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February 08, 2008

Activities for this weekend...

  • Feb. 9/10 Love at the Zoo. Children under 12 who bring a valentine for their favourite animal gets FREE admission. (Two children per adult). Special activities.

  • Feb. 9 Keep Toronto Reading at Ontario Science Centre. Special events at Kidspark. Free with regular admission. 2-4pm

  • Feb. 9/10 Ali Baba playing at the Solar Stage Theatre

  • Black History Month activities at the Royal Ontario Museum

  • Djembe Drumming at Harbourfront

  • Famous People Players - Going Bananas

  • Gisele's from TVOKids at the Malvern Branch Public Library

You could also go sledding, build a snowman, walk to Tim Horton's, make snow angels, go to Home Depot, play a board game, go to the library, have a playdate, do some laundry.

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February 07, 2008

Activities with Natural Elements

When I saw the Arm & Hammer "sneaker-peaker" craft on their website - I knew this would be a great activity. Basically, it is a sock, filled with baking soda. What's so fun about that? Well, the kids can give their sock friends complete personalities as they drawn on eyes, nose, mouth and hair. You could make a dream friend, a boot buddy or a fairy friend that hides in the closet.

The premise is that you stick the friend in the child's shoes each night and by morning the shoes are deodorized and fresh. No, these are not actual toys for sleeping with or real play. However, the activity of creating this friend contains good education and lots of fun. Measurement of the baking soda uses gross motor skills. Drawing the face uses fine motor skills. Plus role play, creativity, colour choice -- all contribute to decision making skills and mental development.

When your child’s room doesn't smell baby powder fresh -- these friends would certainly be a welcomed visitor. has other great younger kid activities like; play clay (you already have these ingredients in the pantry!) and water colours. For older children you can find an assortment of home experiments; erupting volcano, bath fizzies and cork races. You'll find a recipe or two as well.

This is Part 3 in a series on Arm & Hammer.
Craft information from theArm & Hammer website.

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February 06, 2008

Arm & Hammer - Baking Soda tips

Baking soda is a fabulous - readily available - product. As promised, here are some ideas on using baking soda the home. For even more ideas please surf over to the Arm & Hammer website (Canadian Arm & Hammer website, U.S. Arm & Hammer website). These tips are courtesy of Arm & Hammer and Julia Liska of Humber College.

  • Sprinkle baking soda onto a damp sponge. Clean walls, cribs, highchairs and more. Crayon marks be gone!

  • Freshen up stuffed animals by dusting a sprinkle of baking soda on them. Let stand for 15 minutes then brush off. Safe for play immediately after.

  • Sprinkle baking soda over disposable diapers (in green bin) to eliminate odours. For cloth diapers; soak soiled diapers in a bucket containing 2 quarts of warm water and ½ cup of baking soda.

  • Loved the garlic sauce - but hate the leftover smell?! Get rid of odours in food containers by using a sprinkle of baking soda on a damp sponge for cleaning.

  • Freshen up your laundry by including a ½ cup of baking soda in the wash. Safe for baby's laundry too.

  • Freshen sponges and cloths by soaking them in a solution of baking soda and water.

  • Use a dusting of baking soda on a damp sponge to clean your microwave (keep a box of at the office too - because no one likes the lingering smell of popcorn).

  • Use a baking soda/water solution to clean your floors, counters and handrails. Especially when you have little ones crawling around - it keeps chemicals off their hands).

  • This can save your life. Baking soda can help in the initial stages of a kitchen fire. If an oven or skillet catches fire turn off the power source if it is safe to do so. Then stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda on the fire. When baking soda is heated it gives of carbon dioxide which will help smother the flames. (Note to self -- move baking soda away from cupboard above stove -- it there is a fire -- that is not a cupboard you can get to).

Please remember that water sitting at room temperature is an environment for growing bacteria. Make a new batch of baking soda/water solution each time you clean.

Tomorrow - Baking Soda crafts and activities to do with your kids. You will want to print this out for March Break stuff-to-do!

This is Part 2 in a series on Arm & Hammer.
Logo taken from the Arm & Hammer website.

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February 05, 2008

Arm & Hammer - How kid friendly!

Parent Club would like to thank Arm & Hammer and Julia Liska, registered nurse and program advisor at Humber's Personal Support Worker program, for informing us of the benefits of using baking soda as an environmentally friendly household cleaner. We were invited to interview Julia and get the dirt on cleaning.

Why should parents take a second look at baking soda? Baking soda is a turnkey solution for children with allergies, asthma or skin sensitivities. Though not an anti-bacterial solution; baking soda is a great gentle cleaning agent that deodorizes. It is also a very economical choice for parents.

A 1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer baking soda mixed with a bucket of water can work wonders around your house. Playpens, highchairs and toys can all benefit from this solution. Should any residue be left behind; baking soda will not do harm to baby's skin or mouth.

Think about buying organic food...what's the point if you are just going to place your farm fresh apples on a counter cleaned with chemicals? The baking soda/water combination will clean your kitchen work surfaces (and bathrooms too) to make your house as organic as your fruit.

Check back tomorrow, for more great tips - from Arm & Hammer - on how to baking soda isn't just for the fridge.

This is Part 1 in a series on Arm & Hammer.
Logo taken from the Arm & Hammer website.

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February 04, 2008

Mardi Gras

Whether you celebrate Mardi Gras -- or just like to have breakfast for dinner once and a while -- we thought we would share our favourite homemade pancake recipe. This originates from Good Housekeeping (several years ago). Easy to make. Easier to eat.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk **
4 tbsp melted butter/or margerine
2 large eggs

In large bowl; combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar. Stir in buttermilk, butter and eggs until flour is just moistened.

Lightly grease skillet (or griddle). Heat to medium/hot heat. Spoon batter onto skillet and cook.

** Homemade buttermilk; Pour 1 tbsp of white vinegar into a measuring cup and then fill with milk to equal 1 cup. Works great!

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