Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm A Kinder Mom!!!!

I am so excited to announce that Mom Central Canada and Kinder Canada have chosen me (as well as some of my favorite blogging moms) to be a Kinder Mom in 2012!!!

What does a Kinder Mom do? 

Well over the next three months my family, friends and I will get the opportunity to test and eat Kinder Surprise Eggs (yummy chocolate with a hidden toy), but more than that, I am going to be sharing some amazing ideas about the importance of play in the lives of children. As an Early Childhood Education, mom of two, and owner/operator of my own family child care program in my home, play is super important to me. Children's work is to play and when they play they learn! So bring on play in all its truest sense...and what better way to play then during school breaks.

If you are a parent of a child in school, you know that Spring Break is approaching fast. Many of the Provinces in Canada will have children out of school during March or April (for example, my oldest is off school the week after Easter in April).

However, here in Canada, some of the Provinces also have breaks in February. Here in Alberta on February 20 it is Family Day, and as well, those in the Education system have a three day Teacher Convention. What this means is a full week of for the kids.

A full week off of school sounds like a blast to many kids, and many families choose this week to take their families on trips to warm locales, skiing or other places. In today's economy though many families are trying to live more frugally, and today I am going to give you some ideas of things you can do with your kids when they are on school breaks.

1. Scavenger Hunt - this is an activity that can be as detailed or easy as you make it. For younger children, you can do a color hunt...look for one red item, two blue items, three green items, and so on. This would be a great way to reinforce counting and color recognition. For older children, make it a photo scavenger hunt - make a list of things that they need to find...give them a digital camera (or use your cell) to capture each item.

2. Movie Marathon - does your family have a favorite television series or movie series? Take time during your child's school break to pull out the family favorites and get the yummy snacks (popcorn, pretzels, etc) and cozy up together on the couch. Yes, there is not a lot of conversation happening but you are still together as a family. My favorite movies to do this with are Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, the Buddies movies (Air Buddies, Santa Buddies, etc), Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Decide as a family what you want to watch and have fun!

3. Do a service project together - head over to your local food bank or soup kitchen and volunteer your time together as a family

4. Check out your city's great activities for families - for example, around Southern Alberta there are fantastic ways to have fun as a family, with many museums, a super nature center, swimming pools, bowling, and more. It does not have to cost a lot, and it many cases, anything, for a family to have some fun together.

5. Go to the library - your kids already likely have to do a lot of reading for school, so during breaks, let them pick up their favorite books and have a blast reading. Opens things up for great discussions about what they are reading too.

6. Have a picnic - of course if you live in Canada, school break in February may be a little hard to do this...but other locales may have the weather to cooperate for sure. And by March or April, the weather likely will be better to have a picnic.

7. Wacky Science Week - as a family try out a bunch of different science activities that can be done right in your own home, with very little money spent. Check out Science At Home for tons of ideas for babies, toddlers and kids!

8. Get Outside - most cities and towns across Canada and the United States have tons of walking paths to take advantage of as a family. Make it a goal to try out three during spring break then talk about your families favorite. Go for a hike, a bike ride or even to the local park and kick a soccer ball around.

9. Check out special events that happen in your city running especially for Spring Break. Many Art Gallerys, or Fitness Centers have Spring Day Camps, or classes to help your child learn new skills, improve on skills already mastered and gets them out of the house.

10. Family Project - pick a project around the house and have the whole family pitch in to help complete it during the week. Can be as simple as the redecorating the kids' room, building a toy box from scratch or planting a garden.

I hope these activities have given you some inspiration to have a great Family Day (February 20, 2012), Teacher's Convention (here in Alberta) or Spring Break time as a family!

For my family, we don't take holidays during Spring Break or February Break, rather in the summer. But I am going to be doing a ton of fun things with my girls and my family child care program during this two weeks, when school is out. I am planning a backyard obstacle course (if we have snow, I will incorporate it), a Wacky Science day or two, a baking day, a Loose Parts Art Day (going to give the children a whole table full of open-ended art materials (mostly recyclables like paper towel rolls, tissue paper, string, and more) along with markers, crayons, glue and scissors and them them create. I will also be planning some Easter and Spring related activities for April but haven't gotten that far yet:)

What are you planning to do with your family this Spring Break (whenever your children are off, whether February or April or both)?

You can find Kinder Canada on Facebook and Twitter

***Disclosure: I received special perks as part of my participation as a Kinder Mom, courtesy of Kinder Canada and Mom Central Canada. All opinions expressed are my own***

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