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Kids activities

Top 4 Fall Family Fun Activities

Top 4 Fall Family Fun Activities

What are your favourite Fall activities to enjoy with your family?

September has arrived and that means as the leaves slowly change colour, we have a short window to still enjoy some warm (or warm-ish) fall weekends to spend outdoors before Jack frost makes an appearance. As sad as we are to say good-bye to summer there is still so much to enjoy in the fall. Autumn seems to come and go so fast so let’s get a jump on the fun with some outdoor activities with the kids. Here are 4 festive fall ideas to enjoy in September and October during Harvest time …. I can already smell the apple pie…

pumpkin

 1. Visit a pumpkin patch

As the harvest season comes to an end, there is nothing more fun than picking your own pumpkin  – even if you decide not to carve it. They look lovely on your front step. There are so many beautiful varieties and colors. I especially like the white “ghost pumpkin”.

Here’s a list of pumpkin patches in the GTA.

One of our favorite farms for pumpkin picking is Springridge Farm. It is a beautiful farm with lots of opportunities for children to play in the fresh fall air. With the charming backdrop of this colourful farm, you will be sure to capture your kids in action or the most perfect fall family pictures.

fall fair

2. Enjoy a Fall Fair

There’s nothing like spending the day at a fall fair and enjoying the food, rides and games. Here is a list of fall fairs across Ontario with a list ranging from very old ones in small towns like the Norwood Fall Fair, to the huge Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

 There are many fairs that will be taking place soon. Oh, how we have missed fairs!

apple picking

3. Apple Picking

There are many farms to visit at this time of year to get the festive fall feeling we all love. These farms are not limited to just pumpkin picking! Some farms, like these local favorites, Chudleighs  and Downey’s, have fun activities for children, apple picking and lovely shops where you can purchase apples and baked goods. Check out this link for more apple picking spots where you can pick your own apples.

 

corn maze

4. Get lost in the moment in a Corn maze

 Before escape rooms for centuries many have found fun in the challenge of escaping a corn maze. Fall in Ontario brings a variety of farm activities including some amazing corn mazes which can encompass 20 acres! Some are cut in a seasonal or sports theme, but all are a super fun way to spend an afternoon. If you are feeling brave, check out this link where you can find a corn maze to find your way out of! 

Enjoy the season! We would love to see you share your fall family pics with us.

Mindful Mud – An Essential Play Experience!

Mindful Mud – An Essential Play Experience!

While the idea of getting messy to some may be unappealing, especially a parent or caregiver that has to clean up the mess! For those that may be skeptical, consider all the benefits of playing in the dirt.

 

The earthy goodness of mud gives our kids an opportunity to engage in messy play, practice mindfulness and connect with nature.  Think of a time when you made a sandcastle and suddenly lost track of an hour. That was you, feeling the effects of mycobacterium vacate. This is a big word for the microscopic bacteria in dirt that increases the serotonin level in our brains, making us feel happy and relaxed.

Our young technologically savvy generation of kids are just not getting enough time to play outside – especially with online learning and technological distractions. While you can simulate many experiences virtually these days, playing in the dirt is not on that list.

Have you ever noticed that children who play outside laugh more? And laughter leads to feeling good! Kids who play outside also grow in their character development: they become more adventurous, more self-motivated, and they are better able to understand and assess risk.

       mindful mud

      THE SCIENCE OF MUD

  • MUD INCREASES BRAIN ACTIVITY– When children play with mud they use all of their senses, resulting in a highly stimulated and active brain.
  • MUD INCREASES PHYSICAL ACTIVITY-When children play outdoors, and in mud, the incidental movement and physical activity increases, helping children maintain a healthy lifestyle and develop their physical literacy.
  • MUD REDUCES ALLERGIES & ASTHMA SYMPTOMS -Dirt is also great for the immune system, especially in children. Research has shown that early exposure to naturally occurring microbes in soil will help build stronger, more disease-resistant kids.
  • MUD PLAY BUILDS CREATIVITY – The open-ended nature of mud play is perfect for the developing brain. There is no end to the creations, ideas and games children will invent. During this type of unstructured, outdoor play, children are not only exercising but are building their ability to form ideas, problem solve, and think critically, as well as be innovative and inventive.

Here are some ideas for your children:

  1. If you want to control the mess a bit or have limited space, try a mud kitchen !
  2. Give your child a bucket and a shovel and set them in the dirt. See what happens.

mud kitchen

If you really want to control the mess, you can also create a DIY mud sensory bin. Check out our blog on how to create DIY sensory bins.

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 55 – Whale Search Activity

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 55 – Whale Search Activity

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids – Whale Search Activity

On a rainy day when you are stuck inside, technology can be used wisely to engage in some learning with your child. This activity involves researching animals that need water to survive. Let’s dive deep into the ocean for an adventure today.

We always want to make sure that the websites we are using are safe for children. When you use the internet to do searches with your kids, use the “kiddle” search engine. Kiddle is child-specific search engine supported by Google, which prevents the appearance of things not suitable for them. www.kiddle.co

National Geographic’s Kids is a great resource for information about all kinds of animals. Today we are going to learn about the Beluga whale. The beluga, or white whale, is one of the smallest species of whale. Their distinctive color and prominent foreheads make them easily identifiable. Visit the website and learn more about the Beluga whale. Find out what he eats, where you can find him and listen to the noises he makes.

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: (STEAM: science, technology) and language and literacy.

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 54 – Top 5 Books for Toddlers and Preschool

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 54 – Top 5 Books for Toddlers and Preschool

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids – Top 5 Books for Toddlers and Preschool

Reading books can take us to a world that our imagination can run free in. It allows us to explore the world, to see things different, to feel how someone else might feel. Reading is a time to unplug and spend time together with your young child. Books provide a great teaching opportunity to help children explore the world around them and themselves.

Today we are sharing our list of the top 5 books for young children (both toddlers and preschoolers):

Toddler:

  1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr.
  2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  4. I Love you Forever by Robert Munsch
  5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

 

Preschool

  1. The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
  2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  3. If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  4. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
  5. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

 

For infants and toddlers, it’s best to get board books which are durable and won’t tear when they handle it. For preschoolers, paperback books are best. Your children will surely love our book recommendations. Enjoy!  

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: language and literacy.

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 53 – Five Senses Mindfulness Activity

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 53 – Five Senses Mindfulness Activity

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids – Five Senses Mindfulness Activity

Mindfulness is about noticing what’s going on around you and inside you in the present moment. This ability to focus attention on the present moment is a important skill that supports our overall health, well-being, and connection with others. Today’s exercise helps to build mindfulness skills by focusing attention on the five senses. Engaging our senses helps us focus on the present moment. Notice how you and your child are feeling as you begin. Then, together with your child:

  • Notice five things that you can see. Look around you. Notice and name five things that you can see.
  • Notice four things that you can feel. Tune in to your sense of touch. Notice and describe the texture of four things you can touch.
  • Notice three things you can hear. Listen carefully. Notice and name three sounds you hear in your environment.
  • Notice two things you can smell. Notice and name two smells you recognize.
  • Notice one thing you can taste. Focus and name one thing that you can taste right now. You can take a sip or bite of something, or simply notice the current taste in your mouth.
  • How are you and/or your child feeling now? Do you feel more connected to your surroundings and the present moment?

This exercise is great to do if you or your child is feeling anxious. It helps to distract the mind from anxious thoughts and focuses in on what’s happening in the moment.

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: mindfulness.

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 52 – Water Play Activity

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 52 – Water Play Activity

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids – Water Play Activity

If you have a little one under 5 years old at home, then you’ve experienced what it’s like to try to keep up with an energetic toddler or preschooler. But did you know that kids this age need three hours of physical activity a day?

Children between 2-4 years old don’t only need a lot of movement, they also need a lot of variety of movement. So while it’s essential to make time for unstructured, active playtime, it’s also important to have access to plenty of fun, simple activities that you know will help them get active and develop skills in a variety of ways.

With the summer heat this week, it’s a great time to engage in water play outdoors. Water play keeps them cool in the heat and also keeps them active – and it’s FUN!

Here’s some options for easy water play that doesn’t involve a swimming pool. It may be awhile before the pools and splash pads are open.

  • Car wash: Gather up lots of sponges, provide a tub of soapy water and wash the bikes and riding toys.
  • Little people washing station: Gather small face towels and a bucket of soapy water and wash all the baby dolls or action figures.
  • Wall painting: Gather sponges and brushes and have your kids throw their sponges on a wall or on a cement surface to make designs. Sponges and brushes can also be used to “paint” walls with water.
  • Setup a water sensory table: All you need is a big bin of water and add their favourite toys as well as pail, shovels, strainers and things they can use to scoop and pour.
  • Sponge toss: Gather a sponge and a bucket of water and toss the sponge back and forth to each other.

 

Depending on your child, you may want to put them in a swimsuit or clothes you don’t mind getting wet. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: physical activity.

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 51 – Marshmallow Engineering Activity

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 51 – Marshmallow Engineering Activity

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids – Marshmallow Engineering Activity

Summer is almost here and it’s almost time for bonfires and roasting marshmallows. But what do you do with all those leftover marshmallows? Marshmallows are a great building material and today’s activity uses marshmallows to build creative structures to develop engineering skills.

Step 1: Gather the following items: marshmallows (various sizes), Toothpicks, craft sticks

Step 2: Put out the materials and ask your child to build a structure with the materials. The child can choose whatever they want to make. You can make suggestions on how to stick the marshmallows together with the sticks, if they need some guidance. I recommend you also build a structure beside them. You can also extend the activity to add more challenge such as asking them to make a bridge or make the tallest structure they can without falling down.

Step 3: Talk about the structure they make and take a photo of it.

This activity is great for any age group. Even teens and adults like it!  

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: STEAM (engineering).

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 50 – Button Sorting Art Activity

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 50 – Button Sorting Art Activity

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids – Button Sorting Art Activity

Art and math seem like two very different subjects that don’t naturally combine. In this activity, we have combined art and math in a creative way. A simple and fun way to introduce counting and sorting through art is to use buttons.

Step 1: Gather the following items: buttons, paper and glue. Provide your child with a variety of buttons of different shapes and sizes (or other similar objects like beads, etc).

Step 2: Ask the child to sort the buttons by size and/or colour into different containers.

Step 3: Once your child has sorted their buttons, have them add drops of glue where they are going to put them on their paper.

Step 4: Take any button to cover up each dot of glue.

Step 5: The child can count how many of each they had or the can count how many in total.

For older kids, you can create math equations with the buttons to add them together or subtract them. Using buttons is a great way to teach math in a visual way. Combining the art with the math makes it more interesting as well.

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: STEAM (math, art).

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 49 – Fireworks Science Activity

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 49 – Fireworks Science Activity 

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids –  Fireworks Science Activity

We love this science activity that looks like crackling fireworks. This is a great summer science activity.  

Step 1: gather the following: food colouring, glitter, baking soda, vinegar, dropper, clear container 

Step 2: in the bottom of the container,  drop several drops of food colouring in different colours. Do not mix colours.

Step 3: Cover the bottom with a layer of glitter.

Step 4: Cover all the glitter with a layer of baking soda.

Step 5: Use dropper to add vinegar in drops until you see a reaction. You will see splashes of glitter explosions. 

This activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: STEAM (science).

 

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 48 – Rainbow Cupcake Baking Activity

Daily Activity for Kids – Day 48 – Rainbow Cupcake Baking Activity

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Daily Activity for Kids – Rainbow Cupcake Baking Activity

Baking is a great way to introduce science and math. You can talk to your child about cause and effect, measurements, mix ingredients and hav  cvcasasbe them predict results.

You don’t have to be a baker to make cupcakes – they are one of the easiest things to make! This version of rainbow cupcakes is fun, easy to follow and your child will love to eat them.

All you need is packaged vanilla cake mix, eggs, oil, cupcake wrappers, frosting of your choice and food colouring. Follow the instructions on the cake mix to ensure the batter is prepared correctly.

Then portion out the batter evenly into 4 separate bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring into one bowl of batter and stir; add more food coloring, if necessary, to reach the desired shade. Repeat with the remaining colors and bowls of batter to create four bowls of different coloured batter. I like to use blue, green, yellow and red.

Using a different spoon for each color batter, spoon a small spoonful of each color into the cupcake liners, until 3/4 full. Do not mix the batter once it is in the cupcake liner. Bake in the oven according to the instructions. When it is done, let them cool before adding the frosting on top. You can add rainbow candy on top for decoration.

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: STEAM (science, math).