One of the best things is when your kids can actually play board games! For me, my son was about 3-4 when we started playing some simple games together and ever since it has been so much fun. Board games are such a great way to bond as a family, learn new skills like problem solving, planning and strategy, practice emerging skills like counting and taking turns and the ever so important: learning to lose and be ok with it.
We don’t know about you but we are SO excited for the snow to melt and the reno’s to begin! But we really don’t even have to wait do we? Lots can be done inside while it’s chilly outside!
With big names like Bryan Baeumler hosts of HGTV’s Bryan Inc., plus, with more than 225 exhibitors and a slew of exciting new features, there’s real advice and real inspiration at the Edmonton Renovation Show!
The 2019 Edmonton Renovation Show runs:
Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 12PM – 9PM
Saturday, January 26th, 2019 – 10AM – 9PM
Sunday, January 27th, 2019 10AM – 6PM
Buy your tickets online here or enter to win passes below in our GIVEAWAY! Did you know, Kids 12 & under are free!
Thanks to the Renovation Show we have a four pack of tickets to giveaway! Tickets can be picked up at the show box office and the draw will be Monday, January 21st.
We have been really trying to encourage experience gifts (see a great list of ideas for Experience Gifts here) and this Christmas the Grandparents knocked it out of the park. One set of Grandparents got the kids an Alberta’s History Annual Pass which allows us to visit numerous museums and historical sites across the province. Over the break we already used it twice (once for the Royal Alberta Museum and once for the Royal Tyrrell Museum) making it already pay for itself and it’s only the first month! You can learn more about these passes and buy your own here. It is only $120 for a family pass so if you plan on exploring the province this summer we highly recommend this pass.
The other set of Grandparents found another great gift idea. Subscription boxes. You remember how excited you used to get when mail came? Well these boxes make that happen every month! This year Grandma found Kiwi Co. and signed the boys up for a Kiwi Box (5-8 years old) and a Tinker Box (9-16+). We have received two boxes so far and I am so impressed with the quality.
The Kiwi Box was purchased for our 7 year old. He has been able to do all the activities *mostly* by himself (all himself if you ask him but he did need a bit of help tightening the bolts of one project when he wasn’t looking) using their easy Step by Step instructions.
The best part about these boxes is that EVERYTHING you need comes in one box. They really thought of small details too like adding stickers to hold the yarn down (first photo) so little fingers didn’t have to hold and wrap the yarn around at the same time. This cut down on frustrations and let him do it without help.
The box had everything he needed to make two pom pom monsters and a “Claw” for the arcade game. The Claw had a template to lay out all the pieces on making it easy to match up the shapes and screw the pieces together. The box it was shipped in even became part of the game saving you from having to go find one.
Finding something for older kids is hard. I had very low expectations for this one but was quite surprised when our 10 year old started to build his Tinker Box. He received the Spin Art Box for his first one. He had to build the whole motor including learning about circuits to make it spin.
Again the box it shipped in became the box he built everything in. He was also able to do everything himself because the instructions were so well written and easy to understand because of all the photos. He has had a lot of fun changing the circuits around making it spin faster and slower to create different effects with the paint.
Kiwi Co. has a wide selection of boxes to choose from (see them all here) and it was nice to be able to find something for both of the boy’s ages from the same company because it ships out on the same day. They both spent a few hours building, making and creating with their boxes and have since pulled them out a few times to play with them.
The instructions are well done, everything you need comes in one box, and the boxes are age appropriate for what their website says. The materials aren’t cheap and won’t fall apart if they pull or push too hard on something. Once the project is built it is sturdy enough to be played with for a while not just a throw away toy. It also comes with a magazine with other activities related to the theme they got and online games/activities they can do as well.
They are a bit more than other subscription boxes coming in at just over $20 per month when you buy a 12 month subscription but I feel like the quality and amount of things you get are worth it. We have gotten two months now and each one has been really good quality.
This was not a paid sponsorship just a really great gift we wanted to share with you!
Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailsMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.
Before I share my greatest parenting hack –I need to share some experiences I’ve had, that I believe are experienced by many parents.
I have a bookshelf filled with texts from doctors and nurses, parenting experts, sleep consultants, nutrition gurus and everything in between. I have read through all of these books as well as countless blogs, websites, lists, brochures – you name it. For more than a year I read these at all hours of the day and night – and I continue to do so every time I feel a little lost (which happens quite a bit as a new parent).
I love pretty much everything about Christmas. Nothing makes me happier than cranking the tunes, drinking hot chocolate and watching pretty lights dance their lovely dance.
Classics are my fave and my kids have actually latched on to those as well. The new songs from Sia are super fun too though so I asked my kids their favourites and voila we’ve got a dancy, fun way to get in the holiday spirit. Pop on this playlist while baking, decorating or even making supper and groove along with your kiddos!
Many Albertans do not partake in the Christmas festivities for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason may be, you may find yourself with little or nothing to do. It seems like the whole world stops for 2 days; Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So what can you do with your family? Rather than get cabin fever from being stuck at home, here are some ideas for things you can do during Christmas:
In the Words of Dr. Harvey Karp “Your babies nine months – or three trimesters – inside you is a time of unbelievable complex development. Never less, it takes a baby an additional three months to “wake up” and become active partners in the relationship. This time between birth and the end of your baby’s third month is what I call your baby’s fourth trimester.”
Congrats mama on your new baby and welcome to the 4th trimester! It has always been so amazing to me how in a matter of minutes a new person is welcomed into the world. That moment when you see their face for the first time really tops the cake for experiences you will go through in your lifetime. The newborn smell… ahhhh, nothing better! I am excited to welcome you into the world of motherhood as a first-time mama or a mama of more!
I remember it very clearly, it was my sons 100th meltdown of the evening (or it felt like it anyways) and I was exhausted. He needed more from me than I had energy to give him. He was clearly reaching out…he needed his mom. My tank was empty. We put the kids to bed and I sat down on the couch and just stared out in front of me. My mind was racing; there was still dishes from dinner to do, lunches to make for the next day, laundry piled on the couch and I wanted to order groceries to save myself a trip to the store. Not to mention thinking of the to-do list I still had left at work. There was just so much to do.
We all have grand illusions on what it is like after a baby comes home. Your baby is content and on a schedule like you read in the books (depending on what book you read), your home is maintained the same way with the addition of a couple of baby related items, and all the extra baby tasks are split evenly between your spouse and yourself. If you already had your baby, you will realize this was all a dream that did not come true. Reality is not at all like this.
Often when talking to friends, the topic of splitting duties come up. Friends usually start to complain about how their spouse is not pulling their weight around the house and they wished their spouse would do more. The last thing I would hear from this conversation was how “unfair” it was.
The meal time struggle is real.
No matter what you make, bake, cook, or blend there is always someone at the table that is less than impressed with what is for supper. And for some reason it is always supper at our house that is the struggle. The boys go through phases of picky eating and being more adventurous it seems which also throws me for a loop. One day they just want plain noodles and chicken fingers and the next they are shocking you and eating a plate of fish (after 10 years of me coaxing, offering, trying, fighting, bribing… you get the idea) and liking it.
So I’ve come up with some tips and tricks that have helped me throughout the years. These may not work for every family but they have definitely helped ours. I’d love to hear your thoughts on meal times and how you make them more manageable too!