Thursday, July 29, 2010

Katie's Krops

Over the years we've been fortunate to witness inspiring young people take on unimaginable challenges that leave us teary eyed and wondering what we can do to make a difference. Remember 'Pay it forward' with Haley Joel Osment? How about 'Paperclips'? 'Freedom Writes'? Even 'Rudy'...All these movies portrayed young people inspiring the world. Well, the youngens have struck once again! The article (seen below) tells the tale of an incredible young girl named Katie who, from a simple school project, created a food growing operation that has been feeding hundreds (if not more) of people less fortunate. With all the bad we have to endure watching the 6 o'clock news, it's stories such as this that reminds us of all the good our world has to offer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Encouraging Play!

Written by: Nicky Praseuth

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, there is not enough encouragement for children to become active. Many children are spending their time indoors on the computer, playing video games, and watching TV. 

During the summer, there are many ways to encourage your child to become active such as signing them up for day camps or have them join an organized sport. 

Another way to encourage active participation for children is for parents/guardians to role model. This could be done by perhaps going for a bike ride together, going hiking in your local park or conservation area, go swimming, play soccer etc. 

For more information on the Heart and Stroke Foundation article click here 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sun Safety Tips

Written by: Nicky Praseuth

Summer is here and it is very important to be safe from the sun when you are outside! From 11am to 4pm, the sun’s rays are the strongest during that time and it is not advisable for children to be outside or exposed; keep in mind that the sun’s rays still remain strong even when there’s shade.

Make sure you and your children/campers are covered! Sunburned faces and scalps will not result to a fun summer. So make sure to wear hats, UV protected sunglasses, loose clothing, and of course sunscreen.

Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside and be reapplied every 2-3 hours. Remember to generously apply sunscreen all over, paying extra attention to the nose, ears, hands, feet, shoulders, and neck.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Feeling the Heat? Here are some tips on cooling down...

Posted by Adam Kertesz

Great, fun article in the National Post on some cheap, easy ways to stay cool.
(Hint: if interested in any of these ideas, click on the article to gain access to their links!)

"[...]Even if you don’t have an air-conditioner, never fear. The National Post is here with some tips to keep you cool and comfortable even when the concrete is literally hot enough to fry and egg. Seriously, go try it. Then cool off afterward with one of our wallet-friendly suggestions.

Public pools and splash pads are open across the city

In this extreme heat, who cares if splash pads are meant for kids. Slap on some sunscreen, grab a pair of flip-fops, the kiddies if you happen to have them, and head out to one of the many fun-filled fountains. Check here for a list of splashpads across the GTA. If you’re looking for a more submersive experience, jump into of the city’s many public pools.

Take an extended ride on the subway

If you’re relying on fans and cold showers to cool off at home instead of central air, grab a good book and try the more human way — a ride on the TTC. In the middle of the day, the Yonge-University line is a dead zone, so why not indulge in the underground air conditioning? For $3 you can ride the rails for the length of the line and get some reading done in the meantime.

The LCBO and Beer Stores are air-conditioned

A frozen margarita is a great way to enjoy summer to its fullest, but if beer’s more your taste both the LCBO and the Beer Store offer air conditioning so strong you barely have to chill your drinks after leaving. Stop in on your way home from the subway as a break from the heat. You not only get to drink your reward, but beer bottles fit perfectly into the nape of your neck, which sends a sweet, ice-cold, certified chill down the spine. Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of hops on a July afternoon.

Take in a matinée

The only place where the ai -conditioning might be stronger than a liquor store is a movie theatre. Many theatres offer discounted weekday matinée ticket prices. Notably, Rainbow Cinemas offers $7 matinees and Bloor Cinema members enjoy $5 matinees (non-members can pay a $9 ticket fee that includes a membership for next time). Toy Story 3, anyone?

Centre Island is only a ferry ride away

For some seemingly inexplicable reason, Centre Island is degrees cooler than the heart of the city. The ferry costs just$6 roundtrip, and the breeze off the water and the view of the city skyline are worth far more than that — just ask anyone who belongs to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. The ferry terminal is located a southern-most tip of Bay Street at Queen’s Quay. Grab a picnic at St. Lawrence Market and head over to the south side of the island. The beach facing across Lake Ontario is the coolest part of the island.

Delight in some ice cream or gelato

Skip the ice-cream truck (most of their wares are available in the grocery store for far less) and splurge on a treat that doesn’t come from a factory. One great spot is Delight on Queen Street West, which offers fair-trade and organic chocolates as well as homemade scoops. Their strawberry ice cream actually tastes like fruit, instead of the ubiquitous pink stuff, so at least you’ll get some vitamins with the cream. If you’re really looking to cool off, nothing works better than lemon gelato. That being said, as someone who spent a summer scooping for a genuine gelateri, you need to make sure it’s the real deal. Dolce Gelato in Little Italy is as authentic as anything you’ll find in St. Mark’s Square.

Bonus tip: Find a summer read at the library

All 99 of Toronto’s public libraries are air-conditioned and have hundreds if not thousands of possible summer reads. If you’ve got a sullen, suddenly-out-of-school teenager, the TPL also has plenty of programming for your teen. Here’s a list of branches and hours.

Read more: