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Toronto: The Savvy Guide to April

SavvyMom June 28, 2016

Bust out the rain boots and dust off the bicycles. Spring has sprung, and we couldn’t be more ready for it. Here’s our guide to making the most of the month.

Your spring cleaning
Why? Love it or loathe it, now is the time to roll up your sleeves, throw open your windows, and dive into a deep clean. If you can devote a weekend to scrubbing and scouring your home, top to bottom, you will start the new season feeling renewed and upbeat. If not, at least try to tackle a couple big cleaning projects throughout the month. Not sure where to start? This printable checklist will help you stay organized.

To The Wizard of Oz at Young People’s Theatre from April 4 to May 15
Why? This wonderfully whimsical show features a cast of ten, amazing sets and costumes, and lots of surprises. Appropriate for kids ages 5 and up, the show features amazing tunes including ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard’, ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ and a song that never made it into the movie version of the story: ‘The Jitterbug’. We’re pleased to be giving away a Family Pack of four tickets to the show, so enter here for your chance to win.

Kate Spade’s kitchen line
Why? It’s only fair to reward yourself for a job well done after all that spring cleaning. We are drooling over the new line of kitchenware from Kate Spade New York that is launching on Indigo.ca this month. Why buy a plain old cake pan when you can get one in the Kate Spade signature turquoise that says, ‘It’s someone’s birthday somewhere’? Prices range from $10 to $150, so you won’t have to break your budget to treat yourself.

Scavenger hunt
Why? After a long winter, who isn’t dying to get outside? It may be several weeks yet before we can bring the kids to the beach or host a barbecue, but don’t let that stop you. Turn a boring old walk or hike into an adventure by giving the kids a list of things to find on the journey. Here’s a great list for a nature hunt for younger kids. You can make it more challenging for older kids by listing specific items like a fallen log or a particular kind of plant. Another fun spin is to keep to city streets and ask kids to find local businesses and landmarks.

This is Happy by Camilla Gibb
Why? The award winning Canadian novelist, Camilla Gibb, has written a gripping memoir that details her journey to motherhood. Gibb explores a series of failed relationships, beginning with her own father and step-father and ending with her marriage, that have helped shape her identity. The book is as much about depression as it is about Gibb’s life story, and about the continued effort to keep her head above its dark waters, even after (or especially after) the birth of her daughter.

Why? Described as Uber for babysitters, DateNight is way more than just an app. It’s a babysitting service that offers a roster of pre-screened babysitters. Parents sign up for a membership and pay an annual fee depending on their needs. They can then arrange Skype interviews with sitters that fit their needs and book them as needed through the app. Babysitters set their own rates (usually between $10 and $15 per hour) and parents pay through the app.

Common Sense Media
Why? Have you ever regretted showing your kids a beloved movie from your own childhood because, oops, you forgot about that scene? You’re not the only one! Common Sense Media is an invaluable resource for getting a sense of whether any given movie, book, video game, app, website, or song is age appropriate for your child. The site has an extensive library of ratings and reviews that also let parents know if the media is educational or promotes positive values.

Green your clean
Why? If you really want to do your part for the environment, you should probably start by cleaning out your cleaning supplies. Harsh chemicals are not necessary for the bulk of household cleaning jobs and can introduce toxins into both the environment and your home. Baking soda takes out stains as well as bleach does, while vinegar and lemon juice disinfect, deodorize, and shine. Of course, there are also many great eco-friendly products that will help clean your house and ease your conscience.

Cupcake liner flowers
Why? It’s time to spring into crafts and use nature as inspiration. While you’re waiting for the first early bloom, brighten your mood with this cheap and cheerful flower craft from East Coast Mommy. Start with an assortment of cupcake liners (big and small) and glue the bigger ones on a sheet of cardstock and then glue smaller ones inside to create petals. Draw or paint on stems or leaves to finish your garden, or make them out tissue paper. Easy peasy, spring breezy.

Raise money for SickKids by attending the Above and Beyond Concert: Rock for SickKids on Friday, April 8 at THE MOD CLUB
Why? Experience a fun night out with music and dancing, knowing that the proceeds will support the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation. The concert will feature live entertainment from some of Toronto’s best musicians and bands, including BIG WIGS, Roadogs, Mutual Release, and more, as well as a special performance by the St. James Youth Choir.

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