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January 17, 2008

Calendar for this Weekend...

  • The Metro Home Show is running (Metro Convention Centre).

  • The Harbourfront is presenting DanceOntario's Danceweekend. $10 donation at the door.

  • You could experience live children's theatre (at a very reasonable cost) at the Solar Stage Theatre.

  • You could clean the basement (actually, I should clean the basement).

  • Invite some friends for a pot-luck brunch.

  • Go see some animals at the Toronto Zoo or Riverdale Farm

  • Venture inside to the Museum, Science Centre or ROM.

  • Read a book - or the Parent Club archives

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Parent Club tip: Blankets in the car

Keeping blankets in the car is a useful item for chilly winter nights. When you venture out at night with the kids (for later-day playdates, dinners, etc...) take the car blankets indoors with you to warm up. Then, when the kids are tired and you are ready to will have warm covers for the chilly car.

I recommend dog blankets (don't laugh). I bought some, very plain, dog blankets at sale a few years ago and they work perfectly as kid car blankets. Warmer than a baby blanket, shorter size than a regular fleece throw - dog blankets are a perfect cover for a small child. Plus, they wash like rags!

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January 16, 2008

March Break Calendar - Canada Blooms

A full March Break calendar of events will be up on our Parent Club site soon. However, as interesting destinations are discovered, we will pass on the information to you here in the posting section.

If you would like to share a March Break destination or activity be sure to e-mail Parent Club!

Canada Blooms has announced that it will offer children's programmes this year (which also falls in March Break). Running March 12-16, children can enjoy hands-on activities; daily from 10am - 5pm in the Metro Convention Centre.

Activities include; painting garden pots, planting seeds, and following worms as they make soil. There is also a Book Nook where parents and kids can relax and read a book about nature together.

Parents can also take advantage of the private nursing room and stroller parking area.


January 15, 2008

Getting Together...Virtually

Are you trying to get the playgroup/extended family/book club/PTA meeting together this month? Is the coordination getting in the way This article, part Parent Club's on-going series of "information to make life easier for you", is one for you to read! (Chicago based) is a great solution to the head co-ordinator of a group. This site offers an on-line chat room (dedicated solely to you --completely secure too) where you and your crew can chat about your get together. Chat rooms are especially useful, for parents, as your friends don't hear the calls from the bathroom to wipe someones bum or the drone of Scooby-doo playing in the background. Camfirenow has pricing plans for businesses that use this site...but there is a basic FREE level for people like you and me. With the FREE plan you can have 4 friends simultaneously chat, 10MB of space and transcripts... The transcripts of the chats are good for keeping potluck food lists. is another good website for coordinating get togethers. From birthdays, game invites, brunches are more...there are tons of designs for you to choose from. Send an e-invitation, keep track of your guest list and see who's replied -- all on this one website.

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January 14, 2008

The Potty Train

Potty training is the third biggest commitment in my life (my education and marriage are 1 & 2 - but not in that order). It takes true dedication to get a toddler on a toilet seat. If you have started potty training anyone you will know what I mean. This part of parenthood is when you wear the hats of coach, cheerleader and patient - but applauding - audience.

Band-aids are the big reward in our house for potty training. We started with smarties but I quickly learned that food is not a good reward (though hypocritical me - still uses food as a bribe - "we'll get a cookie when we get to the bakery section if you sit still through the veggies" - I digress). We moved to tattoos which were a great incentive but really some tattoos stay on forever. The best incentive, in my opinion, are band-aids. Scooby-doo, Barbie, SpongeBob; these band-aids are portable, instant gratification, and easily removable.

I've heard of parents doing "potty parties" complete with party hats to usher in the excitement of toilet success. This is great for the first day, but parents need a potty strategy that they can commit to for the long haul. Parents need positive, instantaneous rewards like; cheering, band-aids, applause, hi-5s, give the the child on the spot.

Keep it up parents -- I've heard most kids are out of diapers by their first job interview ;-)