Keeping Kids Busy: Blocks of Ice

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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.

 

 

Summer Reading Club

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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!

Preventing Hot Car Tragedy

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This is the time of year when the weather warms up and the news becomes filled with horror stories of babies and toddlers accidentally forgotten in the backseat of a car. Instead of waiting for the tragedies to hit the headlines, start taking precautions now that will help ensure that it will never happen to you.

The issue of children overheating in cars is not a simple one. Sometimes it happens with changes in routines that cause parents to forget that the child is there. Sometimes it is intentionally leaving a child there for the convenience. What they have in common is that no one plans for the outcome.

Children who are rear-facing, have the potential to nap in the car or who cannot get out of their car seat on their own are the most at risk.

Here are some ways to prevent heat stroke and death in a hot car:

  1. Don’t leave your child in the car on purpose, not unless you can see and hear them. We aren’t suggesting you should become a hyper-vigilant, paranoid person about this, but make sure that your child can be seen and heard if you are out of the car and they are in it. Even if the windows are down, your car is going to heat up more than outdoors and have less breeze. Children and babies cannot cool their bodies the same way that adults can, so your child will overheat faster than you would, when you may not be breaking a sweat yet.
  2. Lock your car doors when you leave it (with your kid!) so that your child cannot sneak back in while playing. Keep your keys out of reach inside the house.
  3. Always put your purse, your phone, and anything else you will need at your destination in the backseat with your child.
  4. Arrange the car seats in your vehicle so that if possible, the quietest/youngest child is behind the passenger where they’re more likely to be seen, instead of behind the driver.
  5. Never assume that someone else has gotten your child from the vehicle – always do it yourself or ask immediately.
  6. When there is a change in schedule, change in route, etc., take extra precautions: put a toy in your lap, play kids music on the radio, put the diaper bag directly beside you – do SOMETHING to jog your memory and remind you that there’s someone back there.
  7. If your child goes to daycare, check with them about their policy regarding unplanned absences and see if they have the policy of calling home/work to find out where your child is.
  8. Make sure that anyone else transporting your children (spouse, grandparents, friends, etc.) are aware of the dangers and take precautions also.
  9. Don’t assume that this won’t happen to you.

Keep your eyes open! At work, at the mall, when you’re out, have a quick glance in other people’s cars. Yes, you might seem creepy, so maybe just stick to the one’s with car seats and if caught, say you’re in the market for a new one and ask if they like it ;)

All of the above applies to pets as well. No one likes seeing an overheated dog trapped in a car! Cracking the window is not helping the heat, so don’t leave them in the car.

 

Mustang Drive-In

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The weather is warming up which means all of your family’s favourite warm-weather activities are returning, including the drive-in!

London is so fortunate to have a classic drive-in theatre just on the south east edge of town. The Mustang was originally built in 1953 with the second screen added in 1976. The two screens both feature movies every night, beginning at sundown. Long weekends and holidays will have three or even four features per screen, while a regular night will have two films per screen.

What makes the drive-in so great? The whole family can go! Where else can you take your newborn or toddler on a date night? Let them fall asleep snuggled up in your arms or spread them out between carseats in the back. As they get older, pick screens that have family-friendly features on first and then send them to their carseats to sleep for the grown-ups show. Older kids and teens can bring their lawn chairs and sit in the peaceful night air. If things get crazy, you can always pack up and leave after the first feature.

IF YOU GO

The Mustang Drive-In is located at 2551 Wilton Grove Road. To get there, take Highbury Road south, over the 401 and turn left onto Wilton Grove Road (at the Tim Horton’s). Drive along until you see the screens on your right.

Vans, trucks, SUV’s and larger vehicles must park in the back rows, sedans and smaller vehicles may park in the front rows or wherever they can find space.

There is a play area in front of one of the screens that anyone can access. There is also a lot of grass space to play catch, blow bubbles, and run around while you’re waiting for the sun to go down.

The bathrooms are NOT wheelchair or stroller accessible. There is no family washroom or changing table (and between you and I, you will want to bring some hand sanitizer and maybe some tissues to the washroom, just in case!).

ADMISSION

CASH ONLY

General Admission is $11 per person

Holidays (3 features) $12.00 per person

4 Features $13.00 per person

Tuesdays $6.00 per person

Thursdays $17.00 per carload

Kids 5-12 years old are $2

Children/babies 4 and under are FREE

There is a Snack Bar that serves the usual movie theatre fare as well as some heartier food to fill you up. There is an ATM at the snack bar.

A FEW TIPS

Bring bug spray

Clean your windshield or bring stuff to clean it there

Anticipate LONG lines at the bathrooms between movies

Dress the kids in their PJ’s so you can carry them right to bed; bring blankies/stuffies to encourage them to sleep in the car

Bring some wipes or washcloths to clean the kids off between playing and watching the movies

 

Rock the Park

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Rock the Park is coming to Harris Park again this summer for lucky number thirteen! Yes, July is a long way away, but tickets for this event are selling fast because of the amazing names coming this year. While there is some controversy over the rules prohibiting a concert on Friday, the event is currently scheduled to run over four days: Tuesday, July 14, Wednesday, July 15, Thursday, July 16, and Saturday, July 18. This event is a Bethany’s Hope Foundation fundraiser, raising money for MLD (Metachromatic Leukodystrophy) research.

Here’s the current lineup:

TUESDAY, JULY 14 (gates open at 4:00pm)

Train

Smashmouth

Gin Blossoms

Matt Nathanson

WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 (gates open at 3:00pm)

Keith Urban

Thomas Rhett

Dallas Smith

Jess Moskaluke

THURSDAY, JULY 16 (gates open at 3:00pm)

Little Big Town

Lee Brice

Joe Nichols

Chad Brownlee

SATURDAY, JULY 18 (gates open at 3:00pm)

Billy Talent

Rise Against

Killswitch Engage

The Gaslight Anthem

TBA

TICKETS

There are a few different options for tickets: General Admission or VIP (designated table areas) for Tuesday or Saturday, a special two-day pass for Wednesday and Thursday, and a VIP two-day pass for Wednesday and Thursday (which are  SOLD OUT).

Tuesday G/A $60, VIP (reserved seating) $112

Wednesday/Thursday G/A $142, VIP SOLD OUT

Saturday G/A $60, VIP (standing room only) $99.50

Purchase tickets HERE or call the Box Office 519-672-1967 10:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 2:00pm Saturday or stop by the Centennial Hall Box Office during the preceding office hours.

This is an all-ages event.

Spring-Summer Spectrum 2015

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The City of London Spring-Summer Spectrum was released last week and registration for all programs begins this morning, February 23rd at 8:30am.  The Spectrum can be found online or hard copies can be picked up at local arenas, indoor swimming pools, community centres, and libraries. The lessons and programs found in this Spectrum begin in April and run through to the end of August. This is also when you will be able to register your children for City of London Parks and Recreation day camps for the summer, swimming lessons at the outdoor pools, and all of the summer athletic leagues for adults, so take a look!

Registration can still be done online, by phone or in person. To register online, go HERE. You will need your client ID and your Account PIN if you have registered for Spectrum courses previously. Call customer service if you are unsure of your ID or PIN and cannot retrieve it by clicking Forget Password? Online courses must be payed for by credit card.

To register by phone call customer service 519-661-5575 Monday through Friday, 8:15am to 4:30pm. Phone registrations will require the course code and must be paid for by credit card as well.

To register in person, visit one of the following six locations. Payments can be made in cash, credit card, debit or cheque (post-dated cheques not accepted).

Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre, 656 Elizabeth Street
North London Optimist Community Centre, 1345 Cheapside Street
Canada Games Aquatic Centre, 1045 Wonderland Road North
Market Tower, 151 Dundas Street, 3rd floor
South London Community Pool, 585 Bradley Avenue
Kiwanis Senior Community Centre, 78 Riverside Drive

For information on financial assistance, see HERE.

London Summer Camp Fair

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Are you interested in signing your children up for summer camp, but don’t know where to start?

Horse back riding, overnight, day camp, music camp, coed, girls only, boys only, vacation bible school, special needs… eek!! So many choices can be overwhelming, but take a big breath, you’ll get through. Summer camp is a great experience for children of all ages, as campers, CIT’s or counselors. Head to the London Summer Camp Fair on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12 to meet Camp Directors and Senior Staff from many camps in London and area.

WHEN:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

5:00 – 8:00pm

WHERE: Continue reading

SUMMER SOCCER

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It’s time to register your children for summer soccer leagues! Soccer is a great way for children of all ages to get active, meet friends, and learn to play cooperatively on a team.  It’s a pretty easy sport to learn and can be a lot of fun. Remember to keep your registration receipts for your 2015 taxes! Coaches and volunteers are almost universally needed, so if you have a little time, help out!

Nor’West Optimist Soccer Club

Registration is open NOW for the Nor’West Optimist Soccer Club. They have rec teams for boys and girls from U4 (kids born in 2011) right up to co-ed leagues for U25 (born 1996-1990). Leagues begin in May and run until July or August.

East London Soccer Club

The East London Soccer Club is open for online registration NOW and will also have walk-in registration on Saturday, February 14 or Saturday, February 21. They have leagues for Under 4 (born 2011-2012), Under 6 (2009-2010), Under 8 (2007-2008), Under 10 2005-2006), and with the West London Soccer Club for U12-U18. Leagues begin in May.

Byron Optimist Soccer Club

Registration is now open for the Byron Optimist Soccer Club in west London. They have teams for children in U4 up to U18 as well as adult leagues for men and women. Register before February 28 to avoid late fees.

Del-Ko Brydge Soccer Association

Delaware, Kilworth and Mount Brydges area soccer players can register NOW for the Del-Ko Brydge Soccer Association. They have teams for U4 right up to U18.

Belmont Minor Soccer Association

Located just southeast of London, the BMSA registration has already happened, but you can still register for U4, U6, U8, U10 and U12-U18. They do not have online registration, but you can mail your registration forms.

Ilderton & District Soccer Club

Just north of London, the Ilderton & District Soccer Club has competitive and recreational leagues for children in U4 up to U18. You can register online now.

Lambeth Youth Soccer

In the southwest most part of London is Lambeth Youth Soccer. Registration is open NOW for members, and open February 8 for new registrants. They have a U3 Parent and Tot league, as well as U4, U6, U8, U10. U12, U14, and U16 leagues are through the West London Youth Soccer League.

Oakridge Optimist Soccer

Oakridge Optimist Soccer in west London has registration this Wednesday, February 4 from 6-9pm at Oakridge Secondary School and on Saturday, February 14 from 9-1pm. There are NO OTHER registration options for this league so do not miss the in-person registration. They have house leagues for 4 year olds up to U18.

Southend Recreational

Registration for Southend Recreational soccer is open now until early March for their house league teams. They have teams for mini’s (born 2011-2007) up to U18.

Strathroy-Caradoc Minor Soccer Association

This league has teams for U3 up to U18. In-person registration is over, but you can still register online.

Thames Centre Minor Soccer

Thames Centre has leagues for U4 up to U18. Registration happens February 12 and February 19. See here for locations and times.

London Southwest Optimist Soccer

Registration is happening online right now. Register before February 14 to avoid late fees. They have U6, U8&U10, U12 to U18 teams to choose from.

Kensal Park Soccer Club

Kensal Park’s youth league has teams for children born between 2012-2004. Online registration is now open.

St Thomas Soccer Club

You can register now online for the summer season or in person (see here for times and locations). They have both house league and competitive teams for children and youth.

London United Competitive Soccer

London United has online registration now open for their 2015 Kickeroo Kids Program for children ages 4-5-6, 7-8. The teams play Monday nights from May to the end of July.