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Ottawa: the Savvy Guide to June

SavvyMom November 22, 2016

It’s the sprint to the finish line! This month is jam-packed with school activities—spring concerts, field trips, class parties and more. Here’s how to make the most of this hectic but happy month.

Plan a simple celebration to mark the end of school
Why? At this time of year, we’re all growing weary of school routines. Help everyone to get through those last few weeks of homework with the promise of festivities once school is out. Gather at the park for a last-day-of-school tailgate party, get fancy with a themed cake for class, host a few friends for a backyard water fight or just go on a picnic or to the movies as a family—you can’t go wrong!

To the Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival from June 19–21
Why? Welcome summer by enjoying traditional Métis games, checking out the bungee trampoline, making cornhusk dolls, learning about birds of prey and celebrating the diversity of local Aboriginal cultures at this free, educational event.

Super cool accessories for your kids’ bikes
Why? Because their enthusiasm for two-wheeled transportation will go through the roof when they get a load of the new generation of whimsical bike gear. Water-fight enthusiasts will get up to all kinds of shenanigans with the handlebar-mounted Fuze Cyclone Water Blaster that shoots up to 25 feet. And how sweet is this motorized bubble maker that leaves a trail of bubbles in their wake? Check out our roundup of the best bikes and accessories for more ideas.

An old-fashioned, classic outdoor game
Why? This is the perfect time of year to revisit old-school games from when you and your parents were kids. Brush up on the rules of kick the can, capture the flag, sardines and Red Rover. It’s a great way to get the whole family moving.

Why? Bookmark this amazing site for rainy afternoons; it’s the kind of screen time we can all get behind. Storybird is a free writing platform where kids and parents can create virtual books inspired by artwork the site supplies. Just drag and drop the pictures you like, add text and watch a book come together before your eyes. Enormously popular with teachers, the site’s great for encouraging enthusiastic and reluctant readers and writers alike.

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker
Why? Because this book sheds light on an overlooked aspect of the obesity crisis—the way our taste buds are being manipulated to favour junk over nutrition. Journalist Mark Schatzker contrasts the flavour decline brought about by factory farming with the armies of food scientists working to get us—and our kids—addicted to nacho cheese powder. We predict this book will soon be considered the new Food Matters or Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Why? This cool app, which has one interface for parents and one for kids, is going to make it a heck of a lot easier to get them to pick up their toys and help with yard work this summer. Parents create a list of chores for their kids and set point values for completion. Kids direct themselves, selecting chores (from brushing teeth to taking out the recycling) based on their due dates, and collecting points for real life and digital rewards. Parents confirm or deny real-world completion. The chore chart just went 2.0.

By drying your laundry outdoors this month
Sure, it’s old-timey, but air drying your clothes and linens just makes sense when it’s so nice outside. Dryers use more electricity than any appliance in the house, so giving them a rest in good weather will substantially cut your energy use and hydro bill. If you don’t have a line, no worries; there’s a stand-up dryer for every budget and space. Bonus: Your clothes will last longer and wash out cleaner with the help of stain-fading sunshine.

PEI Potato Salad
Why? Because nothing channels that summer picnic vibe quite like a classic potato salad. Be the hero at your summer potluck—or just your backyard barbecue—with this delicious version. Potato salad gets even more delicious after a day or two in your fridge, so look forward to having leftovers for those last school lunches or hurried weeknight dinners.

Fund cancer research and work towards a world without cancer by participating in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on June 5, 12, or 19
Why? Because 2 in 5 Canadians are expected to develop cancer in their lifetime. By registering for Relay for Life as a team, individual or company, or by joining a team or donating, you can help the thousands of Canadians living with cancer, show support for loved ones and unite with your community to help.



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