From Crib to Bed: Here’s What a Sleep Consultant Wants You to Know

*Guest blog post by Ashley Nathan of Resten Mattress

One of the biggest challenges parents face is transitioning their child from their crib to a bed. This transition often causes parents a lot of stress and frustration, especially when things don’t go according to plan.

The idea seems simple—just encourage your child to sleep in their new bed. But it’s almost never that easy. A new bed marks an important stage in your child’s development, and you must make this a positive experience for them.

And while seamless transitions can happen—there are other times where a customized strategy is needed.

We sat down with Holly Jefferd, the founder of Tiny Sleepers, Big Dreamers and certified infant and toddler sleep consultant, to discuss the transition process.

Tell us about your business and what you’re most passionate about.

I’m a certified infant and toddler sleep consultant that works with families to develop customized sleep plans that focus on developing independent sleep habits.

I work with parents to help them develop a concrete plan. These plans will include things such as morning routines, nap time, refusal of naps, and how to create a sound sleeping environment.

As for my passion? I love getting infants and toddlers sleeping. Those early years are pivotal for their development, and it’s important that they get enough sleep.

After all, well-rested kids translate to well-rested parents

 

How do you know it’s the right time to transition to a full-size bed?

There are a few factors to consider, but not all situations are the same.

I often recommend that you wait as long as possible. Many parents start the transition process too early because they want to get their child sleeping in a bigger bed.

I look at a combination of the child’s age, what Health Canada’s standards say, whether it’s a safety issue, and if the child has developed enough to understand the transition.

Starting the transition too early will result in frustration and lost sleep. Your child may become excited by a large and open bed, making bedtime an impossible task.

 

What is a Sleep Consultant and how do they help?

The simple answer? It’s somebody who removes the Google search aspect out of sleep training.

Here are just a few of the things a sleep consultant does:

Most parents are capable of helping their child transition. But they often lack the confidence to make it a smooth process.

I’m both a sleep consultant and a behavior therapist. I work to make parents confident in their choices, help them build a personalized plan, and to identify and pursue long-term habits that are safe and positive.

 

What are three tips you always tell parents to help ease their toddler’s transition?

Getting the child excited for sleep. The more excited they are, the more likely they will work with you.

Reward them. Children are driven by rewards. Take the time to understand their level of reinforcement, and don’t be afraid to praise and reward them. It’s much easier to encourage them to sleep in a new bed when it’s a positive and happy experience for them.

Maintain consistency. I often refer to the 6 Cs: Clarity, consistency, control, choices, comfort, and celebrate. Help your child understand what’s happening, make that experience consistent, offer choices that make your child feel like they have some control, support them through the process, and praise their successes.

 

What size mattress do you recommend to parents?

Start with the mattress they will use long-term. If that’s a double or a queen—start with that right away. I don’t recommend toddler beds because that means you will need to transition them again when they outgrow it.

You want your child to relate to you. The idea of having a bed similar to their parents is exciting to them.

Another way to simplify the transition is to let them choose their sheets and blankets. You want their bed to feel comfortable to them. However, make sure their blanket is suitable for the season.

Allows kids to relate to mom and dad, they may find it exciting – allows for more room – gives them more room – let them pick out sheets and blankets – make it comfortable, not too hot or too cold.

I also recommend you check out Restens Sleepy Kids Pack. It’s designed to make the transition positive for both parents and child.

How do parents know when they might need a sleep consultant?

I typically suggest they contact one when what they are doing for their family is no longer working, and they are getting frustrated. Sleep consultants aren’t for everyone. You should only start sleep coaching when you are ready.

A good sleep consultant focuses on educating parents, not telling them what to do. It’s about providing a positive and supportive environment.

Remember, children have distinct emotions that we may not understand as adults. That doesn’t make those emotions wrong. I believe in establishing sleep boundaries through a gentle approach that validates and works with your child’s emotions.

 

What are the most common challenges parents face?

Based on my experience, it’s a variety of factors. Some of the more common ones include:

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for both parents and their children. That’s why I work to educate parents on the transition process—because I believe a well-rested family is a happy family.

If you think a sleep consultant might be right for your family, you can reach out to Holly from Tiny Sleepers, Big Dreamers here to request a free 15-minute consultation call.

From Crib to Bed: Here’s What a Sleep Consultant Wants You to Know

Over one in four Americans don’t take a vacation during summer, according to research. That’s such a sad finding because going on vacations have proven benefits to both the young and old.

Family vacations promote bonding and quality time, lessen stress levels especially among children (yes, kids get stressed too!), and boost the physical and mental health of the whole family.

No matter how tight your schedule is, or even if it seems like it’s going to affect your household budget, there are a lot of reasons to pursue that family holiday you’ve been dreaming about. The thing is that going on a family vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. Additionally, planning for one doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming.

Here are five creative ideas for a fun and memorable family vacation:

Take your family to the sea… or the river

The beach is no doubt a popular destination for family getaways. Why not? The calming sound of the waves, the beautiful, fascinating view of the sea, and the relaxing feel of the sand on your skin – they all bring us joy, peace, and all other positive feelings. Plus, kids love to swim. Also, there are just so many things to do on the beach apart from swimming. They can run, play volleyball (and other sports), build a sandcastle, read a book under the sun, and enjoy a refreshing drink. With over 12,000 miles of coastline, you will surely find a beach to explore nearby. Otherwise (or if you feel like trying a different water adventure), head to the river. You can take your family into a rafting adventure, fishing, or boat sailing.

Consider staycation

Short on funds? Planning your vacation close to home is the best way to address the money issues. You can stay at a family-friendly hotel for a weekend where you can have a great time in the pool area with your kids and have a relaxing spa afterward. Then after a day of fun-filled activity, savor some good food and watch Netflix together. Alternately, you can do a city tour or a road trip or check out a new local spot that you haven’t visited yet. Just fuel your engine with enough gasoline and let the road be your guide.

Go as far as you can

If you have the time and resources to travel somewhere far, then go ahead! It’s going to be fun for sure. It can be a different state or another country. Gather the whole family and talk about your travel goals so you can decide which destination to go. International trips can be expensive. You can save on the cost by booking ahead. Do your research in advance so you can look for hotels or accommodations that have cheap rates but outstanding service. You can also find good deals from online travel sites if you plan ahead. You can have your travel plans arranged by your chosen airline.

Have a family camping

For most people, camping is a family tradition. Enjoying the outdoors away from home is a great way for families to bond and get in touch with nature. There hundreds of state parks and campgrounds in the country so there’s no reason why you should not try camping. Surely, you and your kids will love all sorts of outdoor adventures, such as hiking, trekking, fishing, nature walking, and so much more. However, for the safety and comfort of your whole family, choose comfortable footwear that will be great for camping activities. Additionally, create a list of the things you need to bring, including first-aid kits, snacks, and food, water, blankets, clothes, etc.

Visit a farm

Farms are wonderful spots to visit if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Farm visits are also very appealing to children. It gives them a chance to explore nature and enjoy things like feeding the animals, riding a horse, harvesting fruits and crops, and taking a relaxing nature walk. Kids love interacting with animals. And in farms, they get to see so many animals, such as chickens, ducks, cows, goats, sheep, dogs, and so much more. Farm holidays let you explore the stunning countryside, away from the loud distractions and noisy crowds. Many farms offer accommodations for guests where you don’t just enjoy a good night sleep but also satisfy your palate with tasty meals prepared using fresh organic produce.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning a vacation with your fam bam! It doesn’t have to be that long or that grand. Even a day or two are enough to escape from your hectic lives and spend quality time with each other. Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to take that much-needed family holiday. Enjoy!

*Our featured Mommy Blogger is Mariam Simmons, a blogger at Alpineswiss.com

Whether you’re a first-time mom or not, celebrating milestone birthdays is certainly in your bucket list. The first birthday, most especially, deserves an extra celebration.

Pulling up a fun and memorable first birthday party is easy. But with so much information out there, you must be feeling overwhelmed right now. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Here are 10 creative party ideas for your baby’s 1st birthday to make it an amazingly beautiful and unforgettable one.

It’s all about decorations.

A successful milestone birthday party starts with eye-popping decorations. The great thing is, you can throw a beautiful celebration without spending on expensive décor and party accessories. But there are a few items that you shouldn’t do without, such as balloons and air dancers. These dancing inflatables are so fun to watch and children of all ages will love them. They also make a fun backdrop for your guests. Moreover, in order to make the area more beautiful you can add home accessories and make your guests feel comfortable. You can also DIY some decors like the party banners, favor bags, and party hats.

Funny Activities

Don’t make your party boring by skipping the fun games and activities. Take note that your guests are mainly children and you should entertain them. Go for activities that encourage moving around as kids are naturally energetic. Some entertaining games to try to include bubble wrap race, scavenger hunt, musical chairs, passing the parcel, and balloon pop.

Put up a chalkboard sign.

As your child hits his or her first year, it’s time to celebrate their milestones and accomplishments, from their first words to their favorite hobbies, food, and activities. All you need is a simple chalkboard panel and colorful chalks to write them down. If you or someone in the family has awesome calligraphy skills, you will end up with such a beautiful sign that will make your guests smile.

Don’t forget your photo collage. Isn’t it sweet to look back to those 12 happy, sad, beautiful, intense, and amazingly crazy months? Print your favorite Instagram photos of your child (from their first month to their 12th). There are many ways to set up your baby’s photo collage. You can cut out a huge “1” figure from cardboard and paste your baby’s photos on it. Or, instead of the traditional banners, you can hang the photos as a replacement. Hang it with Christmas lights for that whimsical effect.

Babies love balloons.

Balloons are timeless classics when it comes to parties and celebrations. And they are especially entertaining for kids. You can use balloons for decorating your venue as well as in games or activities. Instead of ordering premade balloons from your local party supplies dealer, buy a balloon kit to cut down on the cost.

Make it “wild”.

Wild One is a popular birthday theme not only because it looks so cute but also because it’s relatively easy to pull up. You can decorate your venue with wood pallets and accessories and some plants. For the food, serve them on wooden trays. Don’t forget the tent. It makes a lovely prop for your little one’s pictorial.

Make treats part of the decor.

Your party food doesn’t have to be just, well, food. It can also complement your beautiful decor. For example, who doesn’t find mini donuts tucked on a board cute, or skewered on colorful straws? How about worm jellies as toppers for chocolate mousse served in tiny tin cans or shot glasses? It takes a little creativity and effort to put together an Instagrammable table of delicious treats but it’s worth it! Don’t forget to have some snacks for toddlers attending your little one’s party, such as cereals and biscuits, placed in paper cups. They will cost you next to nothing and make a fun and beautiful addition to your party table.

Set up a photo booth.

Your guests would certainly love it. All you need is a small space, a nice colorful backdrop and a few props for the booth. You don’t always have to buy these supplies. For instance, you can turn a basket into an adorable hot air balloon.

Make it whimsical.

Are you holding your little one’s party outdoors? Make it camera-friendly and keep your guests in awe with a whimsical theme. Sometimes, all you need is a dreamy, whimsical dessert table with beautiful floral and butterfly decorations, warm lights, and balloons in pastel colors. Whimsical parties also make a great choice if you’re looking to celebrate in your backyard.

Make your loot bags.

Children’s parties are incomplete without loot bags. Instead of buying ready-made ones from the store, step up the game by making your own. It’s fun and the least expensive. Plus, you can be sure the bags contain kid-friendly items and not just too many candies or toys. Some great picks for your loot bags are name labels, binoculars, glow-in-the-dark stars, or some homemade healthy cookies.

Preparing for your baby’s first birthday party can feel overwhelming. But with these creative ideas, you can be sure you will end up with a beautiful and unforgettable party.

*Our featured Mommy Blogger is Megan Jones, blogger at Grizzly Tarps

There is this cute hidden gem in the heart of Ajax, tucked away near Old Pickering Village that most parents have been keeping under wraps. Well this Mommy did some sleuthing and discovered what so many other parents before me have bragged about. This spa is like no other in Durham. Yes, I said spa.  This spa is not for adults (jealous) but more geared toward girls from toddler to tween.  Glama Gal Kids Spa is where your kids go to get pampered in all sense of the word.

Currently, Glama Gals Spa has 7 locations across Ontario with more to come. Each franchise owner is part of the Glam Family and shares in the same goals and visions for this brand – Be Confident! Be Positive! Be YOU! Recognizing that kids experience societal pressures from peers, television, and social media, Glama Gals cultivates an accepting culture whereby girls are empowered and celebrated for who they are. Glama Gals achieves this goal by offering themed spa services that are all about affirming a child’s positive spirit. With themed services such as the, “BE Unique Party Package” or the, “BE You Spa Day”, every child’s  individuality is celebrated.

Glama Gals hosts free monthly workshops where kids learn effective strategies to assist with bullying, self-esteem, and maintaining friendships. The Glama Gals have also partnered with the local Girl Guide and brownie unit, coaching kids towards achieving their feel good badge

I was lucky enough to have been invited to experience all that Glama Gal Kids Spa offered while I was trying to plan the most amazing 5th birthday party for my daughter, Karmyn. After speaking with Dishni, the Owner and Manager of the Ajax location and checking out the spot, I just knew this was what my little diva would want for her and her friends. It was a surprise I had a hard time keeping from her, that’s for sure!

The day finally came and when Karmyn and her guests walked through the door, they were so excited and so were us moms who were given the opportunity to witness the party, but not partake sadly. It was all about our minis.

First, the birthday girl and her friends gathered in the dining room where they dined on some Belgian waffles with syrup and their choice of either pink sprinkles, chocolate sauce or whipped cream as a topping. They sipped on pink “Champagne” (lemonade) out of these large goblets that completed the whole Glama feel.  We sang “Happy Birthday” to Karmyn and one by one, the staff went around the room and asked each of her friends (including her 2 year old little sister) what the one thing was that we loved about Karmyn.  What an amazing question to pose! I along with the other moms were already in love with the place just after only 15 minutes.

After “lunch”, the girls headed downstairs to where all the magic happened.  There was this beautiful sitting area where

the staff showed the girls all the different lotions available to them and each got to sniff before being told they would get to make and take home their very own bottle of glitter lotion!  There was Tutti Fruity, Birthday Cake and Cotton Candy to name a few.  Cotton Candy seemed be the sweet-smelling favourite among our tiny humans.

Then it was time to get “Glama’d”.  The staff took the girls into their spa salon where it was beautifully decorated and mimicked exactly what we would look for in a salon or spa. There were swivel chairs and mirrors, a nail bar and leather couches,oh my!

As the girls sat and got pampered with a pedicure, they were then served like Royalty with mini champagne glasses filled with French Vanilla ice cream with pink glitter sparkles on top. Delish. It was a bit much for the girls to finish on their own but it was nothing us mommies couldn’t help them with of course!

After their toes were done, it was on to the manicures. The girls got to choose their colours and off they went for further pampering. Some chose one, two and some chose three colours on their nails after having them filed and receiving their individualized hand massages.

It was time for face masks as each girl received a mini facial with cucumbers over their eyes. Oh boy such awesome treatment. For those that wanted to, subtle makeup was applied and off Karmyn went with her friends for her Tutu Ceremony (a celebration of the bday girl and everyone wears a tutu, a crown and receives a wand). The staff member read out some positive affirmations from a book she was holding and the girls repeated them after her. Some of the girls were adorned with glitter after the ceremony and some opted out of that part.

After two fun-filled hours, it was time to wrap up the party.  Each girl received a small gift bag and was led to an area where they could choose a few accessories and trinkets to go home with.

The girls all had smiles on their faces which made my day!

We will definitely be coming back a this was truly a remarkable experience where little girls, aged 5 and up can be empowered and encouraged and can lift each other up.  This is truly the meaning Glama Gal Kids Spa . The transformation starts from within and the rest is just ice cream with glitter sprinkles.

Your family is growing and you need a home that can grow with you. So, as you start thinking about your impending move, you’re left with the lingering question “should I buy first or sell first?”

“While there is no ‘right’ answer, it’s important to know the potential pros and cons of both options,” says RECO Registrar Joseph Richer. “Regardless of whether you buy first or sell first, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan in case your closing dates don’t align, leaving you with two homes, or no home,  for a period of time.”

Speaking with your registered real estate professional before starting the buying or selling process can help you decide which route is better suited to your family’s needs.

Buy first

Buying first can make the house hunting experience more enjoyable. Without a closing date looming on your existing home, you’ll have time to wait until the right home comes up for sale. It can also be less stressful knowing that if your offer is unsuccessful, you can wait for the next opportunity to come up.

The downside to buying first is if you are unable to sell your home fast enough, you will find yourself owning two homes at once. The result could mean paying two mortgages at the same time, not to mention all the other costs of home ownership. Additionally, you may have trouble securing a mortgage for the new home.

As a buyer with an existing home to sell, you can protect yourself by making your offer conditional on the sale of your current home. That means if you’re unable to sell within a specified period of time, you’re able to back out of the transaction. However, it’s worth pointing out that this condition will likely make your offer less attractive to the seller, especially if you’re buying in an area with a hot market.

Sell first

The biggest benefit of selling first, aside from removing the risk of owning two homes at once, is you’ll know how much money the sale brought in, which will help determine how much you can afford to pay for the next place.

As helpful as that is to know, the challenge is that you’ll find yourself in a race against the clock, with your closing date looming and potentially no home to move into when you move out of your current one. If you’re not careful, you may end up rushing the buying process and settling for a home that isn’t ideal for you, or paying more than you planned because you feel pressured.

Have a contingency plan

Regardless of which route you choose, it’s a smart idea to have a back-up plan in place in case you are left with two homes, or no home, for a period of time.

If the sale of your home closes first, you might consider a short-term rental or moving in with family or friends. This could be better than settling for a less-than-ideal home because you are rushed.

If the purchase of your new home closes first, you might need something called “bridge financing” to cover the down payment and other closing costs until the sale of your current home closes.

“No matter which option you choose, it’s important to remember that a registered real estate professional is knowledgeable about market conditions and will offer advice and solutions to guide you through the process,” says Richer. “They will be able to discuss various scenarios to make sure you have realistic expectations about what may happen and help you come up with a plan that works for you and your growing family.”

 

There’s a lot of information out there about market trends and how to get the best price, but you also need to know about your rights and responsibilities as a home buyer or seller.  The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) can help you with that.

When it comes to real estate transactions, the more you know, the better you’re protected. Visit RECO’s website to learn more.

Check out some more helpful articles including 4 must-do tips before you start the home buying process, as well as the 5 questions you should ask before selecting a real estate representative.

THANKSGIVING- the national holiday to celebrate the harvest, and the many blessing for the past year.  It is a time when family and friends get together to share a meal, have fun, and to reflect on the blessings and memories formed during the past year.

Life is so busy, and sometimes we take things for granted, such as waking up each morning and taking that first breath, for health, food, shelter, family, and even the simple things as our senses- taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing.  Let us pause, not only on this Thanksgiving, but every day, to say Thanks for all the wonderful blessing that we each get to experience daily.  Let us impart to our kids having a heart of gratitude and not always of want!

In our family, we all share something we are thankful for, usually during breakfast.  We then have Thanksgiving dinner with extended family, followed by a movie; usually a comedy.  This year we have more little ones running around, so we’ll see how that goes.

What are some of your traditions?

From our family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!

So give it to me straight. What do you know about yoga? Do you know about yoga? Do you practice yoga? Have you ever? Would you ever?

I ask because it is interesting to see the various answers and opinions you come across. Some still have pre-conceived notions that yoga is for people who “don’t really workout” or are looking for a “low-impact-type exercise”. Well, let me tell you, after being one of those pessimists and actually trying out a class hot yoga at that, I am here to say I was way off and yoga is actually a TOTAL body workout that you can feel just as you would lifting weights at the gym.

We’ve had the pleasure of running our 8-week Whitby/Brooklin Fall Mom and Baby and Mini Movers programs out of Moksha Yoga Brooklin and although I haven’t yet tried a class, let me tell you about this hidden gem if you don’t already know.

This studio is located just at the entrance to beautiful Brooklin and can be found on the upper level of some great entertainment spots.

There are 12 teachers which make up Moksha Brooklin and I love that it is a mix of both males and females.

One thing that really caught our eye for wanting to host our programs are their values which are based on Seven Philosophical Pillars:

  1. Be Healthy
  2. Be Accessible
  3. Live Green
  4. Community Support
  5. Reach out
  6. Live to Learn
  7. Be Peace.

You can read more on these pillars and their meaning as well as watch videos explaining further HERE

You can definitely see they have great selection of class offerings that can suit one’s needs and comfort level. Classes range from Hot Yoga to “Yoganastics” to Prenatal yoga and run as early as 6:30am to as late as 8:15pm. One of their classes is the “Karma” class which is a reduced-fee class where all proceeds are donated to a local non-profit organization. This all ties back to the fourth pillar of giving back.

We had the pleasure of having Tara lead our Moms and babies in a very calming yet effective yoga class and it did not disappoint. Our moms were very happy with how Tara took her time with them and understood that these were new moms with babies where some may have been out of their comfort zones. There was definitely chatter to come back for more.

Their studio is spacious and inviting and the mood for practice is definitely set.

If you are looking for a yoga studio to practice at or if you are new to the world of yoga, Moksha Yoga Brooklin is where you want to be. I’m pretty certain, once you yoga, you’ll always yoga.

 

It’s the week before school starts! I can’t believe it. Where did the time go? Are you all set to send your kids back to school, or still doing last minute running around? I think I’m pretty much all set. I just have to sit and label EVERYTHING!!!

What’s the state of your emotions? Are you singing the Hallelujah Chorus, or is it the first time your little one will be heading off to school and you are trying to keep it together? I am a mixed bag of emotions. I just can’t wait for my sweetheart to be back in school so I don’t have to set an agenda as soon as I open my eyes of what to do to keep her and my son entertained all day. My voice will also get a rest from constantly screaming at times too, let’s be honest.  “Please be careful with your brother, Settle down, please share, stop teasing your brother by putting the toys so high that he can’t reach them.” Yet, as I eagerly look forward to her returning to school, I know I will miss her, and so will her little brother.

Although I look forward to the start of the school year, I don’t always look forward to packed lunches. Actually, it’s not that bad. I just try to involve my daughter the night before to find out what she would like to have so I know she will eat something, and I won’t be worried all day wondering if she ate or if she starved.

For those of you with little ones starting Kindergarten for the first time and you just don’t want to let go yet; trust me, they will be OK! It might take a while to get adjusted for the both of you, or they may just surprise you and come running out after the first day saying it was a GREAT day!

The last few tips I would like to share with you to help get you set for the school year are:

1) Don’t stress about the lunches. When in doubt, wondering what they would eat, just pack lots of things you know they like. They will eat something! Easy on the sugar as you may be placed in the teacher’s bad books 😊.
2) Practice packing those lunches. Which container(s) works best for their little hands to open, and make sure it’s not too heavy for them to carry.
3) Label EVERYTHING!! Even the lids of containers and water bottles. I use Mabel’s Labels. They work well and they have different packages geared to get your ready for school.
4) Get those bedtime routines going. You don’t want a tired child especially since naps have been taken away.

So enjoy the last few days of summer together. Good Luck!

And for you seasoned pros out there, what are some of your tips to get you ready and through the school year?

 

 

So the kids have only been out for summer about 2 weeks or so, and we have been out and about visiting many of the parks in the Durham region.  Some of which I previously mentioned in my last post.  Therefore, sticking to the trend, here are my Fave 5 snacks for on-the-go.

During the summer, we as moms, are out and about with our littles. Sometimes we are out longer than anticipated, as we want to soak up the warm sunshine while we can; or our little ones just don’t want to head home. I like to look for quick and easy grab and go snacks that are also fairly economical and of course healthy, or as healthy as possible.

Here are my Fave 5 go to for when I hit the streets.

1) Fruit- Banana, avocado, watermelon, any berries- take advantage when in season, grapes etc.
2) Yogurt- My kids love the IÖGO nanö drinkable yogurts with the spill proof spout. It’s the perfect size for them to hold. It’s made with real fruit, no artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives, Gelatine free and made with vitamin D fortified milk.


3) Cheese and crackers- Over at our house, my kids love the marble cheddar cheese by Black Diamond, I cut into pieces for their little hands, or for a quicker fix I just grab the Cheese strings Ficello by Black diamond.

4)Muffins/banana bread- Here is a simple recipe, compliments of Simply Recipes.  I make a few adjustments such as adding cinnamon, browning the melted butter until it has a nutty aroma, and on rare occasions adding some chocolate chips.
5)Veggies & dip- sweet peppers, carrots,broccoli etc. and the dip of your choice. Mostly it’s ranch in my house for the kids.

I hope my Fave 5 snacks were helpful. What are your Fave 5 or go to snacks when you are on the run? Remember to also stay hydrated!  It’s been a hot last couple of weeks.

Have a great week!

The weather is finally feeling like summer, and the kids are soon going to be out of school. It’s time to keep our kids busy for our sanity, or it will be a LONG SUMMER!! We get them registered for camps etc., but sometimes we don’t even have to spend loads of money for kids to have a good time. What is a place that we moms LOVE to take our littles? THE PARK! It’s a win win spot for us. It’s FREE, the kids love it, and it leaves them exhausted so more sleep for them, or us.

I started to compile a list of my FAVE 5 Parks, and I wanted to share with you so you can check them out, or maybe rediscover this summer with your little(s).

First off, in my city, Ajax Rotary Park. I might be a little bias, but I LOVE this park.  It’s a large park by the lake with trails for biking, walking/running or whatever activity you wish.  There is also a junior and senior playground and a splash pad.  There is a washroom facility which is handy for changing the kids, and there is quite a fair amount of free parking too.

Second, Kiwanis Hedenshore Park in Whitby.  Another great picnic spot! There is access to a rocky beach.  The kids love picking up rocks for painting. So it’s a good spot for that if you are into painting rocks.  The playground has the lovely backdrop of the lake, with lots of equipment for the kids to play on. There is also a splash pad on site to enjoy during the hot summer days.  Off to the side, you will find the swings and another section with some exercise equipment.  Great paved walkways, washrooms on site, and a small covered area.

Third, Mckinney Park (Folkstone Park) in Whitby.  Situated in a neighbourhood.  Not a place I would picnic, but lovely playground for infants and older kids.  The playground is also made of rubber, so it’s good for when the littles have a fall. No wood chips or sand in your shoes. Big plus!  There is also a splash pad on site. For the older kids, a basketball court,  tennis courts and a skate park. Plenty of parking and washrooms can be found just next door at the McKinney Centre.

Fourth, Darren Park in Whitby. Great for toddlers and up. Parking is just off Darren. Not much shade in terms of trees, however, there is a covered area where you could sit and watch the kids.  There is also a splash pad, soccer field, basketball court and a paved bike area for the older kids.

Lastly, but certainly not the least.  Lakeview park in Oshawa. This is a beautiful spacious park by the lake.  Great for picnics as there is lots of shade from the trees.  There is also a beautiful waterfront park, splash pad, and a great paved waterfront trail. Lots of parking.

I hope this helped, and you get out and enjoy these parks with your littles. I know I will!

 

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