Camp Google

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Anyone else partaking in this fun and interactive online summer camp put on by Google?

Fun weekly themes, such as, oceans, space, nature and music, presented by experts from National Geographic Kids, Khan Academy, NASA and National Parks.

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We joined in yesterday for the live dive and although the feed was so busy that it wouldn’t load, we were able to participate in the interactive voting and question posing, which the kids found exciting. And when we went back on today, we were able to watch the dive from yesterday in its entirety.

They also have these awesome badges and a badge tracker page to collect and display all of your little one’s accomplishments – a real fun bonus!

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My kids are a few years under the target age range (7-10), but we are still having a blast learning and exploring together

If you have yet to come across Camp Google, it is definitely worth checking out!

Diamond Jubilee 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 made a pit stop at a newer splash pad and park in Findlay Creek. It would have been a trek if we weren’t already out that way, but I’m so glad we checked it out. It’s a new favourite for sure!

Location: Located off of Bank Street at 2810 Findlay Creek Drive. There is a parking lot, an adjacent skate park, gazebo, picnic tables and lots to do!

Featuring: An awesome splash pad with lots of neat features – showers, animal squirting cannons, sprayers, fountains, misting archway, water dome and jets. The ground is also more spongy than a typical splash pad surface, which was really great for running and jumping on (especially for barefooted Mr Man and newly toddling Baby Girl!).

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The two play structures also offered many opportunities for climbing, sliding, swinging and playing!

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How to turn the water on: By holding your palm over the silver sensor on the red flower post.

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Most Favourite: While the kids really enjoyed the splash pad, the biggest smiles of the day were found on the swings! There are two baby swings and 2 accessible swings.

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This Momma absolutely loved this ASL alphabet board over on the play structure, too!

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Least Favourite: Little Momma enjoyed the squirting animals, as long as they were not aimed at her…Mr Man felt the same 😉

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Verdict: { 5 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗∗

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Brookshire Park

Richcraft Park

Walden Park

Water Dragon Park

Water Dragon 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 took a little trip as a fam to Water Dragon Park in Barrhaven.

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Location: Located in the heart of Barrhaven at 424 Chapman Mills Drive. This park is also known as Chapman Mills Main Street Park, not to be confused with Chapman Mills Park (which is not on Chapman Mills ;P). There is plenty of parking right beside the park, as well as a shaded gazebo with a picnic table and benches too!

Featuring: A wonderful and diverse play area, that was great for kids of all ages! A giant, climbable dragon, as well as two play structures, with a variety of slides, climbers and swinging bars.

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There were also interactive play ares and bouncy animals for the younger crowd; a cool rock climbing wall and swings, too!

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The splash pad also carries on the dragon theme, with a huge, green dragon that pours water from its snout and tail! There are also a number of ground fountains and four big, red buckets dumping water on the heads of those brave enough to stand under! The run-off water does create a slippery mud pit just beyond the dragon’s tail so beware!

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How to turn the water on: By stepping on the copper-coloured metal circle sensor, located along the edge of the splash pad near the dragon’s head. We haven’t seen this type of sensor before, but the kids thought it was great (and so did I!).

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Most Favourite: Mr Man enjoyed filling buckets with water from the dragon tail, which sprays out in a few spots with lower pressure. He then liked to use said buckets to splash Daddy – better him then me!

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Little Momma was much more into climbing than splashing today. She has become very dedicated and focused on mastering every climber we come across this summer!!

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Least Favourite: While still not brave enough ourselves, we have graduated to watching the dumping buckets soak others, and this time Mr Man tried hard to have Daddy go under 😉

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Verdict: { 4 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗

 

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Brookshire Park

Richcraft Park

Walden Park

Walden 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 have now also visited the splash pad at Walden Park in Kanata Lakes.

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Photo Cred: Wayne Hylarides

 Location: Close to the Kanata Centrum at 243 Walden Drive in Kanata. There’s a parking lot adjacent to the park, a walking trail and lots of shade and sitting areas.

Featuring: The park had lots to offer, there are two great play structures that appeal to kids of all ages.

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A great big sandy area which encloses the smaller of the play structures, two bouncy ride-ons and lots of space for sand-play and castle building.

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The splash pad is very simple and ideal for the younger, more hesitant crowd! It has two circular misters, a few fountains, sprayers and instead of dumping buckets the tall post has three dripping shower heads.

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How to turn the water on: By pressing the black sensor on the blue post – it beeps for some added entertainment too 😉

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Most Favourite: Both kids love running through the ‘tunnel’ fountains and would hover and wait excitedly for them to come back on during each cycle.

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Least Favourite: Both kids faced some frustrations this week as they attempted to overcome their hesitancy, Mr Man with the pouring shower posts and Little Momma with the climbing web! Although the result was a dose of whining and pouting, it always makes me proud to see them pushing their limits on their own time 🙂

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Verdict: { 4 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗

See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Brookshire Park

Richcraft Park

Richcraft 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 fun morning with some friends exploring a new splash pad, at RICHCRAFT PARK in Kanata North.

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Location: Just off of Terry Fox Drive in Kanata at 4101 Innovation Drive. The park and splash pad are located at the back of the recreation complex, on the left side (opposite the skate park). There is lots of parking available out front, as well as washrooms, change rooms, water fountains and vending machines located inside. Be prepared: between city camps, location and novelty, it was VERY busy.

Featuring: There is a small gazebo, picnic tables, benches and bike racks between the park and the rec complex. There are also two play structures and a swing set (not pictured). The larger structure had lots of climbers, swinging bars, a bridge and a few slides, as well as a big spider web climber.

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The smaller structure was shaded and had 2 slides, a mini-rock wall, a ladder, stepping logs and stairs, allowing lots of options for little explorers!

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Over by the smaller structure there was also a little cafe/restaurant window with benches (for customers, of course!) and 3 bouncy ride-ons.  The play surface is wood chips, which made for interesting mud-pies 😉

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Over at the splash pad there were lots of options, spread out nicely across the pavement, including, a number of fountains, a circular mister, dumping buckets, spraying/dripping flowers, and water squirters.  I thought it was the perfect mix for older and younger kids, alike!

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How to turn the water on: There’s a button on the green stem on the side of the big flower sprayer.

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Most Favourite: There was a definite tie between the little toadstool/mushroom fountain (which was great for filling buckets) and the ground fountains (which every kid took turns trying to sit on! 😀 )

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Least Favourite: Once again the dumping buckets, although Mr Man is beginning to get closer!

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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

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

Brookshire Park

Teachable Moments ~ Snails

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{Teachable Moments} 

When I was teaching in the classroom, I was always striving to be an intentional teacher, who pounced readily on teachable moments as they would arise. And now as a parent, my philosophy is much the same. I am fueled by seizing these fleeting moments and doing my best to make them memorable for my children (and me too!).

Today I had planned to get a lot of chores done around the house. Seeing as the morning was beautiful I thought I’d take the kids into the backyard and get some tidy-up and weeding done while they played. But you know how the best laid plans seem to go…

Little Momma and I came across a couple of snails in the clothes peg basket and next thing I knew we were emerged in the study and search of their species!

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We got out the magnifying glasses to get a closer look, pulled out our little bug cage and began researching the diet and habitat of snails on the iPad.

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Next we were collecting some bedding and food for our little friends to help make their new home comfy! Added learning bonus: Little Momma became quite the expert on the differences between stems, leaves and flowers!

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Little Momma was quite tickled with the end result and loved watching them glide around as they explored their new digs 🙂

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And yes, my backyard is still disorganized and my garden needs weeding, but at least I know a bit more about snails 😉

Isn’t it so freeing and refreshing to just go with the flow sometimes? Care to share one of your recent teachable moments?

 

Brookshire 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 another HOT morning visiting a great little gem of splash pad, BROOKSHIRE PARK in Kanata.

Location: Just off of March Road at 1035 Klondike Road in Kanata North. There is a fair sized parking lot and it’s tucked in nicely away from the road.

Featuring: A basketball court, soccer field, gazebo, benches.

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Swings and a central sand box (seeing as the park area is woodchips ;p).

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A great playground with lots of spinners and two play structures.

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The smaller structure is great for younger kids, with slides and small scale climbers.

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The larger one had lots of variety for climbing, swinging, playing and sliding.

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Over at the splash pad there were fountains and misting circles,

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and smaller spraying fountains in the ground. As well as a shower and water pump (pictured below!).

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How to turn the water on: By pushing the button on the red post.

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Most Favourite: Little Momma ran through the misting circles, which was a pretty huge step for her!

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Mr Man loved watching the older boys who were having a water fight with Super Soakers, longing to join in.

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And Baby Girl absolutely loved this red, see-through post. We haven’t seen one before in our splash pad travels; it fills with water and then empties like a vortex as it pumps through, also spraying out near the bottom

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 Least Favourite: Much like the dumping buckets, this big 4-spouted, high-pressure shower was too much for my kiddos!

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Verdict: {4 out of 5 stars} ∗∗∗∗

and we even saw a rainbow!! <3

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See our other Splash Pad Reviews:

Huntley Centennial (Carp)

Citiplace

Bandmaster Park

Andrew Haydon Park

Bluegrass Park

Centrepointe Park

Riverside Park

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