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They say on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish. So in celebration of that,we wanted to suggest a few fun things to explore on Wednesday. After all, St. Pat’s Day is all about luck, and we could all use a little of that (as well as a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, of course).
So here are some quick and easy ways to celebrate.
Pull out all that green clothing from your closet and make it a green-themed day. Make dinner all about green goodies (it’s a great way to get the kids to eat those veggies!). Add a little Dr. Seuss to your world and create green eggs and ham. Or simply add a bit of green food colouring to those mashed potatoes. Food colouring also works well to transform white cupcakes and icing into green goodies, and for good measure, add a chocolate coin on top!
Try Your (Craft) Luck
The nice thing about St. Patrick’s Day is that there are lots of great themes to work with. Rainbows, leprechauns, four-leaf clovers… all of them can be transformed into fun crafts. Consider making rainbow-beaded bracelets (with a few gold beads thrown in for good measure). Take the idea of ‘green’ to heart and recycle an old cardboard box to create your own painted rainbow, clovers or gold coins. Large yogurt containers can become the top part of a lucky leprechaun hat. Place the wide brim on a piece of thick cardboard and trace a circle. Then, trace a wider circle around that. Cut out both circles and slide it down over the yogurt container until it’s down at the bottom like the brim of a hat. Paint everything green (or use construction paper over top). If you’d rather, transform the containers into special lucky ‘pots’ by painting them black. You can use them for the hunt below.
Hunt for Gold
Who says Easter is the only time you can go on a chocolate treasure hunt? Hide some gold-wrapped chocolate coins around the house and send your kids off with their own pots (see above) to collect them. Or make it a bit more savvy by creating a series of four-leaf clovers out of construction paper. Add a riddle to one that leads to somewhere in the house, where a second one is hiding with another clue, etc. The final clue can lead to a special spot where your pot of gold treats is waiting.
Or, you could simply ad a bit of flare to your dinner (Irish stew, anyone?), then sit back and relax with the family with a St. Patty’s Day-themed movie (Finian’s Rainbow, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, The Luck of the Irish) and a mint-flavoured hot chocolate.
In any case, we wish you lots o’ luck this St. Patrick’s Day.
How do you celebrate the holiday?
With the long weekend approaching, you’ve quite possibly got your calendar full of activities to explore locally with the kids. Or maybe you’ve got some time planned out for a nice brunch with the family, followed by some low-key outdoor fun.
Or maybe you’re in a total panic because you’ve got three days with the kids and you haven’t got any plans whatsoever.
Here are some fun ideas I like to do—most come from memories of my own childhood.
When all is said and done, there’s always firework displays to enjoy! How do you like to spend your long weekends?
You don’t have to be Chinese to appreciate and enjoy this annual New Year’s celebration. Introduce your kids to a new culture (or reinforce your own) with these savvy ways to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.
Do you celebrate Chinese New Year?
Family Day sounds like such a glorious idea. What’s not to like about a long weekend right in the middle of February. It’s a true gift. Unless, of course, you’re a mom with babies and toddlers—then it’s pretty much the same drill as every other day…that is, your wake up time hasn’t changed.
We had this discussion at SavvyHQ recently, which inspired my blog today. We all agreed that despite the fact that our day ‘off’ wasn’t necessarily going to be relaxing, we are all looking forward to spending some quality time with our families.
Here’s a roundup of what the SavvyMoms are doing this weekend:
Sarah has a hockey-free Sunday for the first time this winter, so she is understandably excited that her whole family will be together for the day on the ski slopes. Even better, they will be able to have dinner together—something fabulous like fondue, we’re sure. Everyone at the office is happy about this so we don’t have to hear anything further about her being a hockey widow…
Robyn is going with her husband Chris and their daughter Ally (a budding actress) to the TIFF Lightbox with former SavvyMom writer, Katie Mead, and her husband and son for a little cinematic fun (and Tim Burton entertainment, too). We know they will enjoy all that TIFF has to offer as both parents are REEL film buffs.
Maggie is not over-scheduling herself this Monday. She’s staying in and getting cozy with a movie (probably Toy Story 3) and ordering in pizza. Sounds like a nice relaxing day to us!
Leslie is flying solo with her twins this Monday for Family Day as her husband will be working. But she’s a family girl at heart, so she’s going out for lunch with her mom and her girls, Madeline and Riley.
Denise will be spending the weekend skiing and snowshoeing up north and hosting a sleepover party for her stepdaughter’s 12th birthday on Saturday night. On Family Day Monday, she is looking forward to sleeping in after all that!
I am with Denise on the sleeping in. I plan to do so on Monday morning, then make a big breakfast and take it easy with my two boys. They’ll likely have some homework to do, but if they get everything done, we will walk to the theatre, see a movie and eat some popcorn.
We hope you have a great Family Day this year and enjoy whatever activity you choose for your team.
It’s that time of year when spring is approaching: the snow melts, the sun shines (we hope!) and the schools close their doors for a week or two regardless of whether we’ve got time for a family vacation or not.
If you’re fortunate enough to take some time off work for March Break to travel with the kids, then we have one word we’d like you to remember: relax. Okay, so the vacation part might be easy, but the travel is tough, right? Not so. We’ve pulled together our SavvyMom Guide to Family Travel for the express purpose of helping make the journey as much of a joy as the final destination. Just be sure to pack your sunscreen whether you’re headed for the ski hills or some serious sunshine. And if swimming is definitely going to be a part of your break, be sure to review these important rules on water safety for peace of mind.
If you are going to be staying home for the break, or need some ideas to keep the kids busy, be sure to check out our newsletters tomorrow to get some ideas on Spring Break activities and camps in the area.
March Break is a great time to test out some local programs without committing to a full session—many places offer weekly camps that are ‘tasters’ of their larger programs.
It’s also a great time to rediscover your home town. After all, sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist where you live, especially if you haven’t revisited any of the local attractions for awhile.
So whether you’re going to be hunkering at home or heading out to an exotic (or at least warmer) locale, be sure to remember the most important word in this whole situation: ‘break’.
In February, we ‘heartily’ celebrate all things red (and shades thereof) for Valentine’s Day, so it’s only fair that we turn to its complimentary colour—green—for the month of March.
St. Patrick’s Day is more than just leprechauns, rainbows and four-leaf clovers (although let’s face it, no one is going to turn down a little luck if they can get it). It’s a fun mid-month holiday even if you’re not Irish—and an automatic, activity-themed day if you’re looking for a break during the school ‘break’.
So we say ‘go green’ here at SavvyHQ. Here are five quick and easy ways to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.
So we wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and lots of luck over the year!
Remember when Earth Hour was all the rage? Everyone and their neighbour turned their lights and televisions off for the hour, restaurant patrons dined by candlelight. No one wanted to be caught with artificial light streaming through their windows. The shame!
Last week marked the fifth annual Earth Hour but this year it came and went with much less notice, we noticed.
The Toronto Star documented this year’s Earth Hour in photos; from City Hall to the home of the president of Earth Day Canada, The Star was out taking pictures to see just how many people were practicing what they preach. And as it turns out, it’s not so many—at least not compared to previous years.
Apparently power consumption during Earth Hour was only down 5 per cent in Toronto—half of what it was last year. Let’s face it, with all the natural disasters that are happening around the world right now, Eath Hour is so 2008. But it’s the global disasters that should be drawing us closer to earth hour in times like this, rather than allowing us to dismiss it. Especially as parents. We should be reinforcing the understanding that small acts can (and do) make a big difference globally—especially when everyone participates and helps. That’s what the message of Earth Hour is about.
Let’s try it again. Tonight. Have dinner by candlelight, turn the TV off and talk to your kids. Don’t let the message of Earth Hour fade.
It’s raining, it’s pouring. It makes us wish we were back in bed, snoring.
Alas, the day moves on despite the weather. And while we know you’ve got great contingency plans for what to do with the kids when these days arise (puddle splashing, anyone?), there are also those last-minute
moments when suddenly the clouds appear out of nowhere and you’re left going “Now what?”
If you’re still struggling to come up with creative ideas on how to keep the kids occupied, we’ve got a couple to share. First off, try one of these easy games that are quick ‘out of your hat’ ideas that even have an educational bent (savvy and smart—this we like).
If you’re up for some more elaborate home entertainment, we suggest you transform your home into a Three-Ring Circus. These party games are ones you can enjoy on rainy days together, making for a fun family event without the need for travel or expenses (although popcorn is definitely recommended).
So don’t despair—the gray of today becomes the sunshine of tomorrow (or so we hope), but until that time, there’s no reason you can’t bring some light into your own living room with very little effort.
Anyone who knows me and my family knows that we love movies. Our home is a virtual video store dating back to the classics. So needless to say, as soon as our daughter was old enough to sit through a movie at the theatre, we were the first in line for tickets and popcorn.
Zookeeper, starring Kevin James and Rosario Dawson, and featuring the voice talents of Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Adam Sandler, Nick Nolte, John Favreau (and more), hit the theatres this past weekend. The story follows Griffin Keyes five years after he’s dumped by his shallow girlfriend, and is now the head zookeeper, loved by staff and animals alike. He spies his ex again during his brother’s upcoming nuptial celebrations and decides to try and win her back—with the help of the talking animals in his zoo and an attractive zoo vet. He soon realizes, however, that the true loves of his life are his job and the beautiful vet who appreciates him for who he is.
Part romantic comedy, part kids’ film, Zookeeper flips back and forth from Griffin’s quest for love and his funny antics with the animals. Moms will appreciate the romantic comedy side. The animal antics are cute—but the fave definitely involved the gorilla and a night out at T.G.I. Friday’s. There is no rude, silly humour and as always, the animation was wonderfully done, so don’t be surprised if your younger kids begin to expect their zoo friends to speak up on your next visit to the zoo.
Zookeeper is best for school-aged kids who can handle sitting through the romantic scenes waiting for the animals to return.
And that’s the whole (zoo) story.
Zookeeper is currently in theatres across Canada. For more information, visit Sony Pictures.
Last week, I went on an exciting adventure.
After a lovely banquet with princesses and kings, my three year-old daughter and I travelled through enchanted woods and forests with our wands, discovering magic crystals, opening up treasure chests filled with gold, collecting enchanted runes and taking instructions from a wizard. Oh, and there was a fire-breathing dragon as well.
And no, we weren’t in our living room playing pretend (as fun as that can be).
We had the privilege of experiencing MagiQuest, a new adventure available at the über family-friendly Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. The first of its kind in Canada, the MagiQuest adventure is an interactive role-playing game that includes a variety of quests that you can go on as a family, or send your older kids on by themselves.
What did Ally love? Her magic wand caused amazing things to happen—chests opened to reveal surprises, fairies spoke to her, crystals glowed and she got to go on an interactive treasure hunt taking her from one floor to another until she completed her ‘task’.
What did I love? Aside from the simple ‘cool’ factor that came with the design, I really appreciated the fact that the game included a multitude of quests, meaning that it wasn’t something that could be finished in an hour and easily forgotten. Even cooler, the wands have a virtual memory, allowing the player to continue on their quests during future visits without having to start from scratch again.
Keith Simmonds, the General Manager of Great Wolf Lodge made a point of sharing how the MagiQuest adventure fit perfectly with the lodge mandate in helping to “create family traditions, one family at a time” and I have to agree. I wasn’t the only parent enthusiastically waving a wand at the walls and other objects. In fact, my mother (who came along for the adventure) spent the evening poring over the quest book to determine which one to try in the morning.
In short, it looks as though Great Wolf Lodge and MagiQuest is about to inspire a new generation of wannabe wizards (move over, Harry Potter).
And okay, I liked the magic wand too. The only trouble I had was when I brought it home and pointed it at all my dirty laundry and piles of dishes, nothing happened. I’m hoping that they can work on that for the future.
It was a fun week. I noticed some celebrity news with Amy and Tina, the Olsen twins looking for more attention, solutions for cold and flu season, help with staying active and more on gun control in the US.
1. There were a lot of moms featured at the Golden Globes this week. Jodie Foster mentioned her own mom in her very long-winded acceptance speech. That was nice. New mom Adele commented on her mom status by saying, ‘I’m just happy to have a night out.’ Love her. But there is no question that Tina and Amy owned the night. They nailed it. They were awesome. I love them. But instead of treating you to a clip from the Globes, I’ll share this little ditty from Tina that was running around the internet last week.
2. While I don’t typically discuss celeb gossip, I couldn’t resist sharing the latest crazy Olsen twin move. The superstar child actors turned fashion designers have launched a leather knapsack dotted with pills all over it—as in, pharmaceuticals. As if the design statement isn’t bad enough, they are pricing this hot item at an accessible $55,000. Do you think the bag would be less expensive in Canada since drugs are so much cheaper here?
3. In more practical parenting news, I found an item this week that is both cheap and useful for you this winter. Zipzicles are a great way to make healthy frozen treats for kids that would come in handy around cold and flu season. We know how much kids need fluids when they’re sick and they all love a good frozen treat. Keep these $2.99 packs of zippered freezie bags in stock for all seasons. You don’t even have to go anywhere—just order online.
4. If you don’t have any coughs, colds or flu in your house, try and stay that way by getting outside and staying active. We’re always looking for ways to promote physical health for kids (and parents) as much as we can at SavvyMom, which is why I was pleased to read our expert article this week from Active for Life. It provides a printable checklist for parents to use with their kids to track the amount of physical activity they do—with the goal being 60–90 minutes a day. Note: driving to the rink doesn’t count!
5. Finally, in more sombre news, I read on Babble about the school in Ohio that agreed to arm their janitor with a gun—this in the wake of the Connecticut shootings. How would you feel if you were a parent sending your child to that school?
Have a good week.