Summer Book Club: Is There Really a Human Race?

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If there is one thing I would REALLY love to pass on to my children, it is my love of reading and books! There is so much fun and adventure awaiting in every book and this summer we will focus on one book a week (some of my personal faves!) to share, along with some activities and/or crafts you can do with your own littles at home!

Week 4: Is There Really a Human Race? by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell

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If you’ve never read this one, do it – now! It is a cute story about a little boy with many questions for his mother about life. It’s a refreshing and fun reminder that even the most weighted terms we use are both simple and silly in the eyes of a child :p Plus, it teaches us to be kind…and kindness is king around here!


Story Extensions:

M & M’s

A yummy treat and a good visual lesson to go along with it!

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I gave both Little Momma and Mr Man a few M & M’s and we talked about how each was a different colour. Then they bit into each one to see that they were all chocolate on the inside. It gave us a great opening to talk about how finding similarities in others trumps pointing out the differences.

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Hockey Players and Princesses

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Tapping into their interests, we flipped through a Hockey Magazine and a Princess Song Book. There was great variety in how the hockey players and princesses looked, however the kids had fun finding similarities instead.

“They have hockey sticks”

“They talk to animals”

“They wear helmets”

“They love to sing”

We all agreed these common interests were far more interesting!

 

Colour a Rainbow

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Take out a box of crayons and then choose just one colour and begin to draw a rainbow.

Little Momma was very quick to interject that I was missing colours, and that a rainbow could not be all red. Together we drew a rainbow and talked about how all the colours added something special, and saw how our own differences are much the same.

 

Rhythm Flags

I poured out 6 colours of paint onto some paper plates and lined up 6 music selections from around the world. We headed outside with some white fabric and barefeet and let the rhythm guide our painting!

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With each song the kids would step into a plate of paint and then dance on their respective flags however the rhythm moved them. The end result was messy, colourful and all kinds of fun 🙂

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What are you reading this week? 

Check out our past Summer Book Club reads:

The Troll

Amazing Grace

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Riverside Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


We spent a beautiful, hot morning visiting an awesome park we love muchly, RIVERSIDE PARK in Carleton Place, a town 20 minutes West of Ottawa.

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Location: Adjacent to the Carleton Place Canoe Club at 179 John Street in Carleton Place.

Featuring: A big parking lot, lots of green space for running and playing and mature trees which provide many shady areas. There are also onsite lifeguards at the first aid station.

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There are 2 awesome play structures down on the beach between the water and the splash pad.

The first is geared towards older children (4+) and features a number of climbers, monkey bars, a tunnel and 2 slides.

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The second is perfect for the younger crew (5 and under) with slides, mini-climbers and tunnels.

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There are also 2 baby swings and 2 ‘big kid’ swings, with a perfect view of the river!

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The splash pad area is split into 2 sections, the first is for the bigger/braver kids, with water sprayers and dumping buckets.

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The second side is for the more hesitant/younger crowd (aka my kids 😉 ), with rows of fountains and misters to run through!

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How to turn the water on: There is a big blue box with 4 buttons, each button activates a different area of the splash pad.

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Most Favourite: Little Momma *finally* scaled a big climber solo. This was a BIG step for my ‘Queen of Caution’!

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And once she had it mastered, she taught her brother how it’s done on the smaller one (oh how quickly they become masters!).

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 Least Favourite: The kids, but Mr Man especially, were disappointed that the beach was closed to swimmers. Not a deal-breaker for me, as we would likely not have gone in anyways! You can always check the beach testing results here, if you’re hoping to swim.

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All in all we had an awesome time. There really is something for everyone here, so pack a lunch and be prepared to spend a couple of hours!

Verdict: {5 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗∗ <I’d even venture to give it 6!>

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

 

 

 

 

Spread the ♥ LOVE ♥ Saturday!

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Spreading love, one amazing blogger at a time!

 valentines

There are so many amazing and wonderful blogs and bloggers around on the internet, people who inspire me on the regular and teach me new things everyday.

The connectedness that exists through social media allows such an amazing platform for idea sharing and discussion, and has been a gold mine for me in regards to early learning and the birth of Mommy School.

To show my appreciation and gratitude, I plan to highlight an awesome blog each Saturday, in hopes that others will read and draw from these amazing people some inspiration of their own!


This week I would love to highlight Jackie over at Happy Hooligans. She runs an awesome home daycare and both her blog and her Facebook page are overflowing with fun and awesome ideas for preschoolers! Go and see for yourself, I already know you will find something to “like”.


Previous Love:

The Measured Mom

Coffee Cups and Crayons

Toddler Approved 

Postcards from the Mothership

No Time for Flash Cards

Summer Book Club: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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If there is one thing I would REALLY love to pass on to my children, it is my love of reading and books! There is so much fun and adventure awaiting in every book. This summer we will focus on one book a week (some of my personal faves!) to share, along with some activities and/or crafts you can do with your own littles at home!

Week 3: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 

by Judith Viorst

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Bad days, we all have them…even kids. This story tells the tale of a young boy, Alexander’s, horrible day, from start to finish and teaches that no one is exempt from having a terrible day every now and then.

Story extension activities:

Balloon Emotions

We used our playdough-filled Emotion Balloons to talk about the various feelings we have. Then we did a picture walk through the story and described how we thought Alexander may be feeling at different times.

To make your own Emotion Balloons you will need balloons, playdough and a Sharpie marker. Fill each balloon to the desired size with playdough (approximately half of a regular-sized Play Doh container worked for us), tie each balloon and draw on some expressions (we have happysadsurprisedmadscared, and silly.

These also make wonderful stress balls for those fidgety kids who may need an incentive to sit still or to help children build fine motor strength!

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Silver Linings

We then played a little game of Hot Potato with our balloons. Whoever ended with the balloon had to identify the feeling and tell about a time or situation when they felt that way.

For the ‘negative’ ones (sad, mad, scared) we discussed how the issue was resolved or how it could have been avoided. It was a great conversation and lesson in empathy!

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Food Collages

In the story, Alexander is not happy about some of his meals. I put out some grocery flyers and magazine picture of food, along with scissors, glue and construction paper and asked the kids to make collages of foods they like. And even though Little Momma was certain she wouldn’t find any because she’s a “picky eater” she managed to fill 2 whole pages (and shockingly it wasn’t all junk either!).

This activity gave the kids a chance to practice their cutting and try to hone that ever-tricky scissor grasp!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   What are you reading this week?

Check out our past Summer Book Club reads:

The Troll

Amazing Grace

“Look Whoo’s One” ~ Birthday Party

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This sweet Baby Girl is 1. I don’t know how it happened, or where the year went, but according to the calendar it’s been done! It’s all toddling and talking from here on out 🙂

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|Decorations| I went low key on the decorations, as we were planning to be outside (silly rain!). Simple store-bought {WalMart} tableware and birthday sign in this pattern.

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Hubby was a great help in taping some eyes, ears and a beak on these cute {Pinterest inspired} owl balloons.

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 |Food| I made these little owl sandwiches (à la Pinterest) and served fruits, veggies and a variety of goldfish crackers (the sort of things owls eat, right?!).

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The cake is always my favourite part. See, I got it in my head early on that I always wanted to make each child’s birthday cake, so it’s special for me. I feel like all of the birthday details and fuss will probably wash away in memories, but that the love that goes into these perfectly, imperfect cakes that their Momma makes will be felt forever {I’m cheesy like that!}.

This owl was made using 2 – 8 inch round cake pans. I just free-handed the cuts & icing, and I think it turned it pretty well! the cake was chocolate, so I also made some vanilla cupcakes, to account for any preferences.

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|Activities| Being a former primary teacher, I love play centers and like having them set-up for the kids to explore, especially when there are a range in ages at the younger kid’s parties.

An owl craft, with hand print wings. 

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A nest-building activity for our rogue owl balloons.

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An ice sensory table with some exploratory tools and a few packages of craft feathers.

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A bird bath for the tiny owls using a baby pool and some ball pit balls.

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Turned to be a wonderful morning, even if we DID have to be inside.

 And so it might seem Baby Girl, when you are 1, you CAN have your cake and eat it too!

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Happy Birthday my sweet! And a BIG thank-you to all of our wonderful friends and family who helped us celebrate! xoxox

Centrepointe Park ~ Splash Pad Review

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We are keen on soaking up some sun this Summer, while staying cool at the same time – and what better way to do this then hitting up the local splash pad?!

We always seem to end up at the same few splash pads, not necessarily because they are the BEST ones, but honestly because they are familiar {I know how to get there, where to park, etc…}. So to keep things fresh, we are on a mission to explore and discover the splash pads of West Ottawa this Summer. We will be checking-out at least one new one every week and reporting back here with our most and least favourite things they had to offer. Come along for the ride, as we travel the world of Splash Pad excitement!


This week we spent a sunny morning visiting a “new to us” park,

CENTREPOINTE SPLASH PAD in Ottawa.

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Location: 114 Centrepointe Drive. Nestled into a cute Ottawa neighbourhood, this park was easy to find and had a big parking lot solely for the park and its paths. Being in such an established community, there were also lots of other families and children for my kids to interact and play with!

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Featuring: Many big trees and green space, that provide lots of great spots for throwing down a blanket (and everything else you bring along….please tell me it’s not just me!).

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Washrooms were available onsite. They weren’t the cleanest, but the toilets flush, there were sinks and even a change table!

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First we checked out the play structures. There is a smaller, shaded structure with a few slides and lots of options for climbing up.

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The smaller structure attaches to a big slide via some fun stepping stones.

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There were also ladders, rope climbers, swings, a tire swing, a balance beam, gymnastics bars and hanging-ring monkey bars.

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  After all that fun, we headed over to the splash pad, which also had so many great features! Among them, fountains, sprayers, a shower and dumping bucket. 

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Many of these were shaped like fun and colourful plants and animals, which was seriously cute!

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How to turn the water on: By placing your hand on the black sensor button on top of the red post.

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Most Favourite: Little Momma liked the whale’s tail best, although truth be told she’s only worked up the courage to stick her little bum into the water spray {both cute and hilarious to see :P}!

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Mr Man enjoyed the flamingo shower and made quite the fun of filling his hat with water to help stay cool!

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Baby Girl made a few scoots into the water streams, but mostly enjoyed cruising across the fun statue around the splash pad!

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Over at the playground, the two older kids also loved scaling the rope climber to get up to the big slide, over. Our park hopping is really improving their confidence in climbing a variety of structures!

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 Least Favourite: We still haven’t worked up to liking the big dumping bucket, though Mr Man IS getting braver and happily spun the wheel so the water would dump on OTHER kids!

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What a great park – if you’ve yet to visit, it’s a must add to your list of city splash pads to explore. We will definitely be returning!

Verdict: {5 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗∗

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See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Spread the ♥ LOVE ♥ Saturday!

Standard

Spreading love, one amazing blogger at a time!

 valentines

There are so many amazing and wonderful blogs and bloggers around on the internet, people who inspire me on the regular and teach me new things everyday.

The connectedness that exists through social media allows such an amazing platform for idea sharing and discussion, and has been a gold mine for me in regards to early learning and the birth of Mommy School.

To show my appreciation and gratitude, I plan to highlight an awesome blog each Saturday, in hopes that others will read and draw from these amazing people some inspiration of their own!


This week I have chosen Anna of The Measured Mom ~ whose blog I found way back when Little Momma was 3 and we first tried our hands at home preschool with our Letter of the Week activities, she has lots of wonderful ideas and many free printables, too! She is a mom of 5 and former teacher, and with overlaps in the age ranges of our kids I foresee many future visits to her site for me…and y’all should check it out too!


Previous Love:

Coffee Cups and Crayons

Toddler Approved 

Postcards from the Mothership

No Time for Flash Cards

Summer Book Club: Amazing Grace

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If there is one thing I would REALLY love to pass on to my children, it is my love of reading and books! There is so much fun and adventure awaiting in every book and this summer we will focus on one book a week (some of my personal faves!) to share, along with some activities and/or crafts you can do with your own littles at home!

Week 2: Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman 

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A beautiful story about a little girl who is blessed with a lovely family who encourages her that she can do anything she puts her mind to!

Story extension activities:

A Caring Manual

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Flipping through the story we found images that demonstrated caring. Then we made our own manual for showing others that we care.

Giving hugs.

Telling stories at bedtime.

Listening when someone is talking to you.

 

Amazing Portraits

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I gave each of the kids a mirror and some drawing materials and then they began to sketch a self-portrait of their AMAZING selves!

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Drama and Dress-Up Fun

In the story, Grace, loves to dress-up and act out pantomimes and so we followed her lead! Little Momma requested that the entire family act out Cinderella and so we chose our characters over dinner:

Little Momma – Cinderella

Mr Man – Step-Brother (in lieu of sister!)

Baby Girl – Step-Sister

Daddy – Bruno (the dog)

Mommy – Fairy Godmother

As everyone got into character, I snuck to the basement and put on my prom dress. The kids were in awe of Mommy’s pretty dress, especially Little Momma, who wanted it all for herself! And you know what? It didn’t even matter that I can’t zip it up anymore…any wishing for my pre-baby body was replaced with the utter joy of playing with my kiddos!

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Check out our past Summer Book Club reads:

The Troll