for a great place to practice risky play this summer I highly recommend taking the whole family to the adventure play environment at Terra Nova Rural Park. Parents are encouraged to play too which means the whole family can take some risks and have some fun!
Jennifer Hood is the owner and director of Jump Gymnastics – program focused on developing Physical Literacy and giving kids the tools they need to succeed in sports and be active for life. Jennifer is a certified teacher specializing in primary education and has more than 20 years’ experience coaching gymnastics in organizations across Canada.