Feb
28
2011

English/French activities for kids

Bilingual activities for kids

English/French activities for kids

Activités anglais/français pour des enfants

How do you say "seal" in French? (un phoque - which sounds a lot like the F bomb).  Yes, I'm raising bilingual kids and they love messing around with vocabulary in English and in French.  Want to incorporate some French activities into your day?  Je vais te dire un secret...

Make French fun!  

We make language zones.  English in the house.  French outside.  It's our "secret language" which comes in handy for times when you need to talk about taking fingers out of one's nose, or going pee or any bodily function that is best discussed in a whisper...or a 2nd language. 

 As an anglophone Mom who is functional in French I do sometimes crack out the Larousse English/French dictionary to help make my bilingual activities.

Going shopping?  Make a English/French grocery list for the kids to read and check off.

Going to a farm?  Make an English/French animal bingo card - when they see an animal that is on their card - they check it off.

Staying home?  Make an English/French book - print out pictures of kids' own things and write the names of them in English/French (for example: my bed/mon lit).

Then their are online destinations which are tons of Franco fun...

www.tfou.fr (French site) has FREE activities for kids 3-6 years and a separate section for kids 7+.  They also have colouring pages with all your kids' favourite characters.

Uptoten.com  (bilingual English/French site) has stories & songs for kids aged 0- 6 years and games & colouring for kids aged 6+.

Minitfo (proudly Canadian!) is the website of TFO (French Public Television).  Younger kids will enjoy games, mini videos and more.  Mégallô is TFO's site for tweens with videos, games and more.

 And what we've found about introducing a 2nd language is to be consistent.  Get the 2nd language into your daily (or weekly) routine. 

Sign up for a French story time at the library. 

Find a French babysitter (there are tons of immersion schools around - put up Babysitter wanted flyers!). 

Play French cds in the minivan.

Anything you do in one language...you can do in two! (but watch out for those phoques)

"

Feb
22
2011

SuperMom Is Dead: I Killed Her

The trouble with mom myths

SuperMom Is Dead: I Killed Her

She was a bad role model.  Perfectly clean house.  Perfectly behaved kids.  Perfectly satisfied spouse.  Perfectly balanced life.  I had to kill her.  SuperMom (and her myth) had to go into the diaper genie where they belonged.  Because no mom can live up to "perfect" and I was trying so hard it was driving me insane.

Perhaps, if you had read my post about Play ground or Pay cheque? The Great Stay-at-Home Debate you might think I have work/life issues.  I do (geez, who doesn't?!).  There was a time when I was on top of it all...then, I had a baby which tipped the scale (and I'm sure some of you could insert *and then I changed jobs*, *and then I divorced*, *and then I went back to school* - all of these are life-tipping).

Having a newborn is so deliciously wonderful.  Don't get me wrong. But I forgot the life-tipping change.  The lack of sleep.  The fuzzy-brain due to lack of sleep.  The loneliness.  I became Zombie Mom....not SuperMom.

Last Saturday, I woke up with mastitis (breast infection - probably a blocked milk duct - anyone who's had it will be saying "ouch" as they read this).  So while on antibiotics did I rest?  Nope, I - the genius that I am - went ahead and made a sit down lunch for six, cleaned the house, made school lunches (and family dinners), nursed, changed diapers, did a skype interview on parenting (while breastfeeding the babe) and ran errands. 

(SuperMom - your myth sucks!)

Coincidentally, that Friday I woke up with mastitis again (the other side - loverly huh?).  Thank blog it was school pizza day because making lunch was the last thing on my mind (though I would have made it).  I don't know if the 2nd mastitis presentation was because I wasn't resting - but I bet rest would have helped. 

But SuperMoms don't rest do they?

I am finding it really hard to let go of control of my "regular SuperMom life" and well...lower the bar.  I feel guilty to order in.  I feel ashamed that our house looks like an atomic bomb hit.  I feel so guilty when I snap at the big kids "Can't you find something to do?!" because I'm too tired to spend time with them.

We live in a house of half-done.  Half-done laundry.  Half-done errands.  Half-done housework.  And it's. All.  My.  Fault.

Any jury would understand SuperMom had to die right?  She had it coming.  She was driving me insane!

I realize that sometimes it's better to accept "half-done" and be happy than to strive for "perfect" and be miserable.  MiserableMom is no hero.

So I'm stocking my freezer with ready to go meals.  I'm cleaning the kitchen & bathrooms and closing the door on the other messes.  I am cuddling with baby as I flake out watching American Idol with the big kids. 

I'm decidedly going to live my half-life to its fullest.

Because superheroes only exist in comics and bad sit coms.  Real life calls for real role models.  And sane mothers.

"
Feb
17
2011

March Break (Or Anytime) Activity Ideas

10 Fun Activities for Kids

March Break (Or Anytime) Activity Ideas

1. Kid swap with a friend.  You take their kids (+ your own) for the morning and they take the bunch for the afternoon.  The kids will entertain each other and you get a half day of "me time". 

2. Board Game day.  Dust off monopoly, operation and clue and get your game on.

3. Family Friendly Destination.  If you trek out to a museum, indoor playground, science centre or zoo - keep in mind a lot of other families are doing the same on your day off.  Plan for crowds, take snacks and breath deeply.

4.  Hit the library.  Call ahead even to find out if they are running special *insert day off name here* programs like puppet shows, library bingo or craft times.  I like to place holds on a bunch of Disney, Nickelodeon and Pixar DVDs ahead of time so that we have a plethora of new movies to watch - for free.

5.  Take advantage of others.  Should Grandpa, auntie June or friend Fred offer to take the kids out on an adventure - say YES.  A favourite adventure here is for a grown up to take the kids on the subway down to Union station - walk the indoor PATH - and go to a cinnamon bun store.  I'm all for adventures with a KISS (keep it simple silly!).

6.  Play outside.  Playground, school yard, back yard, barn yard, skating rink, basketball court, soccer field...whatever you've got...take advantage of fresh air and exercise.

7.  Have a play date...for you and kids.  Instead of just swapping kids (see #1) host a group play date of kids and parents.  Kids are entertained.  You get to hang with friends.  Sounds perfect.

8.  Build something.  Lego, snow fort, blanket tent in the living room, a homemade chocolate cake...be creators.

9. Errandspalooza.  Print out an image grocery list and have the kids do the shopping.  While at the bank open a savings account for and with the kids.  At the gas station have place bets on if you can hit $49.99 on the spot - winner chooses lunch.

10. Flake out - a day off is to be enjoyed.

Spring into March Break with even more articles, tips, and tricks to help you survive the week!