Category Archives: activities for kids

Kids and Planes in Vancouver – 5 Summer Activities for Aviators at Heart

Air show 2014

Boundary Airport Airshow – FREE family fun

Pilots are basically little kids, just instead of their stories staring with ‘One upon a time . . .’, they start with ‘There I was flying . . . ‘. For young aviators there are many great places to find story material. So here are a few of the high experiences that will create life ling memories for kids and grown ups who like planes: 

  1. Summer Fun for All – YVR Friday Fun Days: In the summer for eight weeks, Fridays at the Vancouver Airport welcome travelers and locals who love flying. Activities, games and live performances transform the airport and make it fun for kids. There are contests and interactive events – a different theme every Friday in July and August. 
  2. For those seeking the thrills and sounds of demonstration and aerobatic aircraft it is airshow season with the Boundary Bay Airshow on July 19th (free admission) and Abbotsford Airport Airshow on August 8, 9 and 10 (paid admission with a mix of military and civilian aircraft).
  3. At the Langley airport is the Canadian Museum of Flight with some classic aircraft including a WW I Sopwith Camel replica, Douglas DC3, CF-100 Cancuck jet fighter and CF-104 high speed interceptor. Many of the aircraft can be touched adding to the fun of visit.
  4. If you just want to do some kid friendly ‘plane spotting’, there is the Larry Berg Flight Path Park located to the east of YVR airport. Just park and watch everything from twin engine commuters to the ‘heavy metal’ large airliners take off and land. There is a huge climbable sculpture that is a 3D map of the earth showing destinations in reach of YVR. Continuing around on the south side of the airport you can go to the Flying Beaver Bar and Grill for great hamburgers (yum!) and a super view of watching float planes operating on the water next to the restaurant, or crossing the road near by as they are towed into hangars.
  5. “Future of Flight” – a tour of the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington is a unique experience worth the trip – just 1 hour south of Vancouver. Go see where half of the world’s airliners are born! In the main plant where your could play 300 simultaneous hockey games your mind become overawed by the sheer size. Explore the dynamics of flight and experience new aviation innovations. The tour is better geared for older kids and they must be at least over 4 feet due to safety issues, but don’t think of old, dirty, dangerous – the plant is pristine and immaculate.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MOM CEO myBestHelper

7 resources to help kids Learn to Code this summer

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The case for why kids need to understand tech as an important 21st century skill has been made (see awesome code.org video on this here), but it’s not yet a core concept taught as part of the basic school curriculum.

So here are few options for parents interested in helping their kids develop tech skills this summer:

1. FREE – Virtual Google “Maker” camps – “Building, Tinkering and Exploring” 6 weeks starting July 7th 11 a.m. PST 

Google is offering six weeks of fun things to make and do for kids – all they need is a Google+ account and access to a PC, smartphone or tablet (if they are younger than 13, they will need to use the account of a parent).  The Maker Camps will have a weekly structure. In the morning, kids will complete a creative DIY project (for example a toy rocket) and in the afternoon they will also use Google Hangouts to talk to expert artists, makers and inventors as well as do virtual field trips to locations including Legoland in Denmark and Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop. See more here.

2. FREE – Sign up for a class at an Apple store – Various locations – local schedule 

At the Apple Store, you will find a variety of programs tailored just for kids, no purchase required. Youth Workshops, Field Trips, and Apple Camp are great ways to get kids thinking, learning, and creating — all while having fun. See more here.

3. $45: Learn to Code for Girls in Vancouver – Be like Ada – Sat, July 19th

Ada Lovelace, the beautiful black and white movie star and also a prolific tech inventor is the inspiration behind this one day bootcamp is for high-school girls only. They can learn to code and meet other girls just like them and hear from superhero women who have cool jobs because they code. To register, go to:www.belikeada.com

4. Code Kids Canada

See this CBC documentary for how and why kids are learning to code in the Maritimes. Inspirational videos galore you can show your kids to get them motivated. Motivation is then often enough to get them interested in using the many online and apps available to learn tech (see esp choice 1 above and 8 below).

5. Coder Dojo – Weekend Learn to Code for kids

CoderDojo is a global movement about providing free and open learning to youth, with an emphasis on computer programming. There are Coder Dojos in Toronto and Calgary, and one is being set up here in Vancouver.

6. Digital Media Academy – Summer Camps – $900+

This amazing opportunity to get top notch exposure to all aspects related to technology creation and use does not come cheap – but is now an option available across Canada. Week long summer camp classes for kids aged 8 to 12 and 13 and older covering a multitude of topics (film creating, game design, iPhone programming, robotics, app development etc) can cost around $900 each – sign up here for the few spots left. They have been doign in since 2002 and apparently, it is a life changing experience.

7. Apps and Games – Learn as You Play (ok for kids 8+)

 My Robot Friend allows kids to program the path of a funny robot and follow it’s adventures – hilarious and educational. Download here.

 The concept is simple — direct a robotic arm to move crates to a designated spot — but Cargo-Bot creates young programmers as it encourages the kind of innovative thinking necessary to learn programming skills. Download it here.

Hopscotch, is a simpler version of MIT’s scratch, and is AWESOME. It allows kids to quickly create games and animations by simple drag and drop of different commands. Kids can modify everything from size to speed to color – and see the results fast which is something that gets them hooked. Download it here.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, mom, geek, CEO co-founder myBestHelper

10 Awesome Canadian Inventions – Happy Canada Day 2014!

Did you know all 10 of these are Canadian? Literally from coast to coast – from New Brunswick to Toronto, Manitoba, Alberta and BC – awesome Canadians have invented some things we literally can’t live without! mbh-Canada Day infographic

Summer = farmer’s markets!

 

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We wrote recently about helping kids develop their taste buds: Karen LeBillon’s 2nd book “Getting to Yum: Curing and preventing picky eating”, endorsed by a Harvard Medical School pediatrician, helps with taste training for kids.

The other things that help is to see where food comes from. Showing this to kids directly works amazingly, as UK celebrity chef Jamie Oliver demonstrated through his work with schools. Here is a video showing school kids who could not identify a potato from a tomato!

Farmer’s markets can help with that. Summer is a great time to visit one – and here are the listings for VancouverCalgary and Toronto. The best is when your kids can actually speak with the vendors and ask what they are passionate about – markets are full of creative people who are driven by their love of what they do, and it’s so interesting to discover the people behind the produce and the products.

If you can’t make it to a farmer’s market, there are some great online resources on “farm to table” food. Enjoy!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, CEO cofounder myBestHelper

Do You Have a Picky Eater in the House? Read On!

 

Getting to yum by Karen LeBillon

image from gettingtoyum.com

  • Do you have a five or six-year-old who refuses to eat certain foods?
  • Is the dinner table becoming a battle of wills instead of a family gathering?
  • Is the worry about your picky eater causing stress for your family?

No worries – now there is help!

Karen LeBillon is the author of award winning best seller “French Kids Eat Everything“. Her 2nd book “Getting to Yum: Curing and preventing picky eating”, endorsed by a Harvard Medical School pediatrician, helps with taste training for kids and is being adapted to the TV screen. A new TV series produced by LaDiDa Media aims to help you and the picky eater in your family.

Karen wants to meet your family, and share her simple steps for turning even the most picky eater, into a fan of healthy and diverse foods. If you live in the lower mainland of British Columbia and would like your family to be a part of this new TV series, read on:

  • Looking for families with one picky eater of around 6 years old, who are available to film in their home for one day on the weekend of June 7th and 8th, and for one day of the weekend of June 14th and 15th.
  • Hoping to film a follow up to check back with your family in July or August.
  • Send a little information about your family, plus a photo or two to the following address: gettingtoyum@ladidamedia.com. They are looking forward to helping you!

Otherwise – the book is now available in all major bookstores and features practical advice, an easy to follow approach and LOTS of recipes the whole family can enjoy. You can download here the FREE fruit and veggies poster to help teach kids about different foods. You can also print it in black and white and give it to your kids to color.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, Mom of three and CEO cofounder myBestHelper

 

Simple ways to teach kids about Earth Week

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It’s Earth Week and to get your kids to be more Earth-friendly, I think it really starts with us setting an example. The best statement I saw on what WE can individually do to help the world be a better place was from Wilcox as quoted in the National Geographic blog:

When you think about climate change, it’s hard to reduce our carbon footprint, because we have to go through a fundamental shift in our economies. With plastic, when you’re throwing a bottle cap on the ground, that should be an easy impact to get rid of.” 

Simple, yet so powerful! Here are 10 other simple ways we can teach our kids about this compiled by Cher from Eco-Bravo, as a guest post on a blog that I really like “The Right Balance” by Salma, a writer and a mom of two:

“Children are great imitators, so give something great to imitate” We can use these early years to reinforce good habits and create the “normals” of their lives. For my family, it’s “normal” to recycle, compost, walk in the forest, ride bikes, use natural cleaners, bring our own bags for groceries, use cloth napkins for mealtimes and reusable lunch and drink containers.

The absolute best and lifelong gift we can give our children is a connection to nature. If you want to raise kids who will turn into teens and adults who want to protect the earth, give them a love and understanding of nature, make it part of who they are.

Here are 10 ways you can begin earth-inspired norms in your own family:

1. Go for nature walks. Learn the names of trees, flowers, birds, bugs and teach your children to look, listen and touch.
2. Plant a garden. Kids love peas picking and carrots! Growing and eating food that your kids helped plant and pick will give them valuable knowledge and understanding of where food comes from.
3. Teach your children the names (and tastes) of all fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat whole foods that kids can recognize and bake/cook with your kids. This is essential to the deeper connection of how the earth feeds us.
5. Make yearly visits to a working farm, where kids can meet hens, goats and sheep and try to pick some eggs; and visit organic farms to pick berries in the summer.
6. Take nighttime walks or go camping (even in the backyard) and look at the stars.
7. Swim in lakes, not just pools :)
8. Attract birds to your yard with a bird feeder or a birdbath.9.
9. Teach your child to turn off lights when not in a room, turn off water while brushing teeth and put paper in the recycling or apple cores in the compost, instead of just using the garbage.
10. Play outside. Simply spend time outdoors: riding bikes, going to parks, having a picnic, going to the beach, kicking a ball.

See original article.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, Earth inhabitant, mom of three, CEO founder of myBestHelper

 

 

Kid’s Garden – an awesome how to guide

Loved this post from Kid’s Garden on a new practical book on outdoor activities – especially the step-by-step instructions for all of us without a green thumb!

Alexandra T. Greenhill, mom of three, CEO founder of myBestHelper