Unique Summer Day Camps

camp

Summer vacation is in full swing. If you’re scavenging for things to keep your kids busy and considering enrolling them in a day camp, you’re in luck! We have a few unique and awesome camps that you may not have heard of yet.

LEGO CAMP 2015

Running from July 27 to July 31 at the London Waldorf School (7 Beaufort Street), this week-long, full-day block party is organized by the London Chess Promotions. Registration is $226 per child, which includes a Lego camp t-shirt. Students in grades 1-7 as of June 2015 are welcome.

STEM CAMP

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, this is the place for the future! With daily activities, inspirational guests, and scientists from leading Canadian colleges and universities, your child will learn, grow and create. Sessions run weekly throughout the summer, but many weeks and locations are already sold out. Registration is $200 per week per child, open to children 5 to 13 years old.

MOKSHIES-IN-THE-MAKING

Moksha Yoga London is hosting two weeks of half-day summer camps for your little yogini at Moksha Yoga West. Afternoons from July 13-17 and August 17-21, your 6-12 year olds can enjoy non-heated yoga practice, meditation, art, and fresh fruit breaks. Registration is $89 + tax per child.

INNOVATION CAMP LONDON

For one week, July 20-24 at the Richard Ivey Building, Western University, kids in grades six to eight will have an opportunity to become the next great inventor. Ivey will be collaborating with Future Design School, a Toronto agency, and Tech Alliance to help bring ideas to life through critical thinking, planning, and action. The full day camp is $375 per child.

@ THE BARRE

At The Barre is offering a one-week Healthy Me Summer Camp for kids ages 9-13, mornings from August 24-28.  Children will learn and participate in fitness and fitness fundamentals, nutrition and healthy food choices, and self-care. Registration is limited, $225 per child.

 

 

Skateboarding

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It’s summertime, the kids are off, and whether you’re at home with them full time or part time, you may be looking for ways to keep them occupied – without breaking the bank! We are going to be bringing you some fun summer activities and adventures over the next few weeks that are FREE or nearly free. For more ideas, search FREE SUMMER in the search bar at the top right. 

Skateboarding, biking, roller blading, scooters – they’re all the coolest ways for kids to get outside and get active on wheels. While this cooler summer weather may not be as hot as we would like it, it definitely encourages more outside activity without the risk of overheating. Take advantage of that by testing out one of London’s eleven great skate parks across the city.

Whether your kid is still using a scooter or a stride bike, or they’re proficient on whatever wheels they can ride, the skate parks are a great place to meet new friends, try new tricks and get in a lot of exercise and fresh air without any resistance from them. If you head out, make sure they’re well suited with a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and possibly some wrist protection. With learning new tricks can come some serious road rash if you’re not careful!

If your kids are too young to ride or you’re not sure if a board is worth the investment, pack a picnic and visit your closest skateboard park with your kids. Watch the other kids, see how interested your kid is in the action and decide where to go from there. Did you know that the City of London Spectrum offers Skateboard Clinics for new riders ages 7-9 and 10-12? Keep up with all of the CoL skate park-related news by following them on Facebook.

The parks are spread out through east, south, west, and central London:

Park Address Difficulty
Basil Grover Skateboard Park 555 Wharncliffe Road South Beginner – Intermediate
Kiwanis Skateboard Plaza 1475 Brydges Street Beginner – Intermediate
Medway – Kiwanis Skate Bowls 1051 Wonderland Road North Intermediate – Advanced
Naiomi-Almeida Skateboard Park 828 Deveron Crescent Beginner – Intermediate
Rivers Edge Skateboard Park 15 St. Julien Street Suitable for all levels
Springbank – Byron Skateboard Park 1085 Commissioners Road West Beginner – Intermediate
Stronach Skateboard Park 1221 Sandford Street Beginner – Intermediate
Victoria Skateboard Park 580 Clarence Street Advanced
West Lions Skateboard Park 20 Granville Street Beginner – Intermediate
White Oaks Skateboard Park 70 Ponderosa Crescent Redevelopment – TBA
Wolseley Skateboard Park 656 Elizabeth Street Suitable for all levels

Family Yoga

shack

One of the best gifts that you can give your children is the gift of yoga. Yoga teaches children to control their body, their breathing and their emotions. The benefits of yoga for children are both physical and non-physical. It helps build strength, and improves flexibility, coordination and balance. It reinforces the mind-body connection by practicing mindfulness – an awareness of your thoughts and actions. Focusing on breathing gives children the skills to calm their bodies in stressful or upsetting situations.

Whether you’re a complete newbie to yoga yourself or if you have your own daily practice or fall somewhere in between – now is the time to begin! Yoga is for everyone: young or old, fit or unfit, flexible or inflexible, laid back or high strung. Be your child’s best example by doing a yoga class together! The Yoga Shack on Ann has Family Yoga classes TODAY, June 14 and in two weeks on June 28 at 11:00am. It is only $5 per person. Bring your own mats or rent them at the studio.

Yoga Shack on Ann is at 203-140 Ann Street. You can find parking and the entrance on Piccadilly Street, off Talbot Street. The studio opens 30 minutes before class. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class starts. Dress comfortably and bring a reusable water bottle. Namaste!

@ The Barre London

barre

You may be familiar with Pilates, but have you heard about the Barre workout? Barre studios are all the rage in the States and in the bigger Canadian cities and now you can do it here @ The Barre! At The Barre is a new Pilates, Barre and Fitness Studio in downtown London run by a one-woman powerhouse, Kristy Leblanc.

WHAT THEY OFFER

BARRE CLASSES: Barre workouts are designed for all fitness levels that focus on balance, strength, and endurance. There are three types of classes – Barre Basics, Barre, and Yogi Barre, each of them challenging and conditioning your body with the elements of ballet and the roots of Stott Pilates.

PILATES CLASSES: Stott Pilates is one of the best ways to tone and strengthen while giving you a great overall workout. At The Barre offers classes on the mat, classes on the reformer and classes with the cardio-tramp. The reformer can look intimidating to those who have never tried it (or at least it was to me!), but think of it this way – it’s an entire workout lying down and how can that be a bad thing? ;) The workout you will get is not at all passive. With body weight and resistance, the reformer is a classic for a reason.

SEMI-PRIVATE/PRIVATE: @ The Barre offers both private and semi-private (2-3 people) sessions for those wanting an even more personalized experience. This option is perfect for anyone needing specific attention while recovering/healing from an injury, wanting to achieve personal goals, returning to fitness after a baby, or requiring a specific schedule to be met.

WHY YOU SHOULD GO

  1. CLASS SIZE: You cannot beat the small classes and personal attention that you get @ The Barre. For a workout that is so dependent on proper form and technique, the personalized attention that you get from Kristy is essential for the results you want. It’s relaxed, like you’re just working out with a few friends… because you are! Kristy is right there to help with modifications, adapt to your abilities, and push you just that little bit harder.
  2. POST NATAL CORE: Come on, moms. The core is the one area that we need and miss the most, and nothing wakes it up like a little (or a lot of) Pilates. The combination of all that stretching that your abs and mid section went through, with all of the lifting and hunching over that you do with your baby and toddler means that your entire core is likely in need of some TLC. Pilates and Barre will give your core that extra attention it needs to regain the strength you lost and rebuild those muscles to prevent injury and keep you fit for your family!
  3. FUN: The classes have great, upbeat music and are lots of fun! Kristy moves you through a full body workout at a pace that keeps you moving without getting bored. If someone had told me that I was going to love the Reformer, I would not have believed them, but it’s great! Throw in the cardio-tramp and you will be so surprised at how fun a workout can be.
  4. STUDIO: The studio is a beautifully redone building right downtown. They have FREE PARKING right outside the door. The studio offers everything that a large studio would offer, but with all of the personal attention that is unique to @ The Barre.
  5. THE WORKOUT: I fit a workout in almost every day, but after my first Barre class, I felt it! Move over Buns of Steel, because Barre is where it’s at! My only dance experience is the kind I would do on a Saturday night before I had kids, but this class makes you feel like an actual ballerina at the barre – grace, strength, and fluidity. There wasn’t complicated choreography, just classic moves that work your body from the shoulders to the toes.

YOUR FIRST CLASS

She says the hardest part is showing up for your first class, so Kristy is making it easy on you by giving you your first class for only $10. Pick the style of class and time of your choice and get there! Follow @ The Barre on Facebook to keep up on promos and classes.

At The Barre is located at 615 Richmond Street, unit D. Find the parking and entrance in the back off Hyman Street. For the complete schedule and more information, see HERE.

Getting Ready for School

tvcc

Do you have a child who is a client of TVCC and who is about to enter kindergarten for the first time this fall?

Thames Valley Children’s Centre is hosting an evening session for parents and caregivers of children with special needs who will be starting school in September 2015 (children do not attend). Topics of discussion will include:

  • full day kindergarten
  • preparing for transitions
  • school processes and meetings
  • parent/school relationships
  • curriculum
  • concerns or questions that you have

DATE: Monday, June 1, 2015

TIME: 6:00 to 9:00pm

LOCATION: Thames Valley Children’s Centre, 779 Baseline Road East

COST: Free

PARKING: LHSC Parking rate in Lot V7 is $4/hour

REGISTER: Online

 

 

This Weekend in London

APRIL

The good news is: there’s no more snow in the forecast. The better news is: it’s almost the weekend. Here is what is happening in our fine city this weekend!

COMMUNITY CLEAN UP DAY

To finish off the week of Earth Day celebrations, London Clean and Green is hosting a Community Clean Up Day on Saturday, April 25. There are many locations across the city that you can join and pitch in! Pick up litter, plant trees, remove graffiti and have some fun. Bring the kids and get the whole family involved in making our city beautiful. If you can’t make it to one of the scheduled clean up locations, clean up your own neighbourhood a little bit. Just remember to stay safe and watch for sharp things.

TOONIE SWIM

This Friday, April 24 is one of the City of London’s three monthly toonie swims. Head over to Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre from 7:30 to 9:00pm with your family and pay only $2 per person for admission.

FOREST CITY ROAD RACE

The annual Forest City Road Race is this Sunday, April 26. There is still time to register for this event, although online registration ends tonight, April 23 at 6:00pm.  Bring the kids for the Kids Fun Run or challenge yourself with the 5K, 10K or half-marathon events. 100% of the proceeds raised at the FCRR go toward programs at Thames Valley Children’s Centre. If you aren’t going to the race, but have any business in the downtown or old north London areas on Sunday morning, be advised that there will be delays and detours.

STORYBOOK GARDENS

Storybook Gardens is open for the spring season with some fun new things for the kids! Check out the Peddle Car Track and Felix the Fox Archery from 11:00am to 3:00pm. The castle is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Saturdays and Sundays through April.

HOME DEPOT WORKSHOP

Have you been considering upgrading your flooring? The Home Depot is hosting a workshop this Sunday, April 26 at 1:00pm on installing laminate flooring. Learn how to cut and lay the flooring, what tools you will need, how to undercut door jams, and lots of useful tips on how to make flooring easier.

 

Kids 1st Day

Kids-First-Day

Today is Kids 1st Day which is a chance to get out there with your little (or big!) ones and do some really fun things together all around the city for little to no cost! There are over 50 locations participating in Kids 1st Day with activities all across the city ranging from discounts on froyo at Kiwi Kraze and family swims at the YMCA to free mini golf at East Park and a treasure hunt through Eldon House. This is a GREAT opportunity to try out something new or different with your kids. Try some dance lessons, aikido, crafts or a new play space for free!

Activities are ongoing throughout the day, but not all activities run all day! Please check the time BEFORE you go to avoid disappointment! 

HOW IT WORKS

Have a look at the MAP or list of activities by area in the city: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST or CENTRAL to plan where you want to go!

At your first location, pick up a Kids 1st Day Passport for each kid and have them get it signed at every stop you make.

Submit your passport after your THIRD stop (make sure it’s signed!) for a chance to win some really cool PRIZES.

When the day is done and you’re crashing at home, go online and fill out the SURVEY for another chance to win.

WHERE TO GO

Here are the locations participating this year! For more details on their activities, see HERE.

Adventures on Wonderland – FREE

Aikido Network – FREE

ArtVenture Art Studio – FREE

Banting House National Historic Site – FREE

Bowlarama

Boys and Girls Club of London – FREE

Chapters – FREE

Childreach – FREE

Covent Garden Market – FREE

East Park Golf Gardens – FREE

Eldon House – FREE

Family Centre Carling Thames/Northbrae P.S. – FREE

Fanshawe Pioneer Village – FREE

Home Depot (Clarke Rd) – FREE

Indigo – FREE

Islamic Centre ofSouthwest Ontario – FREE

Kiwi Kraze (north) – FREE (limitations)

La Ribambelle – FREE

Laser Quest

London Children’s Museum – FREE

London Public Library (all branches) – FREE

Mad Science of London – FREE

Michaels Arts and Crafts (south)

Museum London – FREE

Museum of Ontario Archaeology – FREE

North London Dance Centre

O.N.E. Hip Hop Dance Studio – FREE

Ontario Early Years – London West – FREE

PC Cooking School (RCSS – east) – FREE

Scholar’s Choice – FREE

Scouts Canada – FREE

Sifton Properties Limited/Berkshire Club (Ricky Magic) – FREE

Ska-Nah-Doht Village & Museum

SLNRC Families First CAPC (Dotsy the Clown) – FREE

South London Community Pool

Stoney Creek Community Centre & YMCA – FREE

Storybook Gardens

U C MAS London – FREE

Whitehills Childcare – FREE

YMCA Bob Hayward – FREE

YMCA Centre Branch – FREE

 

Swimming Lessons

familyswim1

It may be hard to believe with the weather that we had on Easter morning, but summer is just around the corner! With summer comes the heat and the best way to beat the heat is to swim, of course. Whether you own a pool, have access to a pool or rarely make a splash, learning to swim is a vital life skill that all kids should learn to do. Just for safety’s sake, learning to fall in safely, swim to safety, and tread water are the bare minimum things that people of all ages should comfortably do to increase their chances of survival in the water and to have fun at a pool party! And if your child ends up becoming a little fish, they can always go on to be the next Michael Phelps or get the best summer job ever as a lifeguard.

London has many places to sign your kids up for lessons this spring to get them prepped and ready for the summer months. It’s a great time for a little refresher of their skills.

AQUATIC SERVICES

The City of London, Aquatic Services offers the most extensive variety of swimming and water safety lessons through the Red Cross for every level from babies to lifeguards. Lessons focus on both learning the strokes and how to swim, as well as how to survive and/or help in water situations.  They are offered at the city’s three indoor pools (Canada Games Aquatic Centre in northwest London, South London Community Pool in south London, and Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre in east London), as well as out of Stony Creek YMCA. They have lessons for younger children during the weekdays, lessons after school, and on weekends. Their spring session begins at the end of April. The City of London has financial assistance available for families who cannot afford to pay for lessons on their own.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF LONDON

The Boys and Girls Club in downtown London offers Red Cross swimming lessons for all levels and ages. Lessons are open to both members and non-members. The spring session has lessons on either Tuesdays or Saturdays beginning the last week in April/first week in May.

EXCEL SWIM SCHOOL

Excel has six levels and a swim team. The program has been designed by swim coach and former Olympian, Paul Midgley, to prepare kids for swim teams and competitive swimming. Lessons are run out of Robarts pool in east London and the swim team is out of the Canada Games Aquatic Centre. Their spring session runs from May to June.

FINAN SWIM SCHOOL

Finan has created their own swimming levels (Tiny Tot 1&2, Learn to Swim 1&2, Level 1-10). Finan focuses only on learning swimming strokes, not on water safety skills. Their spring session begins next week (mid-April). Finan operates out of two pools: the Ramada Inn on Exeter Road in south London and Sugar Creek (off Proudfoot Lane) in west London.

JOLLY SWIM SCHOOL

Jolly Swim School has over a dozen different swim levels beginning with Moms & Tots and advancing all the way up to Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross. They teach lessons out of the Berkshire Club in southwest London on Sunday mornings. Their spring begins next week.

YMCA

There are three YMCA’s in London and all offer swimming lessons. The Bob Hayward YMCA in southeast London has their own levels for children from 3 months old up to 12 years old. The Centre Branch downtown offers the same YMCA levels as well as Swim-Able, a small class lesson for children with learning or behavioural barriers that prevent them from succeeding in regular swimming lessons. Stoney Creek YMCA in north London has swimming lessons that follow the Red Cross levels.

MAKING WAVES

Although Making Waves does not have a spring session, it is definitely worth mentioning and remembering for anyone who has a child with special needs. Children with disabilities are given 1:1 lessons with a volunteer lifeguard (Western students!) on Sunday evenings in the fall and winter. The lessons are held at the UWO Campus in the Western Student Recreation Facility. Children are taught swimming skills at their own pace and ability.

SUP

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There is a new sport that has been gaining a lot of attention the past few summers – Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). SUP is fun, challenging, and something that anyone can give a try recreationally or pursue it as a sport. Part surfing, part kayaking, SUP provides an entire body workout – your lower body and core are working hard to keep you balanced and stable, your upper body is benefiting from the paddling. The view you get when SUP is unlike anything else, almost like you’re walking across the water, seeing everything around you.

Many resorts and beach locations now have places that will rent SUP’s by the hour or day and there are also many classes that are popping up that will teach you how to use a SUP with the proper technique if you’re a little unsure of your abilities. The boards vary, they can be more stable like a kayak and quite easy to stand on or they can be more like a surf board and require a bit more skill.

WhaSUP + City of London Aquatics

In a match made in SUP heaven, WhaSUP Performance Stand Up Paddle Boards out of Troy, Ontario, have paired up with the City of London Aquatics to offer Intro to SUP classes at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre. You can take this opportunity to learn the basics of SUP and practice it in a pool setting before testing out your skills on the open water. Due to overwhelming popularity, the classes have been filling up almost as quickly as the City could announce them. As of the time of posting, there are four spots open for next Saturday’s lesson and all of the other classes have been waitlisted. If you are interested put yourself on a waitlist to encourage the city to add more classes! **in the online spectrum, search Aquatics -> Leadership -> page 3

SUP Yoga

Mastered the paddleboard and looking for a REAL challenge? SUP Yoga has become the best combination for adventurous yogi’s to take their practice one step further. Doing a tree pose on land may challenge your balance, but it has nothing on doing a tree pose on the water! A simple mountain pose (aka standing in stillness) may become your biggest nemesis if you’re ready to give it a try. Leave your serious self at home: plan to struggle, plan to laugh, plan to fall in, and plan to get a yoga workout like never before. The reward is a savasana that will lull you into a deep, well-deserved relaxation.

The City of London Aquatics, WhaSUP and Laurie Guthrie have come together to offer SUP Yoga classes at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre! These classes are so popular that they’ve had to add not one, but two more groups of lessons to satisfy the demand. There are two spots open for April 4 at the time of this post, but there’s a good chance they’re already gone. Get yourself on a waitlist and cross your fingers that they add more!

Didn’t get in to the City’s classes? Both WhaSUP and Laurie Guthrie offer SUP and SUP Yoga classes in the warmer months at beaches nearby.

 

 

Yoga

yoga

Everyone has heard of yoga and many people have even given it a try, either with a video or a class here and there. Yoga has been around for centuries because it’s amazing! It changes your body, your perspective, your approach to life and even your parenting. Doing yoga is a fantastic way of interacting with your children and giving you both body awareness and strength – be it prenatal, postnatal, mommy & me, family yoga or yoga on your own. Many people assume that to practice yoga you have to be flexible or fit, but this isn’t true! It is through yoga that you become flexible and strong. Yoga is truly for everyone. Have you ever heard someone say that they regret practicing yoga? Nope!

Want to give it a try? You’re in luck! There are many great yoga studios in London, accommodating everyone from the very beginner to the experienced yogi.

YOGA SHACK

Yoga Shack is owned by a fabulous London mom, Lisa Shackleton. There are two Yoga Shack’s in London – one on Bruce Street in Wortley Village, and the second on Ann Street downtown (formerly the Lotus Centre). The Yoga Shack offers a variety of hot yoga classes for all levels, but also has prenatal yoga (non-heated), beginner yoga, hot pilates, and Flow 2 where you will learn more advanced asanas. Yoga Shack has introductory rates, student rates, class passes and memberships, as well as dozens of $5 classes every week.

MOKSHA YOGA

Moksha Yoga is part of an international yoga chain found in many big cities around the world! We are fortunate to have two Moksha studios in London – one downtown and one in southwest London. Moksha occasionally offers family yoga classes in a reduced-heat room! They also have the traditional hot Moksha classes, flow classes and yin/yang classes for those who want to slow it down and go deep. Moksha has introductory rates, student discounts, class passes and memberships, as well as community classes for $7 and karma classes which donate back to the community.

YOGA CENTRE LONDON

The Yoga Centre follows the Iyengar method of yoga. They offer classes by the session that vary between 8 and 12 weeks in length. Students begin with an introductory class, followed by Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, advancing when they have mastered the foundations of each level. The Yoga Centre also offers classes for people who are unable to attend traditional yoga classes due to particular challenges.

BIKRAM YOGA LONDON

Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 poses done in a hot room. Every class is 90 minutes and every class follows the same poses in the same order. The practice was founded by Bikram Choudry, a yogi who believes that the sequence allows you to open, strengthen and tone your body with maximum benefit. Bikram Yoga London is located in southwest London and has daily classes. They offer introductory rates, student and senior discounts, passes and memberships.

THE CHILDREN’S GARDEN YOGA AND REIKI

Yoga Barb offers classes for kids, families, and adults. Her calm and playful manner will have your child falling in love with yoga from an early age! Join them for a session or sign them up for their own classes. Inquire about Yoga for the Special Child for children who have diagnoses that prevent them from participating fully in a typical yoga class. Yoga will teach your child calming techniques, mindfulness, and allow them to explore their body and physical potential. The Children’s Garden Yoga runs through sessions.