November 30th, 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids (and Parents)

We’ve got just over a month until Christmas. Time to get your shopping sorted!

Starting with last week’s Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook, we’re posting gift guides every week until Christmas. Each will be aimed at different groups and include gift ideas from stocking stuffers to show stoppers.

 

This week, our guide has gift suggestions for all the kids in your life that parents won’t mind playing with either! Whether you’re a parent yourself, or you’re buying presents for other kids and parents in your life, London Drugs has plenty of ideas and options.

Board Games are Big Again

Board games have gotten incredibly popular over the last few years. Board game cafes and bars in Calgary and Vancouver can attest to their popularity! Board games are tried and true, and (actually) fun for the whole family. They make great gifts, but choosing between the hundreds of games available can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help!

Modern board games range from serious strategy games like Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan to classics with a twist like NHL-OPOLY. Strategy games tend to be better for older kids, but Dixit is good for kids three and up while still being super fun. Pandemic is a cooperative game, teaching valuable lessons about collaboration while players work together to save the world. Kids and parents alike will appreciate learning new games.

Gift Guide for Kids - Monopoly Deal

Or, you can give the parents in your life some classics from their childhood to share with their own kids, like Twister or Battleship. Monopoly Deal is a great new version of an old classic that is quick to play and won’t cause any family feuds!

Tech Toys

While board games are great, video games are really the modern classic. This year’s ultimate gift is the Nintendo Switch, especially bundled with Super Mario Odyssey. The Switch can be a home gaming system, or a portable device kids can continue playing on for those long car rides.

Gift Guide for Kids - Super Mario Odyssey

Image via Nintendo.com

If the kid on your list is into computers, teach them the basics of programming with this cool programmable robot.

Gift Guide for Kids - WowWee programmable robot

Image via WowWee.com

iPads are incredibly versatile techie gifts, good for young and older kids alike. They’ve got YouTube and Netflix for watching kids shows, tons of easy-to-learn games, and they make it easier to connect with family through FaceTime. There’s nothing better for grandparents, aunts, and uncles than a video chat with excited kids on Christmas morning!

Kid Crafts

For families wanting less screen time, crafty gifts are endlessly fun. Scientifically minded kids will be into these Cool Science Experiments, ranging from invisible ink to lava lamps to hoverboards.

Those who love to draw will appreciate a fresh set of pencil crayons. Pair them with a sketchbook to make a complete drawing kit.

Colouring books are always fun and relaxing. Give them a colouring book with their favourite movie characters (be it Minions or Spider-Man) or opt for beautiful shapes or animals and let the recipient tell their own stories with colour.

Lego

As frustrating as stepping on those tiny pieces can be, Lego is a classic toy for a reason. Get fancy sets for older kids, like this Star Wars Resistance X-Wing, or go back to basics with a  classic creativity set. You can make anything with Lego.Gift Guide for Kids - Star Wars X-wing lego

Personalized Presents

Personalized presents are great for kids—they love seeing pictures of themselves and their family! The PhotoLab can put your family photos on just about anything, but some particularly good gifts are personalized mugs, ornaments, and puzzles.

 

For more gift-giving advice for the kids (and parents) on your list, speak to an LD Expert today. To make a purchase, visit London Drugs in-store and online.

We’ll be back soon with a top gift guide for techies. See you then!

See all of our 2017 Holiday Gift Guides here:

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Techies

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the DIYer

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Music Lovers

2017 Holiday Gift Guide for the Home Cook 



October 19th, 2017

6 Science-y Things To Do With Kids for Halloween

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.

Make Some Halloween Slime

Halloween 2017

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!

Ooh, Ooze!

Halloween

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!

Dancing Ghosts

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.

Glowing Gulps

Halloween

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.

Fake Blood

Halloween

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!

Galaxy Play Dough

Halloween

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.

 



September 21st, 2017

Awesome Pop Culture-Inspired Halloween Costumes 2017

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 InstagramFacebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.

  1. A Handmaid – The Handmaid’s Tale
    This one is actually easier than you might think. Grab a vibrantly red (but very modest) long dress from a second hand store, and order yourself a bonnet to match. Advanced Handmaid’s can use poster board to create the full bonnet as seen on the iconic show. Here are a few versions of the costume to inspire your rebellion. Blessed be the fruit.

    Halloween Costumes for 2017

    Photo credit: George Kraychyk/Hulu

  2. A Dragon – Game of Thrones
    Are you excited that Winter has finally come? What better way to celebrate than to channel your enthusiasm into an easy dragon costume for Halloween? This great blog has instructions on how to make no-sew dragon wings so that you can take flight against the white walkers or the Lannisters. You may not look as fearsome as Drogon, Rhaegal, or (gulp) Viserion, but you’ll inspire enough awe with how little time it took you to pull together this look. Dracarys!

    Halloween Costumes for 2017

    Photo credit: Brendid

  3. Diana Prince – Wonder Woman
    Flex your amazonian muscles in a Wonder Woman costume this year. This video from Mashable gives a method for a DIY version that isn’t super simple, but doable for those inclined to spend some time with vinyl fabric. You can also do a simple version with a graphic t-shirt and a pair of cuffs (for deflecting bullets, of course). Merciful Minerva!Halloween Costumes for 2017
  4. Redshirt – Star Trek: Discovery
    Gene Roddenberry’s universe is coming back to TV for the first time in 12 years, and we expect to see many a redshirt (or even better Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham) on October 31st. Here’s a super cute version for little kids. Live long and prosper!

    Halloween Costumes for 2017

    Photo credit: Tried and True 

  5. Wrestler – GLOW
    There is never a bad time to bust out truly huge 1980s hair and high-cut leotards. The characters in the Netflix Original show are based on a real group of pretty awesome women, and you can honour them with your Zoya the Destroya costume. Totally rad!Halloween Costumes for 2017
  6. Your Favourite Overwatch Character
    Is someone in your household obsessed with Overwatch? Ours too. This cosplay site offers links to kits that will give you a spot-on look for any of these striking characters (we’re team Symmetra and team Lucio). Certainly the DIY-ers among you can find even more creative ways to channel your favourite warrior. Catch phrase!Halloween Costumes for 2017

 

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on InstagramFacebook, Twitter, or in the comments below. Happy Halloween!



August 31st, 2017

LD Picks: 12 School Lunch Ideas Kids Will Love

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.

1. Mason Jar Pasta Salads

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]

 

2. Hummus Veggie Wraps

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]

 

3. Sports Lover’s Bento Lunch Box

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]

 

4. One Pot Mac & Cheese with Veggies

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]

 

5. Butter Chicken Calzone

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]

 

6. Tortellini Skewers

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]

 

7. Mason Jar BBQ Parfaits

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]

 

8. Avocado Cucumber Egg Salad

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]

 

9. Taco Salad Lunch Bowls

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]

 

10. Breakfast for Lunch

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]

 

11. Pepperoni Panzanella

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]

 

12. Homemade Instant Noodles

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.



May 18th, 2017

Emergency Preparedness 101: How to Build a Basic Emergency Kit

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.

Key things to have in your emergency kit are:

  1. Water – estimate four litres per person per day for drinking and sanitation.
  2. Food – gather food that won’t spoil such as canned goods, protein energy bars, dried fruits, and meal replacement beverages. Don’t forget to pack the can opener. Include hard candies, chocolate, and gum in your kit as a lift for your senses.
  3. Essentialsflashlights, extra batteries, candles, matches, garbage bags, a blanket, hand sanitizer, whistle, and a small mirror are all must-haves.
  4. First Aid – ensure your first aid kit is up to date and medications have not expired, include gauze, pads and tape along with an assortment of bandages. Include several pairs of disposable latex gloves, face masks, antibacterial hand wash, and a small pair of scissors.
  5. Battery-powered or a wind-up AM/FM radio to keep updated on current conditions.
  6. Seasonal clothing and footwear along with a dust mask in case of poor air quality.
  7. Entertainment – cards or any other board games. Crossword puzzle or pocket book to keep you occupied while waiting for the power to return.
  8. Additional non-essential but important items include duct tape, Swiss army knife, Kleenex, toilet paper, city map, and recent photographs of loved ones in case of separation.

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.

During an emergency, if a London Drugs store is able to remain open, we will offer:

  • PharmacyContact us at Customer Service for the latest information on your local store and for any urgent pharmacy inquiries 1-888-991-2299
  • Charging Stations – we will have charging stations available for your electronic devices
  • Supplies and emergency kits – our staff will be happy to help you find an emergency kit or help you to create your own that fits your needs
  • Batteries and Lighting, Candles – we’re here to help with emergency lighting needs from flashlights, batteries to candles
  • Water – It is always important to have an emergency supply of water at the ready
  • Less Urgent Inquiries –  We’ll field any question at ldonline@londondrugs.com

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. 



March 7th, 2017

Fun Family Activities For March Break

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:

PlayDome


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.

Pacific Rim Whale Festival

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!

Spring Rally in the Alley

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.

Fort Edmonton Park Day Camps

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.

The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair

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!

Festival of Fools


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!

 



September 19th, 2015

Going Green: Harness the Power of Kids

Green recycle kids

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.

Make it a game: can it be recycled? Reused? Composted?

Make it a game: can it be recycled? Reused? Composted?

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.

Families relaxing go green

Think ‘experience’ rather than ‘object’ at gift-giving time.

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.



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