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December 21, 2007

Check out the comment to yesterday's post on incorporating your child's help into the holiday meals. Thanks for the comment!

Coming Next week;

  • No post on Dec. 25th. Happy Holidays to all.

  • Parent Club will present a comprehensive list of great family destinations for this school break. We will break it down into what you can do around town; in a few hours, half a day or a whole day adventure.

  • Is your house filling with STUFF? Parent Club will provide the charities that will re-use and re-love your donations.

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December 20, 2007

Party kids

With many festive meals's a kid-food-hint; relax. To start, why not have them help prepare the meals rather than rush them out of the kitchen. OK - infants and toddlers are excused from servitude this year. However, preschoolers and school aged kids can certainly lend a hand - and really, don't they love having jobs and feeling important?!

From placing napkins on the table to peeling carrots (with a safe peeler and parental supervision), then from putting pretzels (one-by-one) into a bowl to taking drink orders with pencil and pen; there are lots of kid jobs at a party.

During the dinner (whether at home or elsewhere) I am completely guilty of being a eating coach rather than an active eater.

Just try it. Two bites. Sit down. You won't get anything else. It's healthy. Yes, (child B) you like potatoes. No, I know (child A) you hate potatoes. Draw a line on your plate and eat half. Sit down. I challenge you to try that...hey, everyone there's a challenge at the table! Clear your plates please. Yogurt or fruit for dessert. No pudding. Please sit down.

Here's a tip...for this one party night - give yourself permission to let the kids eat what they will eat. If they eat raw carrots, bread and dessert - while behaving a the table -- it's fine. If you need to serve them a hearty bowl of cheerios an hour before dinner -- it's fine. If they need to run around because they are too excited to sit -- it's fine. I strongly believe in formal dining and best behaviour but I can excuse flexibility when oodles of just opened presents are waiting to be played.

I think parents can enjoy festive meals more when they are not stressed about kids. Let them be kids....if just for this one day.

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December 19, 2007

Kids Craft - Orange Clove Pomander

Going on a field trip to Black Creek Pioneer Village inspired me to find a kid craft for orange clove pomanders. They smell great and scream 'Victorian Christmas'. This is a appropriate craft for a school aged child - with parental help.

Here's what you need;

a washed orange or lemon
many many whole cloves
orris root oil (available at craft stores or on-line)
orange or lemon oil

Push the cloves into the orange/lemon in a pattern (stripes, swirls) or completely cover. You could use toothpicks to prick the skin first and save some labour.

Mix the orris root, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange/lemon oil in a small container. Then roll the orange/lemon in the spice mixture.

Wrap with Kleenex or cheese cloth. Use ribbon to hang it as a decoration.

If you notice mold as it cures -- throw it out. It takes about 3 weeks to completely cure. Then, you can keep it for years. Should you notice the scent lessening simply add clove oil to the pomander and re-roll it in the spices.

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December 17, 2007

Cinnamon Clay

This is a sweet smelling dough that can be made into ornaments or gift decorations. No glue in this recipe so - though you wouldn't really want the kids to eat the dough - it is safely organic.

Age: Preschoolers and school aged

1 cup applesauce
1 cup cinnamon

Mix applesauce and cinnamon in a bowl. Knead the mixture until it turns into a firm clay. Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Clay is best when used at room temperature. Roll it out on wax paper (or a non-stick mat). Use cookie cutters for desired shape. (We've used stars which worked really well).

If you are going to hang your shape...use a straw to cut out a hole near the top of your decoration.

Place shapes on a cooling rack. Dry shapes for approximately 2 days. You may need to turn them occasionally.

These decorations smell amazing...and they keep for months. Great teacher or grandparent gift.

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Bus & School Cancellations

For bus & School information on delays and cancellations due to the storm...I have put links in the Calendar section to the school bus monitor and 680 news websites.