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Ottawa: the Savvy Guide to August

SavvyMom September 16, 2016
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Don’t let all the back-to-school sales fool you, there’s still a full month of summer vacation left and we intend to savour it. August can be tricky as we try to pack in as much fun in the sun as possible while also (let’s face it) trying to get organized for the upcoming school year. From road trips to the Olympics, and just a teensy bit of organizing, we can help make the second half of your summer a blast.

DO
Make a list and then put it away
Why? You want to relax at the beach and go on picnics and play in the sprinkler. We know you do. But if you’re a mom, your brain is always spinning with all the things that need to get done. So go ahead and get them off your mind. Write a list, make it two lists, three! Include all the back-to-school tasks you need to do. Go ahead and jot down some kick-ass work projects you want to sink your teeth into come September, too. Then put them aside until the end of the month so you can fully enjoy the rest of summer, knowing that those lists can wait.

GO
To Ultimate Dinosaurs at the Museum of Nature, on now until September 5
Why? It’s cooler than the movie Jurassic World, and they’ll learn something, too. See impressive full-size skeletons, fossils and interactive displays. Watch for our full review of the exhibit, out next week.

GET
Maxell kids safe headphones
Why? Picture it. You’re on a family road trip and your children aren’t fighting. Instead, they are each watching their own movies or playing their own games in complete silence while you have total control of the music selection. We love that these Maxell headphones are sized to fit little heads, are lightweight and comfy, and have interchangeable black, blue, and pink caps. But the best feature is the built-in volume level protection that will protect little ear drums. At $12, the price is right, too.

PLAY
Geocaching
Why? Before there was Pokémon Go, there was Geocaching. It’s basically a giant, world-wide, player-supported treasure hunt. People hide little caches (usually small boxes or cases) that contain a book or paper where people who find it can sign their name. There are often trinkets left that you can swap for your own trinket too. To play, download the Geocaching app to find a list of caches near you. They will each have descriptions that include levels of difficulty (start easy with kids), clues and coordinates and a map. It’s great fun for the whole family, whether you’re playing right downtown or in the woods.

READ
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One And Two, by J.K. Rowling
Why? You know why. The 8th installment of the beloved worldwide phenomenon comes out at the end of the month. Pre-order your copy now (it’s cheaper).

APP
Artgames 2.0
Why? ArtGames 2.0 is an educational app for kids developed by the renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Kids create their own masterpieces and play games in worlds inspired by different artists. Let your kids run away from bats in Vincent van Gogh’s Southern France and pique their interest in great works of art while they’re at it. Available for free on both iOS and Android.

SURF
iheartorganizing.com
Why? You either love it or you hate it, but when you have kids, organizing becomes a huge part of your life. This website is a great place to browse for ideas now so you can roll up your sleeves and get everything sorted in time for school at the end of the month. The project gallery links to posts on everything from organizing and storing hand-me-downs to craft storage and a lunch making station. There are even free printables for those of us who like everything to look pretty.

GREEN
Donate and reuse old clothes
Why? Back-to-school shopping also means sorting through drawers and closets and clearing out the old stuff. Items that are torn, stained and simply worn out can be cut up into cleaning rags, and old t-shirts can become art smocks. Donate, resell, or hand down anything in decent condition that the kids never wear anymore.

MAKE
Olympic crafts and snacks
Why? Kids love the Olympics and the summer games are a great excuse to celebrate athleticism and team spirit as a family. Go all in and let the Rio games be your inspiration for crafts and activities throughout the Olympics. East Coast Mommy walks us through making Olympic torches, medals, and a flag in this blog post. But let your imagination guide you (or check out this Pinterest page, we won’t tell) and come up with your own fun ideas.

HELP
Raise money to help save dogs through Ottawa Dog Rescue and Freedom Dog Rescue by attending the Just Fore Dogs Charity Golf Tournament on August 13 at the Hammond Golf and Country Club
Why? The registration cost includes golf fee, cart, and BBQ steak dinner—and there will also be an auction and prizes. Better hustle—registration ends this Sunday, July 31!

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