Category Archives: Activities for Kids

Flashback: Falling for Fall

This post was originally published on my personal blog – three years ago! We still love the Orleans Fruit Farm, and yes, I still love that kale salad :)

 

Although we officially have five more days to go, I’m going to jump the gun and call it: Autumn is Here. The nights are cold, the mornings are chilly (and in many parts of this world, frosty!), and the days are clear and bright. As Stuart McLean said on the Vinyl Cafe, the sky is a different kind of blue now than it is in July and August.

What better way to kick off our first fall weekend than with a visit to the local apple orchard:

The sunflowers welcomed us as though we were royalty

Her Highness was all too willing to oblige

The bees were busy this weekend – they know the end is near

A curious little elf hid amongst the towering flowers…

But emerged to bite into every apple she could find – whether they be on the ground or in the trees

“How do you like them apples!?”

 

 A warm dinner of curried carrot soup – thanks to the sweet roots we had growing in our garden this year

And freshly baked whole wheat bread, with flour from Castor River Farm

To finish off, a salad with garden tomatoes and local purple kale

Tonight I’m hoping for dreams as vivid as the fall colours….

Pinterest: Or, Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

So I’m planning my daughter’s birthday party….can you guess what theme she wants? That’s right – Frozen!! My daughter jumped on the Frozen bandwagon a little late, as she was quite young when the movie was first released. I eventually took her to see it at a small theatre months later, and she loved it. We now hear “Let It Go” on repeat, and she’s bouncing off the walls in anticipation of her birthday party on Sunday.

It’s hard to plan a birthday party for a 5 year-old. I never know if I’m doing too much, or too little. She started off asking to go to the movie theatre, but the helpful sales person at Cineplex suggested that 5 might be too young. I then checked out gymnastics centres, but given our strict budget, I can’t afford $160-$175 for a party.

So, we took the easy (hard?) way out. We’re hosting the party at our house! And what better way to plan a party than to look at ideas on Pinterest?

But Pinterest is dangerous. First I coo over the adorable glasses of frosted blue jello. Then I giggle at the Olaf party favour bags. Soon I’m yelling to my husband that we need giant blue drapes, fake snow for the walls, and twinkly lights. By the end of one hour on Pinterest, I’m frantically writing lists. Panic is making my heart beat louder than the sound of picks on ice.

But no. No, no, no. I’m not Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart is not even a distant cousin of mine. And so I calm down (thanks to my practical husband), and I decide on a few special things:

1) The twinkly lights we have in Christmas boxes are pretty accessible. And they’ll make a lovely backdrop to our movie-themed party (the kids are watching Frozen, and will be served popcorn in their own individual buckets).

2) Pin the Nose on Olaf is a great game for a group of 5 year-olds. And bonus that a friend gave us an Olaf poster after throwing her own Frozen birthday party.

3) Frozen grapes and Olaf noses as snacks

4) If there’s time, the party favour bags are pretty cute, no?

5) As much as I’d love to make my own pinata, I think I’ll head to Bulk Barn and get something simple, filled with a few snacks, stickers and pencils.

Easy peasy, right? Hmmm, talk to me on Monday ;)

 

Visiting a Fire Station

One of the highlights for our girls this summer was visiting a fire station.  We visited Ottawa Fire Station 23 (Carling & Kirkwood) because my husband knows the Platoon Chief. But you can visit any station in the city and they will give you a tour as part of Ottawa’s Fire Safety Program.  If you are interested in going for a tour call the fire education department of the city to set up a time (click here to find a fire station near you.

Fire Station 4

Our tour started in the Platoon Office where the staffing of all 29 fire stations is controlled. Next we were led through the station to the garage to meet our guide (a nice rookie who was great with kids) to see the fire trucks.  Station 23 has two main pumper trucks and one ladder truck.  Our guide explained how trucks are dispatched when a call come in and that some stations don’t have enough staff to operate all the equipment at any particular time.

Fire Station 2

The girls got to sit in the truck and see and touch the equipment that firefighters use when they are fighting a fire.  The parents also got to pick up and carry bags of equipment to feel how heavy they are.  The firefighters need to carry these bags of equipment up countless flights of stairs.

Fire Station 1

The kids were a little nervous about all of the big equipment so our very nice rookie took us to the kitchen to see where they prepared and ate all their meals.  Firefighters are on duty for 24 hour shifts (yes, they sleep and eat at the station) and they have to be ready to go to a call anytime.  This is why you often see firetrucks at the grocery store.  One time they got a call when they were grocery shopping and had a full cart of groceries!

Fire Station 3

Station 23 is one of the older stations in Ottawa and even has a fire pole.  Newer stations are only one floor and no longer have fire poles.

Fire Station 6

The end of the tour led us back to the garage where the girls got a chance to help wash the fire truck.  They were happily scrubbing away when a call came in over the speakers.  We moved to the back of the garage and got to see all the fire fighters get suited up, get into the trucks and drive out onto Carling Ave with sirens blaring.

 fire station 5