Keeping Kids Busy: Glow Bath

Glow bath

The next time you’re at the dollar store, grab a couple of packages of glow sticks or glow bracelets. Save them for a rainy day, literally!

When the sky gets dark, crack a bunch of the glow sticks and put them in a warm bath. Draw the blinds, turn off the lights and let the kids’ imaginations run wild in the glow stick bath tub. There is something magically exciting about glow in the dark items and darkness during the daylight.

SOME SUGGESTIONS:

  • add some bubbles to the bath to see how things glow through them
  • don’t break the glow sticks! They’re apparently very hard to clean out of a tub
  • dry off the glow sticks after the bath and save them for bedtime fun

Keeping Kids Busy: Blocks of Ice

iceblock

Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up, we have a great summer activity to keep kids busy on a hot, sunny day. It’s simple, easy, FREE, and will keep kids of all ages occupied. Give them a large block of ice with some toys frozen into it and let them try to help their toys escape.

WHAT TO DO

Round up a bunch of hard plastic toys.

Get a large plastic container or small bin and put the toys in it. Make sure the container will fit in your freezer!

Add water until the bin is just about filled (allow room for it to expand in the freezer).

Put the container in your freezer overnight or longer.

When it’s frozen solid, hand it over to the kids with some spoons and winter mitts (or socks for their hands if they’re all boxed up somewhere).

OUR TIPS

Do this outside! The hot sun will help melt the block of ice, making it easier to rescue the toys without frustration.

Use old toys – bits and pieces leftover that have no home or are not used. There is a chance that some of the toys could get broken.

Make a game of it: freeze a small container for each child with the same number of items in each. Have them race to free their toys first.

Put this in the freezer NOW so that it’s ready whenever you have time to play. It can sit there all summer, so long as you have the space.

 

 

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

FREE Summer Fun: The Library

freesummer

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. 

We talk about the London Public Library a lot and that’s because it is so full of wonderful, FREE activities for your kids, year round. Summer is no exception. Each branch currently has a flyer that you can take home outlining all of the special days and events running, along with the age range and whether advanced registration is required. Drop in at your closest or most preferred library and pick one up.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

The obvious things you can do are find books to read and read them! There are also toys, puzzles, train tables, and computers to play, and often crafts or learning activity stations. You can also read or rent magazines, rent movies, music, audio books, and comics/graphic novels. Summer activities include: Story Times, Family Movie Nights,Books for Babies, TD Summer Reading Club, Mad Science, Sparky the Fire Dog, insects, puppets, magic, coding, origami and so much more! Activities vary by branch.

HIDDEN COSTS

If you’ve lost your library card, there will be a $2.00 replacement charge. There is also the risk (a very real risk in my house, unfortunately!) that you’ll forget a book or two and have to pay the late fees. Remember: books and CD’s are 21 days, DVD’s and Quick Picks are 7 days.

MORE INFORMATION

For locations and branch hours, see HERE.

For branch programs, see HERE.

 

Summer Reading Club

summerreading

The TD Summer Reading Club is up and running at all London Public Libraries. This program is open to all school-aged children in London. Whether you have an avid reader at home or one that struggles to read, this program is perfect to prevent that summer slump and keep kids turning the pages in the sunshine.

SUMMER READING CLUB

The program runs at each public library from now until August 22, 2015. Kids must visit a library to register. Upon registration, they will receive a small package with stickers, a passport, and all of the things they’ll need to participate.

Once registered, start reading! Every book your kid reads can be recorded in their Read to Play notebook. Everything counts! Books, novels, short stories, magazines, comics, just start reading. Visit any library during regular library hours and tell a librarian about what you read to earn stamps. Once your card has five stamps, drop it in the ballot box for a chance to win some cool prizes! You may only collect five stamps per day, per kid. Spending too much time by the pool? Submit your book report online HERE to earn ballots as well.

Want to earn more stamps? Do a few of the activities presented: Draw a map of where you live, Visit a grocery store and make a list, Play a game or Do a puzzle.

BOOK SUGGESTIONS

Not sure where to get started? The library website is full of great ideas for books and reading material that kids love. Have a look HERE.

If you have younger kids, grab one of the bags-to-go at either the front of the library or the kids section. A selection of books have been put together by the librarians for when you don’t have time to search and are open to reading something new.

Most libraries also have a number of books on display for all ages, there are reviews online of things that other kids have read, and you can always spend some time at the library browsing the shelves. Set a goal with your kids or for yourself and get reading!

Free Movie Night in the Park

The City of London is once again offering free movie nights in Victoria Park! Grab a blanket, a lawn chair, a snack and your family and head down town for a family adventure. This year, the movies are on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. All of the movies are family friendly and begin at sundown (approximately 9pm).

movie

Tim Hortons Free Swim

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Every summer the local Tim Hortons’ in our area sponsor free swims at the City of London outdoor pools. These swims are a great chance to try out your closest pool or pool hop to another one that you’ve never had the chance to visit! Below is a list of all of the pools participating and the dates and times of their Tim Hortons free swims.

Byron Pool
1130 Brock Lane

July 02 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 26 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

East Lions Pool
1731 Churchill Ave

July 12 from 2:30 – 5:30 pm

July 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

July 28 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Gibbons Pool
2B Grosvenor Street

July 07 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 19 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Glen Cairn Pool
370 Chippendale Cres

July 15 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

August 01 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Northeast Pool
1050 Victoria Ave

July 17 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

August 02 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Northridge Pool
15 McLean Drive

July 09 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 25 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Oakridge Pool
825 Valetta Street

July 05 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 29 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Southcrest Pool
15 Hazelwood Avenue

July 01 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 18 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Silverwood Pool
36 Sycamore Street

July 11 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 23 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Stonarch Pool
1221 Sandford Street

July 05 from 3:00- 5:30  pm

July 14 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 28 from 6:00- 8:00 pm

Thames Pool
15 Ridout Street

July 04 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

July 22 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Westminster Pool
650 Osgoode Drive

July 08 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

July 24 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm

August 08 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm