Halloween is a great time to get your kids interested in science. When else does it make sense to make slime and goop and bubbling witch’s brews? They’re not just fun to play with; they’ll teach your kids about how the world works, too. Chemistry and physics can be exciting!
Whether you’re throwing a kids’ Halloween party or just want some spooky educational experiments, we’ve got you covered.
Slime is the classic spooky science-y experiment for good reason: it’s easy, sticky, icky, and oh so fun to play with! You can make slime yourself with these borax-free slime recipes–make a bunch of different coloured batches with food colouring! You can also purchase DIY slime kits which contain everything you’ll need, as well as instructions. Want something even cooler? Make bubbling slime with xanthan gum, baking soda, and vinegar!
Ooze is a bit more foamy and a bit less sticky than slime. Think about those vinegar and baking soda volcanos you used to make as a kid, only with a bit more structure–that’s ooze! You can make ooze with hydrogen peroxide and yeast, both easily available ingredients. For your little witch or wizard, make this magical brew in a cauldron or beaker. Or if you’d prefer to scare your neighbours, make an oozing pumpkin for your front steps!
Teach your children about static electricity by making a ghost dance! Science Bob has the scoop; all you need is a balloon, your child’s hair (to create the static charge), and a ghost made out of tissue paper. Oh, and maybe some spooky tunes to add to the effect.
With a little tonic water and a black light, you make make glowing liquids that are safe to drink. Tonic water contains quinine, which has been used historically to prevent malaria. British colonists in India would drink gin and tonics for this very reason (the gin makes the tonic a bit more exciting.) Quinine will fluoresce under a black light, which just means that it glows! You can usually get a black light at a party supply store.
If you’ve got older kiddos, make some fake blood with them! Steve Spangler Science has a bunch of recipes. It’ll add some amazing colour to a scary Halloween costume!
If you’d prefer to make something a little less scary, try making some galaxy play dough. By adding glitter and glycerin, you’ll have a shiny, sparkly dough to pull, stretch, and play with.
It’s time to start planning awesome Halloween costumes for 2017. TV studios have been particularly kind to those who are costume-inclined this year. Check out our list below for 7 Awesome Pop Culture-Inspired Halloween Costumes for 2017. And if you should happen to try any of these, please, please share a photo with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.
It’s that time of year again: the time to swap coolers for lunch bags and camping gear for backpacks. With a new school year comes a new beginning, and there’s no better time than now to amp up your creativity in the kitchen and spoil your kids with simply incredible school lunches that are also healthy and delicious.
The following is a list of 12 school lunch ideas that are guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest palates.
Mason jars have quickly become staples in the modern kitchen. You may prefer to provide your kids with a non-glass option, like the Thermos FUNtainer. But no matter the container, these tasty pasta salads are quick to make, easy to pack and customizable to every kid’s palate!
[Find the recipe at Babble]
A clever twist on a classic snack, these healthy and delicious veggie wraps can be made in a pinch– and with only a few ingredients. Simply pair your favourite tortillas with creamy hummus, and add the vegetables that your kid loves best.
[Find the recipe at Weelicious]
For anyone looking for a hassle-free lunch box that kids love, bento boxes are the way to go. Not only can you neatly personalize each lunch as a midday surprise (and support your kid’s favourite sports team at the same time), but the different compartments allow you to separate fruit, dessert, snacks and dipping sauces from the main meal.
[Find the recipe at Wendolonia]
Even the pickiest of eaters will love this dish. Make it for dinner the night before and serve it up in a thermos for the next day–this macaroni and cheese recipe is bound to be a hit with everyone. The best thing about it? The kids won’t even notice that it’s jam packed with veggies!
[Find the recipe at Teach Eat Love]
Perfect for when you have leftover Indian food–or even just some chicken and spices from the kitchen–these butter chicken calzones will make all the kids jealous. Taking the shape of pop tarts, you can fill these savoury puffs with nearly any type of curry you choose!
[Find the recipe at Canadian Family]
These colourful (and flavourful) pasta skewers work wonders as a quick snack before soccer practice, healthy treat while on a field trip, or even as an easy food swap with friends. The varieties are endless–instead of tortellini, opt for gnocci, and add whatever bite-sized veggies your kid likes best.
[Find the recipe at Design Improvised]
This mouth watering mason jar (or kid-friendly alternative) concoction isn’t just for kids–although there’s no doubt they’ll be the star of the cafeteria once they pull out this BBQ parfait. Loaded with beans, mashed potatoes, your choice of meat (we love pulled pork), and your favourite BBQ sauce, these genius lunches will satisfy any BBQ lover.
[Find the recipe at Creme de la Crumb]
A contemporary spin on the classic egg salad sandwich, this recipe calls for avocado and cucumber to add a luxurious creaminess and satisfying crunch to what can often be an underwhelming meal. If your child isn’t a fan of mayo, don’t fret! You can always substitute with Greek yogurt, or omit it altogether.
[Find the recipe at The 36th Avenue]
Bring taco night to the playground with these colourful, healthy and filling salad bowls. Meal prep ahead of time with reusable containers so that everyone gets an equal portion. This recipe is even one that your kids can easily help make–that way, they can add as many toppings as they like!
[Find the recipe at Kristine’s Kitchen]
Just like adults can’t get enough of the breakfast for dinner phenomenon, your kids too will appreciate a morning meal in the middle of the afternoon–especially if it’s something sweet. Packed with fresh fruit, easy 2-ingredient pancakes, yogurt and a hard-boiled egg, this lunch box also works well for early mornings on the road, or during family trips.
[Find the recipe at The Kitchn]
This recipe is for all the kids out there who love Italian food. Not a pizza, not a salad, but something in between, this spin on a traditional bread salad has so much flavour, they may not even notice!
[Find the recipe at Bon Appetit]
Sometimes kids get a craving for instant noodles–the ones that come in plastic wrapping and little flavour packets that are brimming with sodium and preservatives. Thankfully, we’ve found a fresh and tasty alternative (skip the glass jar and try these) that offers the same appeal of an instant meal, but with all the goodness of real food.
[Find the recipe at Sweet Peas and Saffron]
What are your favourite creative lunch ideas for kids? We’d love to hear them in the comments below or wherever you find London Drugs on social media.
If an emergency situation developed quickly, would you know what to do? In the event of flooding, a natural disaster, or an earthquake, it’s important to be prepared. Experts agree that you need to be prepared to survive for 72 hours with the possibility of having no water or power.
Prepared emergency kits are available from London Drugs, SOS Emergency Response Technologies, and St. John Ambulance, but you can pack your bag to suit your family’s needs. All of these items should be ideally stored in a conveniently located and durable backpack.
Emergency preparedness is always a good idea. Educate yourself, your family, and your friends on the potential risks, create a plan, and stay prepared for any situation that might arise.
A Canadian winter rarely feels over until about mid-May. So for some, the first day of spring on March 20 provides mainly encouragement. But for school kids, as well as teachers and parents, it means so much more.
It’s time for spring break!
Depending on your school district, the break tends to fall between mid-March and very early April. No matter when it lands, however, the kids love it. Still, after some time spent relaxing, they’re usually eager to get out and do something fun.
Don’t worry, we can help.
March Break Family Fun options in Western Canada:
Location: BC Place Stadium – Vancouver, BC
Date(s): March 22 – 26
Description: Imagine a huge, full-scale carnival, including all your favourite rides and games, with tons of delicious food options. Now picture it all under one giant roof. That’s right, this carnival takes place indoors at field-level of the truly massive BC Place stadium. Even better, unlike most carnivals, endless rides are included with the price of admission.
Location: Pacific Rim National Park & Area – Ucuelet, BC
Date(s): March 11 – 26
Description: We may not get to see them as much as we’d like to, but wild animals are our neighbors on this earth. So why not come out and say hello to the annual migration of grey whales that pass by the BC coast each year near Ucuelet. There are also dozens of events planned during the festival for the whole family. Even better, Pacific Rim National Park admission is free this year!
Location: Gasoline Alley Museum @ Heritage Park – Calgary, AB
Date(s): March 24 – April 2
Description: Ever wanted to be a race car driver? How about a mechanic who builds, fixes, and races their own cars? Well, if you also happen to be a kid, this is your chance to dress and act just like a classic racing enthusiast. You can also play games and make crafts while you’re at it. With that much fun stuff to do, your time at Gasoline Alley Museum is sure to zoom past.
Location: Fort Edmonton Park – Edmonton, AB
Date(s): March 27 – 31
Description: This spring break in Edmonton, while you’re at work, your kids can have some old-fashioned fun with their friends (and we’re talking pioneer days-levels of old fashioned). That means outdoor adventures and games, cooking over open fires, building homemade toys, and more. These day camps run from 8:30 to 4:30 with separate groups for 6-to-8 and 9-to-12 year-olds.
Location: Various Venues – Brandon, MB
Date(s): March 27 – April 1
Description: Leave it to Manitoba to hold a winter festival entirely during the spring. But they obviously know what they’re doing, since this beloved annual festival has been running for over a century. It includes horse events, concerts, food, children’s play areas, an agricultural trade show, a hypnotist, and even a unicorn show. No wonder it attracted 110,000 visitors last year!
Location: The Forks – Winnipeg, MB
Date(s): March 25-31
Description: All of us like to clown around sometimes. But the performers at the Festival of Fools take clowning to the next level. These expert acrobats, jugglers, magicians, and yes, clowns, will amuse, amaze, inspire, and entertain your entire family, especially the little ones. There is also face painting, clowning classes, and even a “Boogie Woogie Hootchy Kootchy Dance Extravaganza.”
Enjoy the break!
Keeping the earth in great shape is a job for us all, young and old alike. And when it comes to recycling, kids can go green with no problems at all–with just a little guidance. Here are four ways to help your kids be kind to the planet–while having a total blast.
Host A Clothing And Toy Swap
Collaborate with other parents to recycle outgrown clothes and toys. Help everyone sort things by size or type (all the games and puzzles over here!) and see what treasures you can dig up. Afterwards, have some boxes and bags set up so you can drop off anything that didn’t find a new home at a worthy charity.
Make A Game of Post-Dinner Chores
Get your cleanup crew in gear with a cleanup sorting game: can it get recycled, composted or reused? Stoke competitive fire by promising a small prize or treat to the first to get everything put away. Track how much garbage you’re generating and see how your household improves over time.
Make Playtime Eco-Friendly
Is that garbage, or a crafting opportunity? Often old cartons and containers can be repurposed through glue, paint and a child’s imagination. One creative child we know transformed an old (and well-rinsed) laundry softener bottle into an Egyptian pharoah’s headdress, so the sky’s the limit here. Need some entry-level advice? Find those unmatched socks and take a look at this sock puppet guide from the masters of Muppetry, Sesame Street.
Think Green In All Things
When you’re planning a birthday party or a family vacation, brainstorm ways to minimize garbage. Consider giving experiences rather than things for birthdays and holidays. Go for bike rides or picnic in the park. Seek out environmentally friendly after school activities.
The best way to motivate your children to recycle is to demonstrate eco-friendly ways of living, and encouraging them to participate in green initiatives.
In general, creativity combined with a sense of fun make an eco-friendly childhood a snap. Before you throw anything away, consider if it could be reused or recycled in any way. By using fun and participatory activities, you can teach your kids how to recycle and tread lightly on this earth.
It can be so much fun having the kids home for the lazy hazy crazy days of summer (and, in some cases, it’s even better if they are off at camp!) But September will be here soon, and that relaxing combination of slowing down, sun tanning, and perhaps one too many Slurpees can make it hard to shake off ‘summer brain.’
This can pose a problem, because when school starts again, parents are expected to snap out of the stupor and help with homework and all the new concepts on the curriculum.
If you think that’s stressful, you’re not alone: a UK study last year found that helping with their children’s homework was a cause of significant stress for lots of UK parents. A quarter of those surveyed said they considered their children’s homework tasks to be too hard, while nearly two thirds admitted there have been times when they were unable to help because it was too taxing.
Still, with a few weeks of summer left there’s still time to prep, so here are a few ideas on how to make heading back to school less of a headache.
Quick: What element is represented by the letter K in the periodic table?
If you thought to answer “Krypton” (like celebrity rocker, Gene Simmons) then you may need to start watching Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.
The popular trivia show tests adults on basic facts learned in elementary school, and has stumped many contestants. In fact only two – a Superintendent of Schools and a Nobel laureate – have been able to answer the final Million Dollar Question.
Ease your brain back into gear by playing along with trivia game shows like this, Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Better yet, challenge the kids to the board game versions of these shows, or other brain training classics like Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble.
By the way—“K” in the periodic table is for potassium. But we all knew that.
Start by practicing everyday math skills without relying on Siri or your smart phone calculator. Next time you have to help calculate the amount for a tip, to convert from pounds to kilograms in a recipe or double-check the grocery bill, do it all in your head! Sound too hard? Recruit the kids! Use back to school shopping as an opportunity to teach them about money and budgeting.
Was it Jane Eyre who ran off with Holden Caulfield? Did Mr. Atticus get with Hager Shipley? Or was that Gilbert Blithe??
Decades later, characters and stories from the classics you once read and loved in school may now not exactly be top of mind. But many of those books are still found on school curricula today, so you may just get a chance to share these very same classics with your child this year.
While speed reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables would be fast…picking up the DVD version may be faster still, and enough to jog your childhood memories.
So-called ‘superfoods’ like blueberries and broccoli have long been known to make us brainier—but eating those repeatedly may get super tedious.
With the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available as fall approaches, this is an excellent time to stock up on healthy – and affordable – alternative brain foods, and to try some new flavours.
For example, for your salad:
The last weeks of summer don’t have to be all about study…remember to take a moment to relax and recharge your batteries. Research shows that our brains benefit from regular downtime. Whether you nap, meditate or take a walk – regular mental breaks can help increase productivity, replenish attention, and encourage creativity, for you and the kids too!.
Now, no matter how much brain busting prep you do, you’re still not likely to know the answer to all of your child’s homework problems—but that’s ok; the most important part is being available to help. Even if you don’t know the answers, sorting them out together can be fun and educational for both you and your child.
So get ready, and good luck!