Author Archives: Calgary's Child

Holiday Shopping Survival Tips

By Ellen Percival, Calgary’s Child Magazine

Holiday shopping is hectic at the best of times, but add a couple of unenthusiastic kids to
the mix and you’ve got the potential for one huge headache. With a little patience (and planning ahead) shopping for the holidays can be a little less frenzied.

  • Make a shopping list, plan your budget and set an itinerary of which stores you want to visit before you go – and stick to it!
  • Set a reasonable length of time for your shopping trip and try to schedule during your
    child’s best part of the day. You’ll find the mall less crowded if you shop during the non-peak hours which are earlier or later in the day – if your child is an early bird or a night owl, use this to your advantage.
  • Be sure to go over expectations of behavior before you leave and reinforce that this trip is about picking up presents for others, not for buying things for ourselves.
  • Involve your kids and let them help plan part of the shopping trip. Would they like to stop in a favorite store or stop at a play place? Set a time limit.
  • Letting them shop for a special gift for a family member will help them feel involved.
    The dollar store works well for this.
  •  Don’t forget to plan regular breaks during the shopping trip, pack along a special snack or make a plan to stop for lunch.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • Try to make the trip enjoyable – after all, this is what the holiday season is really all about! Visit Santa and enjoy all the special Christmas activities throughout the mall you are shopping at.
  • Recruit help. If your spouse or a friend is available, you’ll find it easier to “divide and conquer” or keep your kids on track with help. If you know bringing your child shopping is a bad idea, consider securing babysitting for an hour or two.
  • Stock up on gift cards for those hard-to-buy-for people in your life! You don’t have to get the world’s most creative and thoughtful gift every year and often it’s the thought that counts.
  • Have your gifts wrapped for you – many malls offer this service, some with proceeds going to a charitable cause.
  • Consider shopping online! You may pay extra for rush shipping, but sometimes it’s worth it to avoid repeat visits to the mall through December!

Remember to keep a positive attitude and approach the excursion as a special date and
not an ordeal. Looking at the trip from their perspective and planning for their needs will
help you all get through the outing a little less frenzied.

Ellen is the publisher of Calgary’s Child Magazine.

Sledding Safety from Calgary EMS

Surviving Snow Days_s125Emergency Medical Services (EMS) would like to remind parents and children about some sledding safety tips as the season is just around the corner. Sledding injuries may result from collisions with stationary objects, such as trees and rocks, or with
other people on the hill. Unprotected falls can result in injury if you lose control at
high speeds. Everyone is at risk – especially children. Have a fun and safe trip on
the toboggan hill by following these simple reminders.

Equipment

  • Always ensure your toboggan, or sledding device, is in good repair. Inspect it for any damaged, or missing parts, before each use;
  • Be certain the operator is fully capable of staying in control of the sled at all times;
  • Children should wear a properly fitted helmet designed for other high impact sports such as hockey, cycling, or climbing.

Hazards

  • Avoid hills that are too steep, or too icy;
  • Choose hills free of all obstacles such as trees, rocks, utility poles, or fences;
  • Beware of loose scarves or clothing containing drawstrings which can present a choking hazard if they become caught, or snagged.

Plan ahead

  • Dress warmly in layers and anticipate weather changes;
  • Consider bringing extra sets of gloves and toques to exchange wet garments for dry ones;
  • Take breaks, out of the cold, to warm up;
  • Ensure frostbite hasn’t affected any exposed skin;
  • Even when properly protected from the elements, the finger tips, toes, ears, the tip of the nose, and other high points on the face such as the forehead and cheek bones can be affected by frostbite;
  • If frost bite has occurred, treat it by first removing the individual out of the cold environment; Gently warm the affected skin by placing a warm hand over it, or by placing the affected part in warm, not hot, water, until re- warmed.

Smoother Mornings

by Parenting Power

p80-Annoyingthingstheydo[1]Mornings are a great time to connect with kids! Starting the day without arguments can be a great way to send everyone on their way to get the most out of their day. For many families though, mornings can feel less like a time to connect and more like a time to beg/plead and nag kids out the door and off to school.

The bottom line is, if you are going to be connecting with your kids (talking, sharing a breakfast table, or driving to school,) it works better when the roles and responsibilities are clear.

We hear from so many parents about the daily morning arguments over:

  • breakfast (what to eat, and then actually eating it)
  • getting dressed
  • turning off the screens
  • getting stuff packed up
  • getting out the door

It doesn’t have to be that way! There is room for change. A big part of smooth mornings is preparation and expectation.

Making it easier for parents

Being prepared means setting yourself up for success. You know yourself best: are you a ‘night-before’ planner or do you prefer the early-morning plan? Using non-child time to get organized means that you’ll have more time to be with your kids in the morning and to set them up for success.

Making it easier for kids

You likely know how you want the mornings to look. Now it is time to let them in on the secret without nagging. When our kids were little, one of us was clearly told, “stop telling me what to do all the time! Do you have to be so bossy?” That’s when we changed how we did mornings, and handed over some of the responsibility.

Make some time (on a weekend, or at your regular family meeting,) to clearly outline what’s expected in the mornings. Work with each child to get it on paper along with the times that each task is meant to begin. Once each child knows the plan, your job can become more about encouragement, than about telling kids what to do.

If you need to guide your kids, you can ask, “What’s next in the plan? Where do you need to be now? What does the clock say?”

Part of this morning routine can involve pre-bedtime organizing: planning with your child what clothes will be worn the next day, along with what’s for breakfast, and making sure that homework is back in the backpack and ready to go to school the next day. Do your children make their own lunch? If so, that can happen before bed as well. If you make the lunches, that’s one thing to cross of your own list before bedtime.

Getting up before the kids may be another useful tool to make your mornings easier. This leaves time for you to sit and eat with them. We find that many kids misbehave in order to get their parents’ attention in the mornings. When parents are there, attending to the behaviours we want to see, there is less of a need for misbehaviour and less of an opportunity for things to get out of hand.

Another big morning battle seems to be getting kids off of devices and back to what they need to be doing. One of the easiest ways to avoid this is to leave screens off in the morning, or at the very least, off until your child is ready to go. When that distraction is managed, many other problems fade away.

As you focus in on your family’s mornings this week, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know the schedule you would like your child to follow in the mornings?
  • Does your child know it? Write it down so that your child can concretely follow the plan.
  • How will you set your family up for morning success by doing things in advance?
  • Do screens need to be present in the morning? Make a plan for when they are turned on and when they are turned off. If they are too much of a distraction for parents or children, turn them off today and try again tomorrow (or next week).

The Family Calendar and You

Revamp Routinesby Parenting Power

Here are just a few of the great things a simple family calendar can do:

  1. Eliminate confusion
  2. Increase individual responsibility
  3. Increase predictability (which means kids feel like they have some control)
  4. Teach numeracy and literacy to our young children

One of the greatest reasons that a family calendar is important, is because it puts all of the information in one place and allows all family members to have the same understanding. One parent doesn’t assume that the rest of the family knows when the dentist appointment is happening. Kids don’t have to guess when their 3 days at dad’s house happens in this 2 week period – they can see it.

Children often feel powerless in a home. This is one of the reasons that they fight for power (defiance, power struggles.) Everyone is telling them what to do and when things are going to happen and they either have to hold it all in their head or just leave it up to the adults. Once we have a place where things are clearly written down (with pictures/words,) kids don’t have to remember everything. They can check the calendar and feel like they know what is happening each day.

We can support children in learning to take responsibility by teaching them to help themselves. When they ask, “when is picture day?” rather than telling them, we can say, “Go and check the calendar and then please let me know what you find out.”

We can also teach our children to put their activities onto the family calendar. This is great preparation for their teenage years as they learn to build habits of organization. Reviewing the week in advance at a family meeting or even after dinner one night a week means that everyone’s up to speed about their own responsibilities: driving, chores, homework, appointments, practices and special events.

Lastly, having everything on the family calendar means that we don’t fall into the trap of not telling our kids about potentially unpleasant things and building up the emotional tension around them. When doctor, dentist, and immunization appointments are clearly marked, kids can prepare themselves rather than being surprised when they are told about them, only moments in advance.

This week, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is our calendar hanging where every family member can clearly see it?
  • Do we need to start using stickers or pictures on the calendar so that all of the kids know what’s happening?
  • How can I get the kids to learn the responsibility of knowing what’s happening in their lives?
  • When will we schedule a weekly opportunity to review what’s on the family calendar?

Family Halloween 2017!

P98_smallEnjoy some spooky – but not too scary! – events as a family this Halloween! Calgary has tons of events and attractions sure to fright and delight!

Throughout October; Enjoy the Harvest Pumpkin Hunts, Butterfield Acres Children’s Farm! Weekends for families and other groups; weekdays for schools. This event sells out; get your tickets early. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Details and order forms: 403-239-0638;  butterfieldacres.com

Friday Flashlight Nights, Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm. Fridays and Saturdays through October. Check out all the amazing activities in the light and once the sun sets, challenge yourself to navigate through the huge corn maze in the dark. calgarycornmaze.com

Pumpkin Palooza at Cobb’s Corn Maze & Family Fun Park. Weekends in October. Pick from thousands of pumpkins for sale, pumpkin-themed specialty food items like pumpkin bread and pumpkin fudge. Carving kits available and carving stations on-site. Lots of fun for the whole family! cobbscornmaze.com,

Autumn Pumpkin Festival, Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm. Weekends in October. Take part in a ton of great activities: pumpkin decorating, pumpkin destruction, pumpkin picking and more!  calgarycornmaze.com

SHOCKTOBER at TELUS Spark
October 14 to 31; Enjoy frightfully fun Halloween activities for the entire family during SHOCKTOBER at TELUS Spark! From October 14 to 31, take risks and be curious as you brew a colorful potion, stand under a mysterious mess, or witness a pumpkin destruction. Plus, Monster Mash-Up (sponsored in party by Calgary’s Child Magazine) is back on October 28 and 29! sparkscience.ca/shocktober

Treat the Kids to a Swim on Halloween!
You can purchase a Booklet with 10 Swim Coupons for only $5! The booklets are on sale at any Calgary Recreation Aquatic & Fitness Centre or Leisure Centre.

Bert Church Live Theatre Presents, Musical Masquerade Halloween Howl
October 17; Join Juno award-winner Norman Foote and the fully costumed R.J. Hawkey elementary school choir! Where music, laughter, and the creative spirit of Halloween come together. Community connections make this concert a true family event where everyone is encouraged to sing along in their costume! This is an evening where the ghosts, goblins, and gremlins can all celebrate this ghoulish time of year! Foote’s musicality is like no other, mixing clever hooks, witty wordplay, and comedy all to great effect.

Day of the Dead Celebrations
October 21 & 28; Join in celebrating the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead at Marlborough Mall. Enjoy four hours of free family fun including Latin dance performances by Havana Cuban Dance Studio, sugar pumpkin decorating, face painting, colour your own sugar skull mask, and more! You also have the opportunity to win one of two Marlborough Mall gift cards! Take a selfie at the Halloween display across from the Family Park, post it to social media, tag Marlborough Mall and use the hashtag #MBMWins to enter! marlboroughmall.com

Halloweekends at Calaway Park. Weekends until October 9. Dress up and join the Boo Crew. Take a stroll down Hallo-Street – if your dare! Is it scary? No, it’s friendly! Have a spooktacular good time! For more information, visit the website. calawaypark.com

The Great Big Boo! at Cineplex Cinemas
October 26; Musical theatre meets trick-or-treating in this spectacular, non-scary show for kids! Join Zoe and Justin as they sing and dance their way through Boo Alley! Along the way, they’ll meet wacky, larger-than-life characters and embark on a quest to save Halloween. Through a maze of wild adventures, the new friends will overcome their fears, realise their dreams, and discover the true spirit of Halloween: You can be anything you want to be! Featuring a dynamic original score, spectacular dance numbers, and stunning theatrical effects, the show is sure to captivate and delight the whole family. Following the show, the audience is invited to meet the stars of the show, and join them for a fun trick-or-treat event! Check the website for more information.

Boo! Spooktacular Family Fun at the Calgary Farmers’ Market
October 27 & 28; There’s Double, Double, Toil and Trouble at the Calgary Farmers’ Market this Halloween when families come out for our Spooktacular Events! Check out the pumpkins in our vendor pumpkin carving contest and vote for a chance to win $50 in Market Bucks on Friday, October 27th! And on Saturday, October 28th, we invite you to come in your Halloween costume for spooktacular fun with a Christopher Cool Magic Show, a ‘spooky’ sing-a-long, healthy Halloween snacks, and a Mad Scientist Fire and Ice Show! calgaryfarmersmarket.ca

Halloween Party at Westbrook Mall
October 28 & 29; Families and children can enjoy free pumpkin decorating and face painting in the centre court with at $2 donation to Cystic Fibrosis Canada! *For children 12 years and younger. Must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. One per child while quantities last. westbrookmall.com

Ghouls’ Night Out at Heritage Park
October 26 – 29; Ghouls’ Night Out is perfect for families with little ghouls ages 3 to 9 who are looking for a fun, safe night out. Don’t miss the ghostly encounters and freaky family fun! This is a ticketed event, so buy online to avoid disappointment! heritagepark.ca

Babies Go Boo at the Calgary Public Library!
October 26 – 31; Dress up your baby and come celebrate Halloween with stories, rhymes, and songs. This event is for ages 6 to 23 months. calgarylibrary.ca

Halloween Boo Bags at North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre
October 27; A creative Halloween event for families! North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre will supply a fabulous instructor and all the art supplies you need! Bags are only $10 each. Spaces are limited, so register your family (children must be accompanied with a parent or a caregiver). Call 403-221-3682 to register!

Kanga-Boo Halloween at Cobb’s Adventure Park & Corn Maze
October 28 & 29; There will be free treat bags for all in costume, prizes for best costume, a pumpkin carving contest, and this is your last chance to see the kangaroos until next year. cobbsadventurepark.com

Haunting Halloween at Village Square Leisure Centre
October 31; Come dressed in your favorite costume and join for creepy crafts, ghostly games, and fun ghoulish activities. Check the website for more information!

Are you a Soccer Parent, Dance Mom or Hockey Dad?

provided by Parenting Power

P84_smallIt’s that time of year, school has started and all of the extra-curricular activities are back on the calendar. Auditions, evaluations, practices…they add to the excitement and education in the lives of our families!

Are you a Soccer Parent, Dance Mom or Hockey Dad?

Lately, social media and marketers have begun labeling parents as Sports Parents. Labels are often easy to slip on – they can add a feeling of belonging. At the same time, these labels can add a lot of pressure for kids. If you have ever labeled yourself a Sport Parent, what you really are is a parent who has a child that is participating in a sport.

In his article, What is the Role of Parents in Youth Sports?, Micheal McArdle says,

“Sport is what we do, it is not who we are.”

The same goes for band, or choir, piano or dance, math or Rubik’s cube. Our kids do these activities, our kids are just kids. At the same time, we are the parents of these kids. It is not about us. Labels make it more about us.

Our job as parents is to love and support our kids as they participate in the activities. We are not there as coaches – and if a parent is the coach, the coaching job takes place at the event, not in the car on the way there, on the way home and all through the week until the next practice.

Kids feel a ton of pressure, embarrassment and frustration when parents overstep their level of involvement in an activity. Your child may not be able to tell you about these feelings. We’ve included a fabulous video below in which kids of all ages tell us what they need from their parents. It’s about kids and sports and it really does transfer to all activities.

Many sports organizations across Canada require families to take the Respect in Sport course. While this program contains valuable information, taking the course alone will not change your behaviour. That’s your job!

This week, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I make my kids’ activities about me?
  • Am I stressed out about what team or level my child will make this year?
  • What level of awareness can I bring to my pre/post game/performance behaviour?
  • Can I plan my words before I go and watch? What will I say? What will I do? What won’t I say and do?

Kids want our love, support and help. Let their coaches/teachers guide their performance. Enjoy watching them play. It’s what they do, not who they are.

3 Steps to School

By Parenting Power

You know it’s coming…

If you listen very carefully, you can hear the opening notes of the theme from Jaws playing in the back of your mind. Da…da. Da….da. Da.da.Da.da. Dadadada.  The notes are getting closer together! The tension builds. The shark is about to strike!

School is almost here.
That means that this is the time to start having those conversations. You know the ones we mean: sleep, homework, guitar practice, chores, etc….

The good news? There is always enough time for these conversations and planning them now means that you are setting everyone up for success.

Step One
Have these conversations with yourself first. Figure out exactly what you expect. Talk with your co-parent and get the adults on the same page. Know what is the most important to your family and where you are going to focus your energies.

Step Two
Call a family meeting (or meet one on one with each of your kids) and get started.

Don’t do all the talking. Be prepared to listen as well. Share the agenda and get your family working on what’s important. If it is important to you, you will stick to your plan and follow through.

Step Three
Pick a topic and follow one of the following agendas (or build your own)

Example 1.

Topic: Sleep

Parent: When we see you missing out on sleep, we feel frustrated because it is a struggle to get you out of bed the next morning.
Child: When you nag me to go to bed all the time, I feel like you are bossing me around and I should get to stay up later now.
Parent: What we know for sure is that you are meant to be getting 9 hours of sleep each night. How can you make that happen? Maybe we can change when you wake up? Maybe we can give you a bit more free time before bedtime?

Family works together to brainstorm ideas and find the right one.

WRITE IT DOWN – know all the details: What time is each step happening? Who’s in charge of it? What will the parents say as a cue? What are the consequences?

Example 2:

Topic: Chores

Agenda: What’s working? What’s not? How do we make it better?

Parent: Getting garbage out has been working really well. Thanks for making that happen every week. The frustrating part is that I go to throw out my garbage and no one has replaced the bag in the bin. How do we fix that?
Child: Well, if I have to get the garbage from all over the house, and get it outside, it would be nice if someone else can get a new bag? Is anyone willing to help me?

Family works together to brainstorm ideas and find the right one.

WRITE IT DOWN – know all the details: What time is each step happening? Who’s in charge of it? What will the parents say as a cue? What are the consequences?

It doesn’t have to be one big long meeting. Some families love a weekly meeting, other families only meet when there is an issue. Figure out what works for your family and get it happening. These rituals help our kids feel involved and that family life is predictable. It helps them to feel like they have power (the ability to effect change.) It does not leave them feeling nagged or helpless.

This week, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the key areas we need to discuss before school starts?
  • How much sleep does my child need? (see below)
  • Does my child get to go to extra-curricular activities if she isn’t showing effort for school?
  • Does my child get to work outside of the home when he doesn’t meet the responsibilities inside the home?
  • What will we tell our kids about screen time for this fall?
  • Will we follow through?

Julie and Gail are the co-founders of Parenting Power and the co-authors of A YEAR of Intentional Parentingparentingpower.ca

Back-to-School: Buying Backpacks That Won’t Hurt Their Backs

provided by Cadence Sports Therapy

With Calgary students returning to the classroom in a few short weeks, back-to-school shopping is a top priority for parents. While students may have strong ideas about what backpack they want to be sporting for the new year, to prevent long-term injuries, Dr. Angela Pucci urges parents to consider features, other than aesthetics, when selecting backpacks.

“Kids are super resilient, let’s keep them that way by treating their little bodies properly,” Dr. Pucci explains. Research, including a 2010 study from the University of California, San Diego, indicates that too heavy backpacks significantly increases back pain in children. With the body out of proper alignment when carrying a heavy backpack, shoulders, hips and knees also are strained.

As a mother of two and a passionate Chiropractor, Dr. Angela Pucci has a few tips for parents to keep in mind while out shopping for new backpacks, and throughout the remainder of the school year:

  • Look for Styles with Multiple Compartments: A backpack that has different areas to store items means that there are more options to distribute weight.
  • Consider a Waist Belt: A waist belt allows the weight of the backpack to be more evenly distributed across the body.
  • Use a Bathroom Scale: You may not have ever considered weighing your child’s backpack, but the contents shouldn’t be over 10-15% of your child’s body weight (i.e. a child that weighs 90 pounds shouldn’t carry a backpack over 9-13.5 pounds).
  • Use Both Straps on the Bag: Picking up and using the bag properly can be more challenging to get your kids to do, but their muscles may become strained if they sling the bag over their shoulder or chest, or have a bag with only one strap – encourage children to use both straps on their backpacks.

Dr. Angela Pucci enjoys treating people of all ages and stages of life, including school age children. She is certified in Active Release Techniques, Graston Technique, Kinesiotape, Custom Orthotic Therapy, and Acupuncture. Visit www.cadencesportstherapy.com for more information.

August is Festival Month in Calgary!

Just one more month of summer – looking for things to do? August and September are full of an incredible variety of festivals and special events all around the city!

Inglewood Sunfest
Saturday Aug 5, 2017 at 11:00 am – 6:00 pm; Seize the Sunfest! There is an activity for all ages: a jump in the bouncer for kids, discovering a great new band, being wowed by amazing street performers, and more! For all of the details, visit the website. www.inglewoodsunfest.ca

Heritage Day at Fort Calgary
Monday Aug 7, 2017 at 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Heritage Day at Fort Calgary. Bring the kids and experience Calgary’s multicultural heritage. Free family-friendly activities are part of Historic Calgary Week. Past highlights include community garden tours and games, traditional Indigenous games and stories, powwow dance workshops, and interactive children’s crafts. www.fortcalgary.com

Heritage Day at Heritage Park
Monday Aug 7, 2017 at 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Interpreters will bring history to life in the homes, shops, and on the streets! Visit exhibits; take a spin on the antique midway, a cruise on a paddlewheel boat, or tour the park on an authentic steam train. Play traditional Aboriginal games, train to be a voyageur, and march with Mounties! For more information, visit the website. www.heritagepark.ca

Heritage Day Festival
Monday Aug 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm; Join for the 40th Annual Heritage Day Festival at Olympic Plaza! Come for 6 hours of multicultural performances, ethnic foods, and unique handicrafts. Explore the Indian Village, get your face painted into a lion, jump in a bouncy castle, frolic in the water, try a new dish, or simply soak up the sun in front of the stage and enjoy the folk performances. This is a free family event! www.facebook.com/events/1344574348933052/

Taste of Calgary
Aug 10, 2017 – Aug 13, 2017 at 11:00 am – 9:00 pm; Takes place from August 10 to 13. Taste of Calgary, the city’s most appetizing outdoor festival of food and drinks, is back for its 21st year at Eau Claire’s festival plaza. This year’s blend of international cuisines will treat your taste buds to flavors from African, East Indian, Italian, Asian and others; all represented by over 60 of Calgary’s most unique restaurants and beverage companies. Come down and try sample-sized menu items that are perfect for a bite-size taste of Calgary’s great cuisine and most unique beverages. Buy Taste sampling tickets for $1 each right at the event and use them to pay for any of the food or beverage menu items at the festival. Admission to the festival is free and includes a taste of Calgary’s incredible local entertainers live on the Main Stage! www.tasteofcalgary.com

Sweet Summer Corn Festival at the Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm
Saturday Aug 12, 2017 at 10:00 am – 4:00 pm; Sweet Summer Corn Festival at the Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm. Enjoy pony rides, a corn-eating contest, corn crafts, a petting zoo, mini-golf, wagon and train rides, and more! www.calgarycornmaze.com

Marda Gras Street Festival
Sunday Aug 13, 2017 at 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Enjoy live music, dance, and cultural performances, a fun kids area, unique shopping, and an abundance of great food! For more information, visit the website. www.mardagras.ca

GlobalFest
Aug 15, 2017 – Aug 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm – 11:30 pm; GlobalFest is an explosively multicultural festival that will take place from August 15 to 26. GlobalFest is proud to partner once again with Trico Homes for the International Fireworks Festival and Sunbelt Rentals for the OneWorld Festival. The Trico Homes International Fireworks Festival illuminates the night sky every August with a symphony of pyrotechnics and music, coming together as an artistic display of light and sound.Sunbelt Rentals OneWorld Festival will play host to various activities including live performances, cultural pavilions, ethnic food booths, and a night market. www.globalfest.ca

ReggaeFest
Aug 17, 2017 – Aug 19, 2017; Experience why this family-friendly event has become the premier summer Reggae Festival! Chill out with a brew in the Village, hang with the kids in the Zone, savor the flavors of island spices, and much more! For more information, scheduling, and to purchase tickets, visit the website. www.reggaefest.ca

Expo Latino Festival
Aug 18, 2017 – Aug 20, 2017; The biggest Latin festival in Western Canada! There will be world-class performances, sizzling dancing, exotic food, and an art market. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website. www.expolatino.com

Alberta Open Farm Days
Aug 19, 2017 – Aug 20, 2017; Alberta Open Farm Days is about farmers and ranchers inviting their urban and rural neighbours to stop in for a visit to share stories, see demonstrations, and learn more about the farmers who grow their food. As well, some of Alberta’s most talented chefs and rural communities will be hosting a memorable series of farm-to-table culinary events that will be held around the province using Alberta farm products. Admission is free. www.albertafarmdays.com

Country Kickback at Heritage Park Historical Village
Aug 26, 2017 – Aug 27, 2017 at 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Experience ‘How the West Was Once’ out on the farm during Country Kickback at Heritage Park. Watch antique steam farm equipment at work in the fields, cheer on the slow tractor races, and gather a team for the family-fun kickback challenge! For more information, visit the website. www.heritagepark.ca

Exercises to Do as a Family

by Brooke Whistance; image: pixabay.com

push-ups-888024_960_720When you have a family of your own, you are not just responsible for your own health and well-being but are also responsible for the people around you in your house. Everything that you do will not only affect you but have a direct or indirect effect on your family as well. It is easy to shape a child’s brain by being the prime example of what you are preaching them to be. If you want your child to be a grown up with good mannerisms and respect for everything that nature has blessed us with, then you would need to show them how to be loving and caring.

Similarly, the groceries that you bring and the food that you eat not only supplies you with nourishment but your children and your partner as well. You may have a healthy balanced diet which will undoubtedly be adopted by your family. Yet things may get complicated if you have a workout routine and you want to include your kids along with you. Most exercises that you do in the gym are not appropriate for kids under the age 16 to be performed. So here are a few exercises that you can do as a family.

Pre and Post Dinner Walks:

Walking is one of the healthiest and easiest out of all forms of exercise. All you need is to go out to the street and decide which direction to go to. Going for a walk before a meal, or 30 minutes after consuming a food is a good daily exercise to stay fit. This will not only provide you with exercise but also lets you spend quality time with your family. You may decide how long you want to keep the walk, especially depending on the age of your children. If they are below 5, you may want to keep the walk 15-20 minutes long as longer walks can tire young children quickly.

Incorporating Exercise into Other Activities:

If you do not get enough time for an everyday walk around dinner time, then you can incorporate small walks in your kids’ routine by some other forms. While picking them up from school, you may park your car farther away so that they can have a small exercise. Or if you are visiting a shopping center with them, take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. You may use the family TV time to have small breaks of exercises, such as during commercials you can plan squats, pushups, crunches or some warm up exercises.

Active Video Gaming:

If you kids are of the stay-at-home kind and would rather play video games than do something else then make their activity into an exercise for them. Go to gaming arenas that provide exergaming. These games use technology that will require you to move around so that you can play the game successfully. This will result in you exercising your muscles while you play, which if done regularly, can assist you in staying in shape.

Do Strength Training:

When kids are growing up, they have different capacities of lifting weights which means that you will need to treat them differently based on their age and strength building. Exercises that involve core building muscles can be done so at nearly any age, however, strength training should wait until your kids are well into their teen years. Either have a combined gym membership for your family so that you can work out together, or you may also purchase some small equipment on your own and have workout sessions at home.

Doing activities such as these will not only strengthen your bond with each other but will let you build a better and healthier life. You will be able to motivate each other to be in good shape while providing assistance to each other during your workout routines.