Getting Ready For Kindergarten in Four Easy Steps

Avoid Armageddon

Getting Ready For Kindergarten in Four Easy Steps

I remember the stress I had putting my DD1 in kindergarten (I had a tougher time adjusting than she did!). Sleep routines, lunch boxes, backpacks and school buses are all new to those kindergarteners. Here are a few tips to help ease the challenges of getting your child ready for kindergarten.

 Sleep Routine. Be consistent in bed times and wake up times. Not only do kids need a good night of sleep but they also need to get their bodies and minds in routine mode.

 Lunch boxes. Practice "lunch" by serving dinner in lunchboxes. Not only is this kinda gives you the opportunity to see what your child can and cannot open on her own (sandwich box—YES. Juice bottle—NO).

 Backpack. Forget fashion—your child needs a backpack with true function. Not too big or too small (it will hurt their backs!). Big enough to carry their lunch boxes, agenda, and extra shoes.

 School bus. School buses open your child up to a whole new transportation environment. Packed with kids big and small, your child may see, hear and smell things that don't exist at home. I appreciated the fact that my (then) kindergarten kid sat in the first three rows of the school bus—close enough to the bus driver so that there was some level of supervision.


The Hunger Games

pop culture phenom or kids killing kids?

The Hunger Games

My daughter has been desparate to see The Hunger Games. I made her a deal—instead of going to a theatre to see the movie—we would buy the DVD (released Aug 18). In turn, she had to read the whole series by Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Published by Scholastic, this trilogy was all the talk in her grade 6 class. "Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favour." Turns out, there is not much happy in The Hunger Games...

"This will help me make friends" she said (she being my daughter). Everyone was reading and watching The Hunger Games. It quickly become popular culture of the tween set. A commonality they could discuss. Book club meets recess if you will. I thought it was great—how often do 11-years-olds discuss books together?

So dear daughter did her part. Read all three books. She would mention Katniss and Gale and Peeta and District 12 around the house and I would be all "uh-huh" as I pretended to listen and went on folding laundry (mistake #1: listen to your kids).

We watched The Hunger Games Saturday afternoon and I can tell you A) I'm glad we didn't watch it in theatres and B) I'm glad we watched it together.


It is about kids killing kids in a cage-match televised to warn and entertain a futuristic nation.

The themes of the plot are: war, poverty, and moral dilemma.

This is not your regular Scholastic product. The Hunger Games presents kids killing other kids for basic survival (12 boys and 12 girls are chosen as Tributes and battle to the death—only one will live).

This has been a learning lesson—take the time to read what your kid reads (if nothing else, wikipedia it). Just because it's pop culture doesn't mean it's for you (or your kids). Perhaps book club needs to start at home before it hits recess.

Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favour.

*Dear daughter LOVED the movie. And the trilogy did keep her attention throughout the summer. I, on the other hand, came away from the film feeling anxious.

See what Erica thought of the violence in The Hunger Games



3 Board Games Sure To Entertain Kids

Screen-free Activities For Kids

3 Board Games Sure To Entertain Kids

Tune out the "Mom, I'm bored" when you tune your kids into board games. Yes, ol' skool but still cool—board games engage kids through counting, decision making skills and literacy. A great alternative to electronic and screen powered kid entertainment. A board game can occupy your kids while you answer an email or provide whole family entertainment. These three board games are sure to please...

  • Battleship: 2 players. Stealth hiding skills. Decision making skills. My kids played this on a rainy day at the cottage and it turned into a battleship-pa-looza afternoon.


Monopoly: 2-4 players. Counting. Literacy. Someone gets to be the "bank." We also played this at the cottage...where the winner got out of setting the table for the night. Win-Win situation.


Bananagrams: Play solo or up to 5 players. Literacy. We play bananagrams in both English and French (nice for a bilingual family like ours). Very travel friendly.


We all have board games in our closets and often forget to give them a second look. They can connect the family while disconnecting from the electronic devices. In this technological's important to turn off the screens and turn on our kids.

If you need family-friendly activity inspiration, be sure to visit “Fun Ways To Spend Time With Your Family” for entertaining things you and your family can do together.