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Eating Out With Young Children

 

by Calgary’s Child Magazine

Going out for dinner is the easiest way we know to tame the “What’s for Dinner” battle cry! A night out at a restaurant can be a big treat for everyone in the family, especially if it’s a new experience for your smaller children. We’ve heard many stories from families (the good, the bad and the ugly), about their restaurant experiences.

First, identify family-friendly restaurants in your area — does it have a children’s menu, high chairs, booster seats, and children’s activities available? What’s the noise level like? Is it easy to navigate through the tables to get to the bathroom? What’s the target demographic for the restaurant?

Before you even step out of the car, outline your expectations to your children about good restaurant behavior. Keep them simple. The use of inside voices, the importance of staying seated at the table (no running through the restaurant,) and good manners are three great rules to start.

Don’t hesitate to cut your dinner short and leave if your children don’t behave. It’s a shame to waste an evening out, but most restaurants are able to quickly pack up your leftovers so you can make a rapid exit. In our experience (depending on your children’s ages) you only need to leave halfway through dinner once and kids learn that you are serious about these expectations.

Breakfast and lunch are an ideal time to introduce your children to restaurants and teach them the rules. With lower prices, and faster service, it’s often easier to enjoy a successful outing. If you want to try eating dinner somewhere a little more upscale, consider going right when the restaurant opens for the evening (4 or 5pm, usually) to reduce the stress of long lines, noisy dining rooms and slow service. Food courts and buffets offer a large selection of food, making them excellent choices for picky eaters without the formality of table service.

If your kids get tired of chicken nuggets off the kids menu and want to try what you’re having, either split a larger portion or consider ordering off the appetizer menu. It’s a great opportunity to let them experience new flavors without committing to a jumbo entree.

Hungry children are not patient. Plan to go to the restaurant half an hour your child’s regular dinner time to reduce fussing. Bring some crackers or cereal along in a small baggie just in case the wait becomes too much to bear. If your child isn’t drinking from a regular cup yet, don’t forget to bring their sippy cup; wait staff are usually more than happy to refill it with water if you ask.

When you arrive, order the children’s food immediately even if you’re not ready yet to order yours yet. If the restaurant is busy, this will ensure yours child’s order gets in early. They’ll have lots of time to linger over dessert while you finish your main course.

Take along a coloring book, a small quiet toy to play with or a book to read at the table.  Some inventive parents we know pack a special restaurant bag with toys and treats that only comes out at the restaurant. Keep your children entertained with simple games, like ‘I Spy’ or tic-tac-toe with the sugar packets. Our children even polished up on math skills by learning to add creamers and sugar packets.

A trip to the bathroom can be a good distracting technique for a restless child. Try going after you order and before the food arrives — it might save a trip in the middle of the meal.

We always pack a washcloth or pre-packaged wipes to help cleanup during or after the meal; nobody wants to be the parent who leaves a disaster area behind. While messes happen, don’t forget to tip generously if cleanup will be more than usual and do what you can to demonstrate good social behavior to your kids by tidying up after yourselves a little on your way out.

With a little pre-planning, eating out with the kids can be a great way to expand their palates and teach them pro-social behavior in public. Bon appetit!

Are You Sleepy?

Written by Dr. Susan Bartell; photo: Fotolia.com

pg81-AskElizabeth[1]Are you tired? Me too! But, guess what… your child or teen is probably even more tired. In fact, 80 per cent of teens, and nearly 70 per cent of kids under 10 are sleep-deprived. Sleep deprivation can be a significant problem for kids, interfering with almost every aspect of their lives.

Tiredness can make it difficult to learn and retain information in the classroom, cause distractibility and difficulties with attention, (it can be mistaken for ADHD) and may even result in a child falling asleep in school or while doing homework. Sleep deprivation may reduce a child’s motivation to participate in activities or cause kids to become cranky, impatient and badly behaved in social situations.

The first week in March (leading up to Daylight Savings Time in many areas) gives us an opportunity to consider the most common reasons that kids become deprived and then do our best to ensure that they get more sleep:

The sleep stealer: No time to sleep! Many kids and teens have schedules so busy that they simply can’t get to bed early enough to get at least eight hours of sleep.

The sleep solution: Cut down on extracurricular activities. This is the answer if your child doesn’t have time to do homework, eat, bathe and relax for 30 minutes before bed.

The sleep stealer: Too much screen time! When viewed right before bed, the TV, computer, cell phone or other electronic screens can interfere with your child’s ability to relax and dial back brain activity in preparation for sleep. In addition, too much screen time during the day wastes time, making it difficult for your child to complete all tasks and activities before bed.

The sleep solution: Turn off the screens. All ‘screens’ should be turned off at least 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime. Resist the urge to allow a TV in your child’s bedroom and ensure that, at night, the cell phone is also docked in another room. If your child can’t ‘resist’ the computer or handheld games, be sure to have strict, enforced rules to limit their use.

The sleep stealer: Wrecked routines! When your child’s bedtime is different each night, chaotic, loud or stressful, it is much more likely to result in difficulty falling and staying asleep. In addition, without a routine, your child is much less likely to get the recommended number of hours of shut-eye.

The sleep solution: Kids are much more likely to get enough sleep when they have a predictable, soothing bedtime routine. Start at the same time every night, and include bathroom activities, reading or a quiet game and then end with a short hug and kiss. Don’t get into bed with your child. Instead, teach them how to ‘self-soothe’ by encouraging them to fall asleep on their own – without your help.

The sleep stealer: As with adults, snoring can cause chronic sleep deprivation for kids because they never get a good night’s sleep, even if they seem to be getting enough hours of sleep. Some reasons that kids snore include enlarged tonsils or adenoids, being overweight, allergies and sleep apnea.
The sleep solution: Although it may seem minor, snoring is a sign that something is not quite right with your child’s health. When your child snores routinely (not just when they have a cold), it’s important to talk to their health professional about what may be causing it. Don’t quit searching for the answer until you find it! Your child may not know it now, but they will thank you later.

Dr. Susan Bartell is America’s #1 Family Psychologist. Her latest parenting book is The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask. You can learn more about her at www.drsusanbartell.com.

Bicycle Helmet Safety from Calgary EMS

p48-BikeSenseEvery year Calgary paramedics respond to traumatic emergencies where helmets have prevented a serious injury or saved a life.

Bicycle crashes are the leading cause of brain injury in school aged children. The majority of bicycle injuries do not involve motor vehicles. Most often injuries occur when a cyclist suffers a fall, strikes a stationary object like a pole, or collides with a pedestrian or another cyclist. Unfortunately there are still a significant number of people that do not wear helmets, however it is Alberta law that anyone under 18 years of age must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. It is also highly advisable to wear a CSA approved helmet when using a skateboard, in-line skates, or a scooter.

Getting Started
• Allow children to assist in choosing their own helmet– cyclists who choose their own helmet are more likely to wear them.
• Make a habit of wearing helmets early, even if young children are learning on a tricycle.
• One simple rule: no helmet, no cycling. Make the rule and stick to it consistently.
• Lead by example– always wear your own helmet!
• A helmet that has been in a crash must be replaced, even if it appears undamaged.
• Replace your helmet every five years even if it hasn’t been in a crash. UV rays will weaken the helmet over time.

Getting the Right Fit
• The helmet should rest level on the head, never tilted high or low over the forehead.
• The helmet should feel snug, but not too tight. It should not fall off when you shake your head from side to side while the straps are unfastened.
• Adjust the chin straps to form a “Y” below and slightly forward from the ears.
• Only one finger should be able to fit under the chin strap when it is fastened.
• Use the sizing pads included with the helmet to improve the comfort and fit.

Getting Informed
• A brain injury is not like a broken bone – it may never fully heal.
• A brain injury can lead to permanent disability or death.
• The cost of a helmet is easily justified. Research demonstrates wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury by 85%.
• Statistics show that all cyclist fatalities in children under the age of 15 were unhelmeted.
• Remember: all cyclists’ crash eventually!
• Calgary paramedics are doing their part– every year the Calgary Paramedics Charity Society gives away 500 bicycle helmets to less fortunate children.

Valentine’s and Family Day Fun!

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Photo: Fotolia.com

Family Valentine’s Crafts and Cookies at Southland Leisure Centre
February 14, two times available: 9:30 to 11:30am and 6:30 to 8:30pm. Make some Valentine’s crafts for family and friends, and enjoy some light refreshments! 2000 Southland Drive SW. calgary.ca

In The Heat of the Night at the Calgary Zoo
February 14, 6 to 10pm. Love and Courtship in the Wild. Get all dressed up for In the Heat of the Night, the Calgary Zoo’s annual adventure into the world of critter romance. Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s dinner in the ENMAX Conservatory, with unbeatable ambience. After your meal, the Zoo will start their special presentations on courtship and mating in the animal world. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website. The Calgary Zoo ENMAX Conservatory – 1300 Zoo Road NE.

Funtastic Family Fair at Village Square Leisure Centre
February 15, 6 to 8pm. Participate in games, face painting, try your creativity with some arts & crafts, sit back and enjoy some entertainment! If you choose to use the pool or weight room, receive a 50 per cent discount on admission. 2623, 56 Street NE. calgary.ca

FISHtival at Bow Habitat Station
February 18, 10am to 4pm. Kick off the Family Day Weekend at FISHtival! There will be free outdoor activities, including casting games, ice fishing safety, and marshmallow roasting. Warm up inside the Discovery Centre with even more fishy fun – including crafts, games, and prizes – at a special rate of $5 per person. Due to capacity, no strollers allowed. Free for children 3 and under. Bow Habitat Station: 1440, 17A Street SE. Website.

Puppet Pop-Up Studio: Veggie Puppets!
February 18, 1 to 3pm. Do you like playing with your food? What can you make from a zucchini? Or a potato? A puppet, of course! Make a puppet from an array of provided vegetables and act in the group’s tall tale about gardening. Take your puppet home to either eat or compost. Donations to the Food Bank kindly accepted. Please note that children and teens must participate with an adult! For ages 4+. 1204 89 Avenue SW. Website.

The City of Calgary Parks: We are Family Event
February 19, 1 to 3pm. Enjoy an afternoon of fun-filled activities for all ages during the Family Day weekend at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. There will be nature-themed crafts, a bingo-style scavenger hunt, and spotting scopes available for viewing the sanctuary’s high flyers! Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. calgary.ca/parksevents

Fort Calgary WinterFest
February 20, 10am to 5pm. Join Fort Calgary for a day of family activities including a Quebecois sugar shack, traditional Blackfoot winter stories, a dream catcher making workshop, Mountie uniform try-on, a kids’ historical play in the theatre, and various kids’ games and learning activities throughout the day. Fort Calgary – 750, 9 Avenue SE. fortcalgary.com

Family Day at Studio Bell
February 20, 10am to 5pm. Studio Bell is opening its doors on a Monday for a special Family Day event! Join to save $50 on a NMC Family Membership (offer only available in-person on February 20) and join for all-day family fun that includes live music and pop-up shows; Sound Sandwich instrument crafts; NMC Educators located throughout the building to help you rock out; and Kimball Theatre Organ performances at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. 850, 4 Street SE. studiobell.ca/whats-on

Free Family Fun Day at Eau Claire Market
February 20, 11am to 4pm. Enjoy Live Entertainment, a Magician, Petting Zoo, Carnival Games, Face Painting, and much more! Featuring an Artisan Market by MarketSpot YYC! Eau Claire Market – 200 Barclay Parade. eauclairemarket.com/e-upcoming-events.asp

Shouldice Family Day Event
February 20, 12pm to 4pm. Enjoy your Family Day at Shouldice Aquatic Centre & Shouldice Arena! There will be free outdoor activities, hot chocolate, swimming, and skating!

Free Family Day Public Skate at Vivo
February 20, 12pm to 4pm. Join Vivo and MLA Kleinsteuber for an afternoon of fun! Cross skating off the Participaction 150 Play List with this Free Public Skate. And while you’re at Vivo, why not cross off a few more activites?! Vivo’s Play Ambassadors will be on-site to help you and your family try out and cross off: disc golf; scootering; kayaking (on dryland, scooter versions!); horseshoes; 4 square; kin-ball; badminton; field hockey; obstacle course; tug of war. 11950 Country Village Link NE. vivo.ca

Family New Year’s Fun 2017

New Year’s Eve is just a couple of days away – what are your plans? It’s easy to celebrate the arrival of 2017 as a family in Calgary! Check out our top picks for family-friendly celebrations over the next few days. Happy New Year!

City of Calgary New Year’s Activities

On December 31, Calgarians and visitors alike will enjoy a New Year’s Eve celebration for the history books. Check out the the glow-in-the-dark dance party at the Municipal Building complete with crafts, bouncy castle, stilt walkers, magician and a kids’ countdown from 7-9pm! Olympic Plaza will be illuminated and animated with family skating, live ice carvings, fire spinning, an ice slide, and creative light-based art installations to celebrate the beginning of Canada’s 150th anniversary. For more information, visit the website.

Kids New Year’s Eve Party in Okotoks

From 9:30am – 3:30pm, the Okotoks Recreation Centre has all kinds of free activities to celebrate ringing in 2017 including a bouncy castle, magic, swimming and skating. Cap off the evening with fireworks at Lineham Park at 7pm! Check out the website for more details.

Kids New Year’s Parties at Southland Leisure Centre and Village Square Leisure Centre

Both leisure centres will have fun all-ages parties from 4:30-8:30pm on New Year’s Eve! Special activities include a pool party, fun and games in the lobby, a DJ, arts and crafts, and much more! The evening will be finished off with a countdown in the pool at 8:30pm. Visit the website for more information.

Airdrie Festival of Lights New Year’s Celebration

Watch the fireworks at 6:30pm in Ed Eggerer Park, then head over to Nose Creek Park and enjoy the lights until 9pm! Enjoy a miniature train ride, hot chocolate, family fun activities and a DJ! Check out the website for more information.

Noon Year’s Eve at TELUS Spark

Ring in 2017 a little early at TELUS Spark! Be sure to arrive before noon to participate in the celebrations. Perfect for Calgarians with early bedtimes, take part in a special countdown beginning at 11:45am set to the tune of hydrogen balloon explosions. Then, join the celebrations at the bubble wrap dance party. Visit the website for more details.

Enjoying the Holidays: 9 Tips for Families of Children With Special Needs

Provided by the Episcopal Center for Children; photo: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Thinkstock

The holidays can be fun, but they can add stress to the lives of children with special needs. The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit organization serving children with special needs ages 5-14 in the greater Washington, DC area, offers the following tips to help.

“Children with special needs enjoy the holidays but they are especially sensitive to the changes in routines that the holidays bring,” said Dodd White, president and CEO of ECC. “Making a plan and adjusting your expectations can go a long way to creating a positive holiday experience for the entire family.”

Tip #1 – Make a plan for the holidays and share it with your family. Create a schedule for your family’s holiday activities and post it for your child to see. You may need to use pictures to help a young child. Talk about the schedule with your child, so he or she can anticipate what will happen. Review the schedule weekly. Also discuss the schedule with others in your home, so they understand what is going on and how they can best support your child with special needs, so everyone can have a fun holiday.

Tip #2 – For holiday gatherings, give your child a job and a schedule. Ask your child to help collect coats, give out treats, or greet arrivals. Rehearse the plan. Give your child a schedule for a festive occasion so he or she knows what to anticipate.

Tip #3 – Maintain routines as much as possible. There may be special activities for the holidays, but try to keep your child’s schedule as close to “normal” as possible. 

Tip #4 – Eat healthy foods and know how new or special foods impact your child. During the holidays there are all sorts of fun foods and treats to enjoy. Some children are more affected than others by dietary changes. Pay attention to your child’s moods and how diet and situational changes may be impacting him or her. Bring along with you food that is familiar to your child if you think it may be needed.

Tip #5 – If your child is sensitive to unfamiliar smells, help manage them. You can add a little cinnamon to play compound to help a child experience this smell minimally. Ask guests visiting your home to not wear heavy perfumes if your child is sensitive to them.

Tip #6 – Get your child into the spirit of the season through gift giving. Gift giving provides an opportunity to practice social skills. Help your child make a gift for someone else, and practice how to give the gift to that person.

Tip #7 – Take breaks when needed. Sometimes children need a break from the hubbub of holiday activities and busyness. Fill a bag or backpack with a few favorite toys, games or activities. If you see your child is getting stressed, get out the bag and find a quiet spot to get them out.

Tip #8 – Do not allow presents to be a hindrance to enjoyment. Some children with special needs find it dis-orienting to unwrap things that are new and unfamiliar to them. If that is the case for your child, wrap a few favorite toys for your child to unwrap. Children who have trouble with fine motor skills may find unwrapping some gifts frustrating. You can adjust packages to their comfort level by loosening ribbons and paper. And ask others who give your child gifts to be aware of his or her needs.

Tip #9 – Give your child the gift of your attention. Holidays can be busy for grown-ups and children. Make sure you spend a few minutes of quality time with your child. Give him or her your full attention. Practice active listening, where you listen to what your child is saying and then repeat it back to them to demonstrate that you were listening.

Where to See Santa Claus 2016!


ChristmasSanta at the Mall

Bass Pro Shops at CrossIron Mills
The most wonderful time of the year is almost here! Gather the family and come to experience the joy of a classic Christmas. Get a free photo with Santa then stay for FREE games, crafts and activities that celebrate the season. If it’s busy, the store will give you a Bass Pass to come back later and skip the line.
When: November 13 – December 24, 2016
Location: 261055 Crossiron Blvd, Rocky View AB

Chinook Centre
Santa arrives at Chinook Centre on November 28, and would love for you to visit. Book ahead online and skip the long lines – this is a very popular spot to see Santa!
When: November 25 – December 24, 2016
Location: 6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary AB

Deerfoot City
Featuring a backdrop of real trees offering beautiful keepsake photos. Located in the North Sport Chek corridor this year and photos are available at the 2016 special rate of $9.99/sheet.
When: November 25 – December 24, 2016
Location: 901 64 Ave NE, Calgary AB

Market Mall
Santa will be welcoming visitors at his Playland in Market Mall. Make sure to book ahead! If you have time, why not visit the Magic Gift Workshop and have a gift wrapped by the Tufties?
When: November 20 – December 24, 2016
Location: 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary AB

Marlborough Mall
Visit Santa all season long. Check the website for hours.
When: November 19 – 24, 2016
Location: 3800 Memorial Dr NE, Calgary, AB

Northland Village Mall
Northland Village’s Village Square will be transformed into Sugarplum Lane. Parents can bring their children for fun activities, yummy treats, and a visit with Santa! Be sure to bring your camera to take photos for a small donation to Habitat to Humanity (no photographer onsite).
When: December 1 – December 24, 2016
Location: 5111 Northland Drive NW, Calgary AB

Southcentre Mall
While waiting for Santa, your kids can watch a holiday movie at the Magic Pond, located near Santa’s Enchanted Forest or take an Elfie Selfie! After seeing Santa, be sure to decorate your own cookie in the Cookie Kitchen. Southcentre has a list of the busiest times on their website.
When: November 19 – December 24, 2016
Location: 100 Anderson Road SE, Calgary AB

Sunridge Mall
Santa will arrive at Sunridge Mall on December 1, 2016 and they are offering Santa photos free of charge this year; just bring your own camera, camcorder or smartphone. In lieu of payment, a monetary donation to KidSport Calgary is gratefully requested.
When: December 1 – 24, 2016
Location: 2525 36 St NE, Calgary AB

Westbrook Mall
Visit with Santa at Center Court!
When: November 19 – December 24, 2016
Location: 1200 37 St SW, Calgary AB

Other Places to See Santa:

Airdrie Santa Claus Parade
Take family and friends to the Santa Claus Parade where Santa and numerous floats roll down on Main Street and light up the downtown. This is a fun, festive way to set the mood for your holiday.
When: December 3, 2016 – 5 p.m.
Location: Main Street – The Parade will start at Fletcher Park (6th Ave NW and Main Street) and will proceed southbound Main street to Ridgegate.

High River Santa Claus Parade
Join the third annual Light Up George Land Park and the 30th annual Santa Claus Parade. There will be live music, entertainment, photos with Santa, firepits, hot chocolate, unique gifts and more!
When: December 2, 2016
Location: Downtown High River

Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade
Parade starts at 11AM and runs down 2nd Ave. to Main Street and then heads East up Main Street to 6th Ave and turns north to 25th Street. Come join us for music, fun and the start of the Christmas season!
When: November 26, 2016
Location: Fort Macleod

Holiday Shopping with Kids

by Elizabeth Pantley; photo: PhotoXpress.com

It’s the time of year when many people hit the stores shopping for the best bargains in gifts and holiday foods. It’s also the time of year for kids to beg, whine, fuss and have major meltdowns and tantrums in the malls and stores. Here are some tips to make your shopping trips pleasant – and maybe even fun!

Understand what’s really happening

Typically, it’s not shopping that young children object to, but the stressful environment and the business-like approach parents adopt when holiday shopping. In addition to that, the length of most shopping excursions tends to exceed a child’s limited amount of patience. So here’s what to do to make your outings more peaceful and maybe even fun:

View shopping trips as a holiday event, rather than an errand.

This is a great time to achieve two things at once: get your shopping done and have quality time with your child. Many shops are decorated for the holidays – so take a few extra minutes to view and appreciate these. Stop for a hot chocolate, snack or juice. When you have a more cheerful attitude it can easily rub off on your child.

Plan more time to shop.

When you’re not in a rush, you and your child will be more relaxed and have a better time. Make a list in advance, plan your route and stick to it. Roaming the stores pondering choices makes it a much longer event.

Engage your child.

Show your child all the interesting things on the shelves. New things to see and smell are everywhere! Older children love to be helpers at the store. They can make the choice between two different things, find items on the shelves, or put things in the cart. Children who can read might enjoy having their own short list of items to find. Having a voice in what you put in the cart is very exciting and empowering for children.

Make it safe and comfortable.

Use a sling, baby carrier, backpack or toddler-friendly shopping cart. Carriers are great for babies since they can securely and safely watch all that is happening around them. Older babies and toddlers love those fun car-shaped carts. If you’re going to be a while, add a towel to soften the seat bottom for a more comfy ride.

Respect your child’s desires.

A simple acknowledgement can help: “Yummy. Those cookies do look good.” Follow this up with an explanation of why you’ll not be buying them, without sounding reproving, such as, “We’re not buying any cookies today, because when we get home we are going to bake our very own cookies!”

Create a wish list.

Whenever your child declares, “I want this!” tell him that you’ll remember that. Jot it down on paper and call it his ‘wish list.’ If he sees you actually writing down his desires it can take the sting out of not bringing home the object of his desire.

Prevent the constant “gimmees.”

Let your child know in advance what things you will or will not be buying before you enter the store. If you can, allow him to choose one small treat to put in the basket each time you shop. If this is the routine your child will know not to ask for an endless list of things. Having to decide on one specific thing also gives a purpose to the trip.

Have consistent rules and remind the kids of these before your trip.

It can help to write out the top four or five shopping rules. Put the notes in the car or your purse and review them each time before you even begin to shop.

What not to do

Don’t take a hungry child shopping.

You might not intentionally plan this, but it happens. If it has been an hour or two since your child last ate, the first item on your list should be a snack that your child can eat as you shop. A box of crackers or a bag of pretzels can work wonders to take the edge off. Ask a clerk if your child can eat it now and then you’ll pay for the empty bag. Or ask if the store provides a free child’s snack, often you’ll find free fruit for this purpose in the produce department.

Don’t take a tired child shopping.

Avoid scheduling shopping trips too close to nap or bed time. Tired children are absolutely more fussy and impatient. Which make parents more edgy, which can, in turn, make the trip miserable.

Don’t shop at the store’s busiest hours.

When possible, schedule shopping times to avoid the biggest crowds. More people in the store mean longer lines and more complications. A quiet, less-populated store will also help you feel less stressed. A cashier or manager may be able to recommend good shopping times.

First seen on Kids in the House. These tips are from The No-Cry Discipline Solution.

Kids Helping Kids

by Christina Rowsell

P95_smallAs parents we hope our children grow up to be responsible, kind and giving. The only way that will happen is if we instill that positive energy around them. You’ve heard the saying, “Children lead by example.” Which often puts pressure on the parents to constantly show their children how to be responsible, kind and giving. That’s not a bad thing; it’s just not always easy to do. However, what if children were led by the example of other children?

100 Kids Who Care Calgary is doing just that. The idea was born off of 100 Women Who Care Calgary. Which was born off of 100 Women Who Care. The original idea started with Karen Dunigan in Jackson, Michigan in 2006. http://100womencalgary.com/history/

Co-founder of 100 Kids Calgary Danielle Donovan says it’s inspiring to see the next generation of givers in Calgary. Donovan says, “I wanted to find a way to introduce my children to the concept of giving and supporting those in need within our community.” Donovan, who is a stay at home mother of three under the age of eight, wanted to find a charity where her young children could be actively involved beyond simply sending money. After attending her first 100 Women meeting in Calgary, Donovan knew she had found what she had been looking for.

The vision of 100 Kids Who Care Calgary is to teach the next generation the importance of supporting our community and that even children can make a big difference in the lives of others. We truly are stronger together.  These children range in age from five to 17. They get together four times a year to make a big impact in their community.

The latest meeting was held October 12, 2016 at Elbow Valley Golf Course, who donated the space. The kids did an amazing job speaking for their charities. The winner of the group donation was Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, nominated by Tristan.

Tristan reminded us the importance a nutritious meal has on children’s lives. Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids strives to ensure there are no hungry kids in Calgary. Their mission is to work with local schools to identify hungry kids and ways to feed them. They know that children require healthy food to be able to focus on their education and become the best that they can be.

Their ultimate goal is to become a catalyst in the advancement of community based initiatives to break down barriers caused by malnutrition. In the end, their focus is on fostering healthy development, nutritional education, and ending youth hunger in Calgary.

Wonderful opportunity for our children to learn about amazing charities right in our own back yard. The commitment of 100 Kids Who Care Calgary is a $10.00 donatation four times a year. With a hundred kids or more that’s going to make a huge impact. http://bb4ck.org/

The next 100 Kids Who Care Calgary is coming up soon. To find out more and to join visit http://100kidscalgary.com/.

What’s Up in October?

Our Fall may be short in Calgary, but we love it! October is packed full of fabulous family-friendly events, performances, festivals, and more! Looking for something  to do? Check it out!

The Calgary Baby & Tot Show
October 1, 9:30am to 5:30pm & October 2, 11am to 5pm. There will be local and national exhibitors showcasing the latest in technology, apparel, toys, and more to assist parents every step of the way! There will also be interactive workshops and seminars, parented play areas, arts & crafts, and ongoing entertainment! Free admission for kids 12 and under. For more information and to purchase tickets online and save, visit the website.

The South Calgary Wellness Fair – Teddy Bear Clinic
Saturday Oct 1, 2016 at 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. The South Calgary Wellness Fair is an annual event, with its theme of “Making Healthy Connections and Healthy Choices.” This Fair is for children, families, and seniors with displays, activities, and events. There will be displays of health and wellness resources, vehicles such as the Man Van, EMS, Police, Fire, the Alex Dental Health Bus, and the Library Book Mobile, as well as activities and entertainment for all ages. There will also be a Teddy Bear Clinic (bring your teddy bear or a doll for a check-up with family physician, mental and speech therapist, nurses), Colossal Play Date, Cultural Dancing, Face Painting, Henna, games for children, and activities for Seniors (Tea, Bingo, Multicultural Fashion Show). Everyone is welcome at this free event! Interpreters will be available. Check the website.

Family Fall Festival at The Jungle Farm
Saturday Oct 1, 2016 at 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Celebrate Fall with some Fall fun! Come out and enjoy all that The Jungle Farm offers as well as a great local band, scarecrow building and more! There will be lots of kids and family activities to take part in. Check the website for more information.

The City of Calgary: A Walk in the Park
Saturday Oct 1, 2016 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am. A fun and informative guided walk in beautiful Edworthy Park! Learn about the park’s origin and wildlife, explore the historical Lawrey Gardens, and more! Wheel chair and stroller accessible. For more information, visit the website.

The Calgary Reptile Expo
October 1, 10am to 5pm & October 2, 11am to 4pm. The Calgary Reptile Expo! This expo is free for kids 3 and under and TARAS members. For more information, visit the website.

TeenFest at Shakers Fun Centre
Saturday Oct 1, 2016 at 11:00 am – 4:30 pm. By creating opportunities for interaction, activities, workshops, and performances, TeenFest (for ages 12 to 18 and their families) will engage and connect to the businesses and organizations that support our youth. For more information, visit the website.

Culture Fest 2016
Sunday Oct 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm – 5:30 pm. Welcome to Culture Fest 2016! This is also a free family event. For all the festival details, visit the website.

Wordfest
October 7 to 17, check website for schedule. Wordfest is coming to Calgary! Creators of the books Fox and Squirrel and If I had a Gryphon will dazzle readers! See them live at the Glenbow Museum Theatre on October 12 at 10am. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website.

Thanksgiving Pie Bake-Off
Oct 7, 2016 – Oct 8, 2016 at 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Fall is here and thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner are starting to tempt your tastebuds. To help you select the pie you will serve up this year, join for the 4th Annual Thanksgiving Pie Bake Off, and choose a favorite pie in support of the Calgary Food Bank. Make a cash donation to the Calgary Food Bank and you will sample the 5 delicious pies, satisfy your taste buds, and help ensure all Calgarians have food on their plates this Thanksgiving. Join for the Pie Bake-Off on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8 from 11am to 2pm in-between Innisfail Growers and Big T’s Smokehouse. It’s going to be slice! Check the website for more details.

Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Presents, Disney in Concert: Tale as Old as Time
October 7 at 7:30pm and October 8 at 2pm. Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Presents, Disney in Concert: Tale as Old as Time. Capture your family’s imagination with the music of Frozen, Tangled, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King performed alongside original Disney film clips. To purchase tickets, contact 403-571-0849 or visit the website,

Mommylicious: A Trade Fair & Fun Event
Sunday Oct 16, 2016 at 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. This is a free event! There will be 40+ vendors, a bouncy house, face painting, craft area, kids fun zone, reading nook, and much more! For more information, visit the website.

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy & One-Man Lord of the Rings
One-Man Star Wars Trilogy plays October 18, 20, 22*, 23*, 26, 28*, 29*. One-Man Lord of the Rings plays October 19, 21, 22*, 23*, 25, 27, 28*, 29*. *Two-show double feature. Canadian actor and uber geek, Charles Ross, brings his solo madcap creation One-Man Star Wars Trilogy to the stage in this mind-bending whirlwind of a show. Ross retells the classic trilogy in 60 minutes – all the characters, the music, the ships, and the battles.  One ring to rule them all, and one man to perform the entire Lord of the Rings adventure in one night! Watch as he recreates the enchanting world of Middle-earth with nothing more than elbow pads and his outrageous imagination. Be prepared to journey through the trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King in 3,600 seconds of unbelievable kinetic entertainment!

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy runs in rep (alternating evenings, some double-features) with One-Man Lord of the Rings at Pumphouse Theatre, October 18 to 29. The Lord of the Rings and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises. All rights reserved. One Man Star Wars Trilogy performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. All ‘Star Wars’ elements property of Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Check the website for more information.

Y Stage Theatre Series Presents, Alligator Pie
Oct 21, 2016 – Oct 23, 2016. Check website for show times. Y Stage Theatre Series Presents, Soulpepper’s Alligator Pie, at Vertigo Theatre. Alligator Pie brings the celebrated children’s poems of Canada’s Father Goose, Dennis Lee, to vibrant theatrical life. For ages 3+. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website.

Strathcona Square Pumpkin Festival
Saturday Oct 22, 2016 at 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Strathcona Square has been apart of the community & city since 1992, while their community has grown and others have grown around them they have maintained that community spirit. In recognition of that spirit Strathcona Square is hosting its first “Pumpkin Festival” on Saturday October 22 from 11:30-3pm free of charge and open to everyone!

The Pumpkin Festival will have a Pumpkin Pie & Pumpkin Carving Contest with prizes for the TOP 3 in contests, Entertainment and activites. Do you think or have been told that you have the BEST Pumpkin Pie ever, than enter our contest today; registration forms available at various merchants in the Square who have the Poster in their Window or contact us at inquiries@dmeinc.ca or www.facebook.com/StrathconaSquareShoppingCentre.

The Pumpkin Pie contest is open to Amateur and Professionals alike. Ok calling all Children & Families; do you have fun creating your carved pumpkins for Halloween, if so this contest is for you; The Strathcona Square Pumpkin Carving Contest enter our contest today! Registration forms available at various merchants in the Square who have the Poster in their Window or contact us at inquiries@dmeinc.ca or www.facebook.com/StrathconaSquareShoppingCentre.

Ghouls’ Night Out at Heritage Park
October 27 to 29 from 6 to 9pm & October 30 from 4 to 7pm. Ghouls’ Night Out at Heritage Park Historical Village! Have tea with the Mad Hatter, wander through the pumpkin patch, play carnival games, dance with Zombies, and more! For ages 3 to 9. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website.

Monster Mash Halloween Bash at Village Square Leisure Centre
Friday Oct 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Come dressed in your favorite costume and join for creepy crafts, ghostly games, and ghoulish activities! This is a free event.

Monster Mash-Up at TELUS Spark (Sponsored by Calgary’s Child)
October 29 & 30 from 10am to 5pm. Monster Mash-Up at TELUS Spark! Proudly Sponsored by Calgary’s Child Magazine. Monster Mash-Up is the perfect family-friendly event to kick-start your Halloween celebrations. Enjoy activities and watch a live science demonstration with the whole family to get everyone in the Halloween spirit. It’s sure to be a frightfully fun time! Cost: Included with Membership and Admission. Free for kids 3 and under. For more information, visit the website.