My daughter loves exploring the great outdoors. Whether it’s making mud pies, walking through the woods looking for squirrels, or sitting and watching honeybees collect nectar, she has always been right at home with nature. This is why it was no surprise that when it came time for her to choose a Maplelea Girl for herself, she picked Taryn, an environmentalist from Alberta who loves to hike and paint.
More than 60,000 Canadian children are being educated outside public and private school systems. This represents 1 to 2 % of the school-age population and these numbers only include those who are officially registered. Meanwhile, in the US, there are somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2.3 million kids (or 3 to 4%) learning outside of traditional classrooms.
I was born with a full head of hair. I’m talking about the kind of tufts that would look right at home in an advertisement for baby hair gel... if babies used hair gel. Looking back, it’s entirely possible my penchant for hair product first began when – as a toddler – I styled my locks with oatmeal.
By the time I could ride a bike, the only way to contain my mop was a tidy, at-home-mullet, courtesy of mom.
A number of years ago, my friend Sharon came up with a clever way to keep her two children occupied. She dyed some rice a variety of different colours, threw it into a storage bin with a bunch of small toys and let the children have at it. It was like a giant game of I Spy that never, ever ended. Of course I had to try it too and when I did, my kiddo dove in with both hands (and feet).
Although, things did get iffy when I was 13 and both of them went through a non-stop polyester pants wearing phase.
But I liked them before that. And after… you know, once they embraced denim.
When I was in my early 20s, I declared that even if I weren’t related to my mom and dad, I’d still choose to hang out with them. I didn’t find out until years later that this statement made my father so proud, he shared it with nearly everyone he met.
I've had a hell of a time coming up with a clever introduction for this article. I’ve struggled to write something witty, informative and catchy. But the words will not materialize. So instead, I’m just going to cut to the chase…
If you want your kids to be successful in life, send them to art school.
Yes, you read that right. And it’s not for the reasons you might think.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Making your own finger paint is easier than getting in the car, driving to the craft store, walking up and down the aisles, asking Cranky Customer Service Pam for help, deciphering ingredient lists to determine toxicity, and driving home empty handed (except for maybe some glitter).
Last week, our area experienced high winds resulting in a massive storm surge.
The ocean made its way well onto the shore and brought with it a fair amount of flotsam and jetsam. At the end of our pathway, seaweed and driftwood were tangled together with dead crabs, and plastic bottles. The mangled debris – both natural and manufactured - was enough to prompt a conversation about habitats with my seven-year-old daughter.
The words fell out of my mouth as I nervously watched my husband walk through the Emergency Room doors out into the hospital proper, hand in hand with our two year-old daughter. She was getting restless and he thought a wander might be in order.
I'm not what one would call skilled when it comes to sewing, but I do love colourful fabric - which is easy to see when you sneak a peek at the stash in my house.
Still, I've always loved the concept of crafting items out of cotton, linen and polyester. And so, when my daughter started talking about buying some bean bags after having played a game of bean bag toss at a friend's house, I took it as an opportunity to sit down with her, fly by the seat of my pants and co-create a few sacks full of legumes.
Do you decorate for Easter? I don’t. Unless foil candy wrappers intermingling with piles of Easter grass scattered effortlessly across the floor can be considered decorating in which case yes, that was my house you saw in that issue of Better Homes and Gardens at the doctor's office.
But this year, I decided to kick my house fluffing up a notch.
When I was my daughter’s age, I looked forward to visiting to the Alcona Beach hardware store with my mom. It was the biggest thing going in the rural area where we lived and it was located right next to a tiny restaurant offering giant servings of lemon meringue pie.
When I was a kid, we lived at the end of a very long road in the country. Not so far out that we required a guide, but deep enough in that some relatives were afraid to visit.
Although we lived a good distance away from any city or town, we were by no means the only family in the outskirts. Granted, most were cottagers who made only brief appearances once a year, but there were also few permanent residents living amongst the wildlife.