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March 14, 2008

Kid Club Review of Canada Blooms

Canada Blooms Festival takes place during March Break this year from March 12 to 16 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Parent Club was invited to review the event - and as such we sent out our Kid Club to do a hands-on experience in the children's area.

    Canada Blooms is all about flowers. My favourite part was the kids play area. We got to paint our own pot and choose our own seeds for our flowers. And you can hold a real worm if you want. There was an area, in the kids play area, where you could make a label for your pot. There was a sand area - but I didn't play in it. Doing the hula hoops was really fun.

    It was nice to see the flowers. There was a booth where kids and parents could try on a hat - that was interesting. Oh, I almost forgot there was a slide in the kids area too.

    I would rate Canada Blooms...a Kid Club 10/10.

    (Kid Club panelist - age 7).

Club notes; Parent Club called the Metro Convention Centre last week; sadly to be advised there was no stroller rental available. There were however, many red wagons in the aisles at Canada Blooms...perhaps there were renters available?...

Food options range from a sit-down buffet to ice cream carts. Easy location to get to by TTC or drive.

The children’s activities are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the event.

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March 13, 2008

Calendar for this weekend

Canada Blooms runs through the weekend. Kids under 12 free. Kidzone with fun activities!

21st Annual Toronto St. Patrick's Day Parade - Sun. Mar. 16, 2008!

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Avoiding March Break

Are you up to your elbows in March Break? Ready for something a little -- easier...? This post is dedicated to avoiding March Break - but still having a good time.

You could enjoy some outdoor activities close to home. For example; dropping food colouring, drip by drip, into the snow in the backyard. Give a big wooden spoon to your kids and let them mix and stir the coloured snow. It is a ton of fun. (yes, food colouring does stain -- so keep an eye on the snowsuits - try powdered kool aid as an alternative if you are nervous).

You could turn the kitchen table into an activity centre. Get out the paints, play dough or box of markers and get hands-on. For older kids - do an experiment like the ol' oozing volcano (recipe for that available on arm & hammer baking soda's website).

Go for a swim in the bathtub. Don't know how this works on tweens but youngish kids LOVE putting on their bathing suits and swimming in the bathtub. It is some crazy serious fun.

Get out, get active, get the kids tired. Then enjoy some quiet time and a sweet treat. That's a good way to avoid March break!

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March 12, 2008

Snacks a go-go

Driving by the Ontario Science Centre was a clear indication that March Break destinations are BUSY. Forget waiting in line for tickets...seems like families are waiting in lines for parking spots before they even get near the ticket wicket!

Parent Club has put together a list of snacks a go-go...when you are waiting in line -- and thus, not actually a go-going anywhere.

      water -- always have water with you

  • dry cereal (fruit loops are a treat and, in some houses, only for snacks never for breakfast)

  • granola bars, cereal bars, protein bars

  • bagel quarters (with butter, jam, nutella)

  • fish crackers, square crackers, round crackers -- any shape you like

  • fruit to go (which actually, is in fact, 100% fruit)

  • bananas

  • cut fruit in an air-tight container (cut apples have lasted 'till lunch with no brown spots)

  • melody of carrots & 'cukes (I saw a Mom whip out a huge bag of cut veggies one hot summer day - the kids loved it)

  • snap peas

  • popcorn, rice crackers

  • cookies

  • pretzels

The best fast food -- is the food you already have in your bag!

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March 11, 2008

Motion Sickness - That yucky feeling

With families taking planes, trains and automobiles this March break; motion sickness is bound to affect many. According to a paper written by Dr. Fay Weisberg entitled (smartly) DON'T LET CAR SICKNESS RUIN YOUR TRAVEL PLANS; "Motion sickness is rare amongst infants less then two years of age and tends to peak amongst children between the ages of three and 12."

It is interesting to note...for adults...that motion sickness typically bothers women more than men and increases during menstruation and pregnancy.

The cause of motion sickness is signally problem with the brain. According to Weisberg; "a discrepancy between what the balance centre in the inner ear perceives and what the eyes are seeing." Therefore, passengers in the back seat, voyagers below deck in a boat, or flyers in a plane often feel queasy as their brains knows they are moving but the person can't see where they are going.

How to mend that yucky feeling? Start by looking out the window. Play 'I Spy' rather than watch the portable dvd.

An anti-nauseate such as Gravol is a great help but must be taken 30 minutes before departure.

For the grown-up driver who cannot be drowsy there is a new form of Gravol; Gravol Ginger which does not cause that sleepy feeling. It is available at drug stores in tablet form and also in chewable lozenges (great for an on-the-go parent).

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March 10, 2008

Disposing of that car seat

Many car seats mark the expiry date on the right hand side of the car seat or booster. Some car seats are safe to use until they are 10 years old; others 6 or 8 years. If you are unsure of your seat's expiry date; call Transport Canada at 1-800-333-0371.

What do you do if your seat has past the expiry date? You should destroy the seat so that no one else may use it. Sounds horribly un-environmentally friendly? According to the experts, plastic breaks down with the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Though your seat may look perfectly good...the plastic may be compromised after extended use.

According to Safe Kids Canada...this is how to dispose of your out-of-date seat.

  • Cut off the harness straps

  • Remove all the padding

  • Damage the seat so that no one else will be able to use it

You may be able to recycle the plastic shell of the car seat or booster seat - call your local recycling centre.

For more information click over to; Kids Safe Canada