It’s the first day of summer vacation and we are still on lockdown. What do the kids want to do? Game. It’s the BANE of my existence. We’ve been in self isolation for three months (but who’s counting). While we were fortunate that their school kept them in Zoom classes from 8:30-3:30 daily, it’s a whole new world now. I have this Mom-guilt thing, where gaming is never a problem if they have school or activities all day and want to ‘chill’ in the evening. But balancing it all can be an issue. The blessing is that they have been connecting with friends through gaming, but I feel as if I’m losing my own connection with them. Because I can’t beat them, I will try and join them – with Apple Arcade.
Summer is just beginning (though it totally feels exactly like the last three months, minus the home-schooling). While parents likely had a pre-pandemic line-up of activities ready to go to keep kids busy, not only are camps cancelled, but pricey day-camps and caregivers can squeeze an already tight budget. International and Canada-US travel is likely a no-go. Some provinces are still locked down, some require quarantine for 14 days when you get there, and others simply don’t want your ‘foreign’ license plate traipsing around their roads. Here’s the Canadian Government site on COVID, so you know where your province stands. And here are a few ideas for sticking closer to home, getting out in nature and saving some precious cash.
Summer fun happens in the pool. For all the fun that happens there, pool safety for kids is really important. Keeping safety in mind is the best way to avoid joining the scary statistics around drowning. The dangers of pools and swimming shouldn’t be overlooked. We’ve compiled some handy tips so you can enjoy the summer fun.
Gen Z should go down as one of the hardest ever to buy for. Apart from my Dad. He’s really hard too. Generation Z are broadly defined as those born between 1996 and 2010. I have two of them, and wow do they throw me for a loop when doing holiday or birthday shopping! A bunch of realists who work hard to succeed, these kids tend to love dystopian media and respond to images more than text. Yes, like memes. Help us all! Here is the ultimate GenZ gift guide filled with ideas that should please!
It has been proven that both parents and infants benefit from using sign language. Benefits include improved communication, trust building, strengthening parent/child bond, promotion of positive emotional development, bolstering babies’ self confidence, helping babies learn to talk and jumpstarting intellectual development.
There’s a lot of unhappy going on out there. Buzz words that conjure the worst viral stories and make our hearts drop into the pits of our stomachs. Words that lose all authentic meaning in the moment and become emblems of pure emotion, driving parents to despair. A once normal word like ‘gorilla’ triggers conflicting feelings of anger and hopelessness. Add ‘anti-vax’, ‘forward-facing’, and ‘breastfed‘ to the list and you’re sunk; it’s evolving and eternal. And it’s also true—these things do happen and they’re awful, but reading about them on Facebook every day doesn’t empower us, it drowns us. Sure we’re drawn to the heavy, but shouldn’t we also celebrate the light? 100 happy days was my shift in focus, my commitment to happy—and it can be yours too.
One of my boys is not a natural reader, so I go to (extreme) lengths to inspire excitement. Literary pumpkins for Halloween are a great way to do this. These ideas aren’t easy, but they sure are fun!! The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle is a beloved children’s book and the corresponding literary pumpkin makes for a great activity to do with your little ones. The Pigeon who drives the bus has inspired a series of epic books by Mo Willems. Lastly, crayons. The melted crayon pumpkin is a great way to use your broken pieces!
I remember as a little girl – saving all of the ‘used-almost-to-the-bottom’ candles for the whole year to use for Hallowe’en. Our jack o’ lanterns would house a cornucopia of bright red and gold Christmas candles and a few yellow Easter ones. I would be a bit rattled that my beautiful pumpkin was getting red wax dripped all over, and then completely dejected that whenever I passed my own house (as I was doing the neighborhood candy marathon) the pumpkin would be dark. A gust of wind had just spoiled a child’s excitement at boasting artistic achievements to her friends. I’d quickly apologize and run up to grab a lighter or matches. And I can’t remember being anything other than a princess in chiffon so that + matches was clearly a bad idea…
My tween wants a cell phone. Correction, she wants a cell phone that allows her to text, play games online, send emails and lastly, make phone calls. Yesterday, she told me that more and more of the girls in her class (We’re talking 4th grade folks!) are getting cell phones for their 10th birthdays. She doesn’t want to wait a year. She wants one now. The question is, is my tween ready for a cell phone?
I know every word to the theme song for Paw Patrol. I can recite Goodnight Moon forwards, backwards, upside down, and inebriated. I spend the majority of my days creating with play dough, kicking balls, singing nursery rhymes, and playing make believe games with plastic toys. There are a myriad of reasons behind my participation in all of these activities, the most important being that they interest my children. I repeat. They interest my children. When the sun goes down and the babies are tucked in to bed, you will not find me re-reading Goodnight Moon for the kajillionth time. As it turns out, I have a few interests of my own and none of them involve pups who save the day.