Kids in Cowtown

River Fun And Safety

Calgary outdoorsWhen I moved to the Calgary area over 15 years ago, I was enchanted by the rivers of the area. Many times I took my children camping up the Sheep River west of Turner Valley to a remote area and had a wonderful time with friends and family there. We have seen Elbow Falls, Lumbrick Falls, Sheep River Falls and several other sites in pristine wilderness, as well as enjoy the local rivers here in Calgary. Calgary boasts some of the most beautiful rivers in the world, and there are some great places to go with the kids, but be aware and be careful. Calgary’s rivers are mountain rivers. The Elbow River and the Bow River are not like the rivers out east where they put nice brick walls on them and contain them in sweet little paths. These are gorgeous and fun rivers, but they can also become quickly dangerous.

Twice over the years I had a child playing in the river with other children when they were suddenly whisked downstream. The first time it was in Okotoks in the Sheep River right by the park. My little girl was playing on a boogy board and lifted her feet off the ground. Suddenly she was a quarter mile away going around the corner! The second time it was in a well known water hole. My child just got in a little too deep and the current picked her up and off she went. A fisherman plucked her out a long way down. Fortunately she was a good swimmer by that point in her life!

Life jackets are a must for the young ones and swimming lessons are critical as they grow older. This is a river community so give your children the skills that they need to play safe in the coming years. You never know where they may end up as teenagers so teaching them river safety and a healthy respect for the moving water is a good idea.

In the spring and early summer the water is moving too fast even in our smaller creeks to be taking small children out for a dip. If you are new to an area check around and find out who has lived there a long time. Ask them where the best places to swim are. Ask them if they would take kids the same age as yours down to the river. Treat the river with respect. It may look like one from wherever you are from, but it may be a totally different animal out here.

Calgary River rapidsAlso be aware that after a flood, like the ones we had last year in 2013 the path, change the undertow, and the current of the river dramatically. A spot that you enjoyed in the past may now have debris or it may be completely different. In some areas the river has even moved over 100 meters from where it was before. So if it was safe before, it may not be safe now. Check it out by going into it yourself first. Be watchful.

When playing near the water keep a consistent eye on the children. Team up with other parents to be sure that no child is left near the moving water. You will want some old running shoes or some good Windriver or Sports Sandals. It is impossible to walk in many spots because of the rocks. You will bruise your feet if you try to swim without shoes. Also, keep your pets on a leash so they don’t get caught in the current and swept downstream.

The river can be a lot of fun to splash around in and on a hot day it is wonderfully cooling, but play safe. Think things through and teach your kids to do the same. Keeping kids away from water entirely is very difficult. As they get older they will often want to go tubing for the day or go out boating on the larger rivers.  They will usually take the first chance that they get somewhere along the way, so teaching them about the river is probably a better way to keep them safe.

 

Below is a video of rafters on the Bow River. Not all of the Bow is safe. There are some pretty dangerous spots. This video has some warnings in it, but it is best to go with people who are familiar if you have never done this kind of thing before. The smaller rivers have less water in them but that doesn’t mean one should have any less respect for them. Swiftly moving water over shallow rocks can cause a bump on the head, that is why many of the river rafters out in Black Diamond use helmets and life jackets on the parents and the children while having a day of summer fun.

 

Another safety note: Our rivers are subject to flash flooding. Not usually a problem after mid July but raining in the mountains can cause the river to swell quickly bringing a flood down quickly. Usually though there is lots of warning. Check the weather report here in Calgary and pay attention if there is raining in the mountains. Also use Twitter and not just the news. Twitter gives instant alerts with video footage so pay attention when planning a family outing on or near the rivers.

Breakfast Helps Kids Learn!

Bite Into A Healthy Day With A Great Breakfast!

We all want our kids to do well in school and give them everything that they need to be successful. A good breakfast is one of those things.

In our busy world it can be too easy to let it slide when our student says they are too tired to eat, or that they just don’t feel like it, but we cannot give in to the bad habit of missing breakfast. Children who eat a healthy breakfast are more attentive in school. They get better grades and they socialize better with others. The brain needs food in order to learn. The better the food, the better the learning. So sugary donuts are not the best option. Whole grains, fruit, nuts and protein are better choices.

healthy breakfastSet Yourself Up For Success

The best time to prepare a good breakfast is not three minutes before it is time to leave the house. The best time is to think about it and get prepared the night before. Put out what needs to be put out. Can the box of cereal go onto the counter where the kids will see it? Prepare muffin batter the night before and pop them in the oven while you are getting ready for work, or put the fruit in a bowl on the table. Everyone could take a turn making breakfast, or sometimes the best preparation is just thinking it through so there is a plan in the morning.

The Calgary Tutor Doctor Recommends Breakfast

When working with children of all ages providing tutoring and learning support, the Calgary Tutor Doctor has found that those children who consistently have a good breakfast respond to tutoring quicker. Many schools boards would agree, and that is why several schools now offer some kind of breakfast program to be sure that kids are not trying to learn on an empty stomach.

 

For more great tips that will help your children become great learners sign up for Tutor Tips from the Calgary Tutor Doctor!

Tutor Tips

Unique Christmas Gifts

Do you have a young scientist at home? Do your kids like something unique? Christmas gift

Recently we discovered a very cool website ran by a Calgary business owner who loves to see kids explore new and exciting things. How about a bug in acrylic, or perhaps made into a necklace?

This is a great way to get kids more interested in science!

unique Christmas giftNot interested in jewellery?

There are also some really cool specimens, collections, life cycles, and mounts.

Or how about a very neat butterfly paper weight?

 

Christmas ideasVisit The Bug Emporium for more information!

WELCOME WAGON October 6 Bridal Show and Baby Shower!

A Bride To Be…your invited to Welcome Wagon’s Bridal Showcase.

Welcome Wagon Bridal ShowerIf you’re planning a wedding, you and a guest will want to attend Welcome Wagon’s Bridal Showcase being held at the Blackfoot Inn on October 6th. We have exciting door prizes, fashion shows, planning guides, special displays and gift bags for every bride.

Welcome Wagon’s Bridal Showcase takes the guesswork out of planning your wedding by assembling everything you need under one roof. Each Showcase is tailored to the local area, with local businesses.

And best of all, admission is FREE for you and one guest*. You even have chances to win an exciting honeymoon to a sun destination, courtesy of Today’s Bride Magazine or a romantic honeymoon to Paris, courtesy of Table Charm.

So register online today and let us help plan your perfect wedding, or call 1-866-627-6070

Expecting A Baby…your invited to Welcome Wagon’s Baby Shower.

Welcome Wagon Baby ShowerIf you’re expecting, you and a guest will want to attend Welcome Wagon’s Baby Shower being held at the Blackfoot Inn on October 6th. We have exciting door prizes, fashion shows, planning guides, special displays and gift bags for every mother-to-be.

Welcome Wagon Baby Showers offers valuable information and demonstrations designed to help you at this special time. You can expect to see various displays from local business and civic organizations, specifically with you in mind to assist you and your new baby. Best of all, attending Moms-to-be will receive a complimentary gift bag and can register with a guest for Free! Why not bring the Dad-to-be and enter him in the diapering contest… it`s fun and there are exciting door prizes!

So register online today and experience what a Welcome Wagon Baby Shower has to offer or call 1-866-627-6070.

The Season Of Butterflies

Calgary butterfly

Cowtown butterflies!

The season of butterflies is upon us. Summer is here!

What are your favourite butterflies?

Here are a few of ours.

Cowtown butterfly

Beautiful Calgary butterflies

5 Summer Projects You Can Do With Your Kids

kids rock garden

The sun is out, the grass is turning green, and parks are bustling with people. Summer is a great time of the year and it’s time to take the children out to play. There are many great projects you can do with your kids to help bring the family closer together. While some of them don’t have to wait until summer to do, they may be easier that trying to do while fighting the snow or cooler temperatures.

1. Sidewalk Art - Sidewalk chalk is a fun way to spend an afternoon. As this material is water-soluble, you can buy a variety of colors and help create a great mural of virtually anything you want without staining the cement. The child’s canvas can be the porch, sidewalk, or driveway safely allowing the child to draw various shapes and figures without permanent damage. Using the hose as an eraser, the art can be easily removed and the project started again. Show pride in your child’s summer art work and take pictures of each one. Upload them to Pinterest and show friends and family your kid’s artistic ability.

2. Decorative Rock Gardens - Dedicate an area of your yard to a kid’s “rock garden.” Allowing children to paint various rocks is not only fun for the child, but can make for a bright and colorful aspect to your property. Allow your child to exercise his or her imagination as they create some of the most interesting pieces you’ll ever see. A child’s imagination is unique and each rock will be different than the one before.

3. Renewable Energy Fun - It’s never too early to demonstrate the fruits of renewable energy such as wind and air. Manufacturers have been developing “do-it-yourself” kits for children in order to help them learn how these devices work and why they’re important to the future of humanity. Most of these kits are fairly cheap to buy online and they can easily be tied together for kids who have great ambitions about generating power for the home. In fact, these panels can power his or her own nightlights or lamps.

4. Tie-Dyed T-Shirts - Although these pieces of clothing can be quite messy to create, they can be a great amount of fun and are cheap to assemble. Each shirt is unique and can be a fun item to wear for the summer. You child could start his or her own clothing line and wear his or her creation with pride.

5. Dioramas - Using old shoe boxes or other smaller four-sided container without a top, you and your kids can put together a diorama that is decorated in any way everyone sees fit. By visiting your local dollar store, you can buy cheap figures as your medium to place inside the decorated box letting the imagination work its own magic to bring the scene to life. You can even go so far as to letting the child write a story to go with the diorama and tape it to the box itself.

Although it’s easier to kick the kids out of the house to get some fresh air in the summer, you should join them. Children aren’t the only ones who need to get out of the house and get some exercise. In fact; the older we get, the greater is the need for exercise ourselves. Engage your children this summer with fun projects and feel the difference within yourself and your family.

 

 

Author Bio:

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.

Tie die

 

We need photos of Calgary.

The photographs need to be yours and not be copywrited so we can use them to go with our articles on this website and on other websites in the city as well as other social media channels.

The pictures can be of the city or of parks, city sites, places of interest, kids activities, pets or anything to do with our beloved Cowtown.

The contest will run until May 31st and we will give the winner a $50 bouquet of flowers from Velda’s Grower Direct.

Second place gets a $25 Walmart card.

Any photos that we obtain we will be using in Calgary promotions so we won’t be sending them back. We can put your name on them when we use them, if you want.

Email your photos to kidsincowtown@gmail.com with your phone number and mailing address. Also post them on our Facebook page so everyone can see your awesome shots!

Have fun!

 

Prince’s Island Park

Finally Spring seems to be here! Is it just me or are the winters getting longer? Sometimes I feel so lucky to be in Calgary during the winter because I know the rest of the country has it much worse but still… It just goes on and on.

It is great to finally get out into our Calgary Parks and enjoy the trails, the play centers and the fresh air.

One of our favorite parks over the years has been the Prince’s Island Park downtown because of all of the celebrations that go on there. Just about every weekend something exciting is going on. We have heard some of the best and most creative music there from all over the world. There is a play area, picnic areas, and canoe access to the river. There are great restaurants such as the River Cafe nearby to eat at or one can bring a bag lunch from home.

The Canada Day Celebration and the Folk Festival later in July are attended by people from all over the world. It is a great highlight in Cowtown so definitely check those out!

Did you ever wonder why it is called Prince’s Island? It is not because some toad was turned into a prince there and it was not named after royalty either. It was named after Peter Anthony Prince who was a lumberman. He came to Calgary in 1886 from Quebec and founded the Eau Claire Lumber Mill. In 1947 the land was purchased by the city of Calgary from the Prince family to develop park land. Today it is one of the most beautiful and creative parts of our city throughout the spring and summer season.

See you at the park!

Prince's_Island_Park

Day 12 – Drummer Drumming

Drummers Drumming

Enjoy this Christmas classic…

I have teenagers. I have no ears left. Way too much drumming going on. Is it just me or are all the songs on the radio to the same beat? Bands are weird now too. Pick a direction, a color, or a trench. Is “headly” what you get when fighting off lice? Beaver Fever was definitely a disease you did not want.

I am thinking that 12 drummers drumming would drive me quite nuts today. It would be right up there with “let’s invite 30 children over and let them decorate our walls with icing!” Or maybe we could walk all of the neighborhood dogs today at the same time. That would be fun… Or maybe now would be a good time to clean out all of our cupboards, that basement crawl space, and the attic too! NOT…

I am opting out tonight and going for something sweet and peaceful.

Tomorrow is Christmas and we hope that you did enjoy The 12 Days Of Christmas!

Here is The Biebs With Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

And one more Christmas favorite of all time just for fun!

Day 11 – Pipers Piping

Pipers Piping

The only pipers I could think of are the bagpipes…

Doing Christmas carols no less!

Well we could all get out our cell phones and pick a new ring tone…

Remember when the phone was attached to the wall and no kid in his right mind would want to carry one to school? Ahhhhh those were the days.  Now you can contact me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the old fashioned way… EMAIL!

We use to use crayons when I was a little kid. The other day I was at my friend’s house and even the 5 year old had an IPAD.

So electronic Christmas it is…

Here are some of our new traditions, because these days we don’t have to wait for the CBC special. Now thanks to YouTube we can get them any time we like. Watch them again and again right up to Christmas Day and beyond!

Have a Charlie Brown Christmas!

Kerry Christmas 2Kerry George was has three children Zechariah, Joshua and Naomi and started her writing career by publishing the book “Juicy Fruit Christianity” in 2001. Since then she has written numerous articles for Today’s Business Woman, Faith Today and multitudes of blogs and online publications for ministry and business related publications. Currently she is the owner of Loyal2U and the Calgary Business Network and has a personal blog at http://loyal2u.blogspot.ca/ She also creates content for a variety of businesses in the Calgary market.

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