Last weekend my youngest son came home from his grandparent's house with an adding machine thanks to a visit to the local Value Village.
Not be outdone by his brother, my older son counted his money and off we went to Walmart so he could buy an adding machine as well.
What, you may wonder, could two kids do with an adding machine?
They've been coming up with games ever since and the best part is they had no idea they were actually learning math while they were playing. If there's anything I've learned since I've started my parenting journey is that fun doesn't have to come in a brightly coloured toy, and sometimes you just need to let you child guide the way.
My boys also came up with a simple code so they could send each other secret messages via the adding machine. You don't an adding machine to do this. Click on the image below and print off the code to send your kids a secret message today.
Start Your Seeds
With snow on the ground you’re probably not thinking of your garden just yet but now is the perfect time to start seeds. Typically you want to start your seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the expected last frost date in your area. The dates vary from province to province and city to city so use this chart to find the last expected frost date for where you live.
Also, you don’t need expensive store bought pots to start your seeds. Here are some inexpensive alternatives.
Begin Spring Cleaning
This is the perfect time to get a jump start on your spring cleaning! Open the windows to air out your house, tackle the baseboards, dust the top the light fixtures and do all the other stuff you’ve been putting off all winter. Plus there are these four chores that should be done yearly so get them out of the way now.
Put A Bird Feeder In Your Backyard
Soon the birds will be coming back from their long trek down south. Welcome them with a bird feeder or bird house.
Buy Some Flowers
Nothing says spring like fresh flowers. Treat yourself to a bouquet that will brighten your day without wilting your wallet. Or better yet, buy a plant in a pot that you can plant outdoors when the weather is nice.
We’ve been cooped up all winter, it’s time to get out and enjoy the warm weather. And if it’s not warm yet, still go out and get some fresh air. It will make you feel better, I swear.
Eat Spring Produce
Start with green–asparagus, fiddleheads, and peas–then add in colour with radishes and rhubarb. As the spring season progresses more in season produce becomes available and your table will be filled with a rainbow of colour.
Make A Rainbow
Speaking of rainbows, if you haven’t spotted one outside, make one inside your home using milk and food colouring, pot of gold not included.
De-Clutter and Get Ready for A Garage Sale
It’s time to get rid of the stuff you don’t use. Tackle the toys, comb through the clothes, and bring out the books you don’t need. When warm weather hits you’ll be ready to throw your first garage sale of the season.
Get Out Your Spring Wardrobe
After months of greys, blacks, and dark blue hues, it’s time to bring on the colour! Go through last year’s spring clothes, get rid of what doesn’t fit or what you didn’t wear last year and then start shopping to fill in the gaps.
Listen To Songs That Remind You Of Spring
I’m always on the lookout for unique toys that inspire imagination and yesterday I found it in Kapla.
I saw Kapla blocks on display at our local Mastermind store and was immediately intrigued by the structures you can build with it. I bought a pack of 200 on the spot and my boys spent the next five hours building with it. So it just made sense that I went back and bought them another pack so they could build even more, right?
There are no nails or glue, you simply build by stacking the blocks. But these aren’t your typical building blocks. Each block is the exact same size and because of their ratio (1:3:15) whatever you build is held in place by gravity and balance.
Check out the CN Tower my son made:
I don’t recommend anything unless I absolutely love it and with my boys currently upstairs creating, building, sharing, and (shhhh) learning, I can say I absolutely love Kapla.
I bought a set of 200 Kapla blocks for $59.95 and went back the next day to purchase another set of 280 for $99.95 (this set also came with a nice wooden carrying case and a book of Kapla designs). You can find even more amazing designs at the Kapla website.