The Summer School of the Arts at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has an exciting new curriculum for kids this year to tap into all facets of their creative side, including producing a play, creating art with light, designing fabrics, making a one-of-a-kind quilt, and even putting on a parade. Read about why every child should have the opportunity to spend some time immersed in the arts.
**PROGRAM REGISTRATION GIVEAWAY!**
When Dana Bookman's daughter was the only girl playing baseball in her league, she decided to take it into her own hands to create a team for girls. A team that had strong female baseball role models leading it, had jerseys designed to fit girls’ bodies, and even a necklace with the inspiring phrase “She believed she could so she did” on one side, and the logo on the other. The league started with the hope that five girls would come out to play baseball in the park, and within a year saw 350 girls on the roster eager to play.
This summer Dana is bringing her wildly popular all-girls baseball league (for ages 4-12) to Halifax.
Librarian: Have you given any thought to how many books you'd like to read this summer?
Miss M: Yes. One thousand.
Mr M: Eighteen.
We compromised on one hundred each but I have no doubt they'll do that and more in the library's summer reading club program.
Today the libraries across Halifax have their summer kick off parties for their free reading club. We're always eager to hear about ways to entertain the kids all summer and, you know me, if it's free, fun and educational ("edutainment!") I'm all over it. Our first stop in this quest for summer fun, as it often is, was to the library to sign up for the summer reading club and to grab a copy of their free (yes, it's free, all free! wheee!) programming for the summer.
Here are all the details on the summer reading program...
Halifax now has an all-ages free forest school that meets at the Frog Pond in Halifax once a week. We visited for the first time and share our thoughts on why we loved it (and give you the scoop on why the ticks shouldn't keep you away)!
If you're feeling the need to connect with other parents in person, or you need a little extra support or advice, resource centres are a valuable option in our community. The Greater Halifax region is lucky to have at least thirteen fantastic organizations that provide low cost, and often free, programming, and many have a focus on families with young children. Have you visited any of these centres?
One of our most popular posts has been 8 Halifax Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers. We went beyond soccer and dance classes and looked at some other fun organized programs and activities for families with young children to enjoy in Halifax. Now we're back with a few more that we think you'll love just as much!
Okay, okay, maybe not ALL of them but it is a lot and will provide you with something to do with your baby or toddler for every weekday! **Updated for September 2017
This article was originally published in the Chronicle Herald's weekly community papers and has been republished here with their permission.
I was that parent who had her child in swimming lessons at three months old. Obviously I knew she wasn’t actually going to learn how to swim as a newborn but I felt very strongly about my child being comfortable in the water and learning to swim as early as possible. It’s an essential life skill, I said, It should be a high priority for every parent, I preached.
My daughter will be five in a few months and we recently went to a birthday party at a pool where she spent the whole time sitting on the sidelines because she’s afraid of the water. After an enthusiastic start, we quickly fizzled out on the lessons and now we have two kids who won’t go in the water.
The pool party was my wake-up call. This summer I will be signing my daughter up for the free swimming lessons the HRM offers at their outdoor beaches and pools. Rhonda Dea is the Coordinator of Aquatic and Leisure Services with the Halifax Regional Municipality and she agrees that every child should take swimming lessons, but says parents need to know that the goal at a young age isn’t to nail that butterfly stroke.
“We want a child to be able to swim themselves to safety, first and foremost. They can achieve that with the basic skills,” she says. ”Water safety is something all children should be taught.”
Besides preventing drowning, swimming lessons also teach children respect for their classmates and instructors, how to work as a group, listen well and how to safely respond to a variety of water situations.
There are also some things parents can do at home to help their child become more comfortable in the water such as having them face the stream of water in the shower to get used to water on their face, which is something Dea says many children are afraid of.
A parent’s attitude while playing in the water with their children can also impact a child’s anxiety around swimming.
“If a parent has their child at a beach or a lake, or even a public pool, and their child slips under for a second it is important that the parent doesn’t react in a panicked way,” she explains. “The child reacts to the parent’s panic. It is great to see a parent pick the child up quickly, make sure they are okay and continue on.”
Dea recommends children start swimming lessons by three years old. By that age most children are independent and able to follow directions. Also, they are in non-parented classes by then which Dea says can be an advantage as many children often listen better when their parents are not with them.
I’m looking forward to watching my daughter learn how to have fun safely in the water this summer from the comfort of my beach towel and, let’s be honest, the fact that I get to spend her swimming lessons making sand castles with my toddler isn’t a bad deal for me either.