A family games night always thrills my kids, and after a busy start to the school year, I decided to surprise the boys with just that.
Being ‘urban’ has it’s benefits, and yet one of the big drawbacks can mean that you and the kids spend more time in stores, watching screens or commuting than breathing fresh air without a care in the world. The family and I participated in ‘Take Me Outside’ on September 20th, where we were asked to spend an hour outdoors together.
Fall is usually the impeccable period to initiate new family traditions for several years to come. As winter is imminent, gather round to pop some corn, cozy up on the couch under a blanket and play the favourite movies of your family on Netflix.
The Jungle Book was directed by Jon Favreau, (“Iron Man”). Although, this film was based on Rudyard Kipling’s ageless tales, it was inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is the newest live-action classic quest about Mowgli also known as (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who was brought-up by a family of the wolves.
I’m one of those hardcore moms who never allowed the boys to play with squirt guns. They would find driftwood with some resemblance to weapons, and use imagination and creativity to make up games.
What better summer activity than a night outside watching a film? Friends, snacks, pillows and blankets with your very own private big screen.
1. Children’s Bird Dress Up Wings $75.43
2. Le Toy Van Pretend Play Popsicles – Ice Lollies $ 43.90
3. Pottery Barn Kids Farmhouse Kitchen Collection $259 – $699
4. Djeco Screen Printing Workshop at Raspberry Kids $24.49
5. Dalmatian Vet Kit $22.99
6. Toysmith Shopping Cart $61.20
7. DUKTIG Toy cash register $19.99
8. CANCER FIGHTER SUPERHERO SET Comes with matching eye mask & powerbands. Price: $28.00
9. Sno Stompers – Pink $24.99
10. SKYLTA Children’s market stand $12.99
Going to camp is an exciting summer activity for kids. Meeting new people, learning new games and going on adventures are some camp memories that are never forgotten. We have compiled a list of camp must-haves that will make your kids experience at camp even better…
1. Pop Clocky. As most of us know, being at camp doesn’t mean sleeping in. Early wake up calls are inevitable. With Pop Clocky you can wake up the whole cabin with a fun start to the day. Pop Clocky resembles a Jack-in-a-box and makes early mornings fun. Sunny, Rosy, Gilbert and Charlie will make sure everyone up with the birds.
2. Allergy alerts from Mabel’s Labels will ensure that the peanut butter doesn’t pass the lips when the kids come back from canoeing a wee bit dazed and sunburned.
3. A few healthy snacks. Hippie Foods coconut snacks arrived at our office and I’m now hoarding them in my desk…. .
4. A Flashlight. For those long walks back to the cabin, in the woods, a flashlight is useful for avoiding injuries. We found one that’s also a portable music player – the Hipstreet bluetooth speaker/radio with flashlight will keep them dancing around the campfire!
5. A Journal. You can’t experience your child’s week at camp with them, so, by getting them to keep a journal they can keep up their writing skills and share every bit of their experience with you when they get home. We love this robot illustrated Mudpuppy journal/sketchbook from Raspberry Kids.
6. A water bottle. Though you won’t be there to tell them to drink water and stay hydrated every minute, getting them to bring a water bottle will encourage them to drink more water and I’m sure they will be thanking you later. Having one of these adorable SIGG animals will make them want to keep it close.
7. An Eco Lunchbox. For those days when they’ll be going on an adventure and will be needing to carry around some snacks with them.
8. A backpack. A a similar idea to the eco lunchbox, when your kid is going on an adventure they will have a lot to carry. Whether it be sunscreen, a water bottle or a flashlight, your kid will be glad to have a backpack to put it all in. Companies like Land’s End allow for easy personalization.
9. Their own pillow case. She won’t have a chance to miss home when dozing off on this festive Mum pillowcase from Pottery Barn Kids. Better yet – you’ll avoid having a child return home with lice. It will be a reminder of home and be a lice blocker at the same time!
They had me at Jem and the Holograms!!! And Curious George. Kidoodle.TV is a safe, ad-free streaming video service that can be viewed on computer, mobile or tablet. As a parent, you can customize it for your kids so that they get the content they desire while you set the limits that you feel are appropriate. And given that it’s ad-free, you won’t get the “MOMMY look at that toy! I NEED one.”
In the special Parents Room area, you can create up to 5 profiles for each of your children. Well… and maybe one for you too. The vintage content took me back to my school days and the National Geographic shows about sharks and earth completely hooked me! There is even a section for new episodes of favourite programs.
As a mom, I am constantly trying to figure out my ‘screen time’ rules. Given that there are even iPads in the school to help with learning, I tend to give the kids extra time provided they use half of it for educational play. That said, when it comes to TV and other passive activities, I want to ensure they don’t go overboard. Time limits can be placed on viewing through the secure Parents Room.
Our family has been trying Kidoodle.TV for two weeks – one of which we were traveling to Disneyland and San Diego. While the weather was perfect for swimming, rides and making memories with Mickey, I found that the level of stimulation in the course of any one day became overwhelming. When behaviour became cranky and the kids needed ‘downtime’, it was incredible to sit the boys in front of the iPad to watch content that I didn’t have to worry about. It was also a special bonding experience as they saw my eyes light up at the retro content.
Wan to to give it a try? Kidoodle.TV is offering UrbanMommies readers a 25% off code for a year subscription. This coupon expires June 30, 2014. Discount code: MCC25.
Disclosure: I am part of the Kidoodle.TV blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
We also have a Reader Giveaway! (Although you may enter across many blogs, you may only win on a single blog.) ** Entrants must be a resident of Canada, however those in Quebec are unfortunately unable to enter the giveaway. Closes April 30.
This huge hit is a must in any colour. We assembled the pumpkin with a stick-on felt face, but you can do an alice-in-wonderland version with powder blue and white tuille and hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades stuck on. I had no idea how easy it would be to make a how to make a no sew tutu. After making it I decided that I need one in black and one in white. Witch, ice-goddess… the possibilities are endless. And so are the dress-up games.
How to Make a No-Sew Tutu Pumpkin or Alice in Wonderland Costume
Time: 1.5 hours
Materials: 14 m tuille (we got the flourescent orange at a pre-hallowe’en sale at the local fabric store at 50% off.
1 inch elastic that is 2 inches smaller (unstretched) than the waist size you desire.
1 square black felt
thread to sew the elastic together if you prefer to do that instead of tying a knot.
How to make a no-sew tutu:
1. Measure the elastic for the waistband.
2. Either tie a knot or sew the ends together so you have a circle of elastic. The child will step into the elastic and this will be the waistband once the tutu is assembled.
3. Slide the waitband onto your thigh. This makes it easy to affix the tuille strips.
4. Keep the tuille fabric folded as you purchased it and cut 3 inch strips from the fold down. This takes a while – especially if you use all 14 metres. It does produce a full, beautiful tea length skirt. You will end up with about a hundred strips, each with a fold at one end and two ends at the other.
5. Working one at a time, slide the folded end of the first strip under the elastic around your leg. Weave the two other ends through the loop. You’ve just tied on your first tutu strand.
6. Continue looping each piece of fabric around the elastic, taking care to stretch the elastic and squish all of the loops together so you can get as many as possible onto your waistband.
7. Cut the face (or Alice in Wonderland shapes) from your black felt and glue to the front.
We shot this costume with Silvia Simpson of Silvia Photography, and added a fabulous green ribbon ‘stem’ to our model. The sky’s the limit!
Looking for a West Vancouver pumpkin patch? The Cypress Park Pumpkin Patch is one Autumn event you can’t miss. Pony rides, pumpkins, face painting, food and fun. Saturday October 19, 2013 in West Vancouver, 12-4pm. $20 per family gets you 2 pumpkins. (Carving lessons not included.) And don’t forget your camera!!
Your $20 per family entry entitles you to two pumpkins and an afternoon of fun with free pony rides, carnival games, a bake sale, cupcake decorating, facepainting, popcorn, smokies, hotdogs, apples, and lots of kids running around having fun.
For more information please go to www.sd45.bc.ca
Quirkiness can be a great thing – especially at Hallowe’en. The best part of living in a true quirky community with lots of kids is that we all go overboard on October 31st. As part of a neighbourhood of film directors and actors, kids flock to our area to experience the wonder of the holiday. Bouncers control the crowds lining up to enter haunted mansions and adults stay in character all night. My favourite night of the year, giggles and screams can be heard for miles. The only downfall to being the scariest, quirkiest neighbourhood? We all run out of candy. But it’s worth it! Here are a few tips and tricks (he he) or making your home super scary for Halloween.
1. Stimulate the senses. Download some eerie music, hide mothballs all over the porch and cover the walkway with crunchy cereal to create a multi-sensory experience.
2. Halloween films playing in the background add to your character.
3. No need to spend a ton of time and money on a costume. A rumpled man’s suit, white face powder and greasy hair can go a long way. Refuse to speak and move slowly. Scary.
4. For our thespian readers, try a full scene. Sit in a rocking chair on the porch and rock rhythmically while another person creates a shadow in a window above. The humming of a sewing machine and knitting are also somehow terrifying. Or maybe that’s just me. (Don’t get me started on clowns!)
5. Serve up some scary treats. Nestle’s new Scary Bars are on our shopping list this year. Kit Kat, Scaries, Scaero and Coffin Crisp, the same delicious chocolate you know and love are all dressed up for the season! I’m getting triple so I don’t run out… (I can chop them up and make cookies after Hallowe’en if there are leftovers. Wink.).
6. If you like the individual goody-bag idea, use surgical gloves as the bag and tie with ribbon. (Image: Love This Pic)
7. Lighting is crucial. Glowsticks in mason jars can be placed under plants and trees for an eerie glow.
8. If you have a puppy, chances are you have some body parts from dolls lying around. Fill a jar with Barbie heads and another with assorted legs. Liquid inside and more glowsticks perfect the image.
9. Get your kids in the mood throughout the whole day. Over the month of October we’ll be publishing lots of ‘scary’ breakfast and lunch ideas.
10. Catch the kids off guard. Maybe an entirely dark entryway has a spotlight on one item: an old-fashioned telephone that may ring when approached. (Call it from inside.) The kids may run, hide or answer.
Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Scary Bars. All of our opinions are our own.
One lucky reader will win a treat pack including Scary bars and Halloween decorations for your house! Closes Oct. 23, Canada Only. Use our handy rafflecopter form to enter.