Winter Family Fun for Haligonians

For many Haligonian families winter brings to mind sledding, ice skating and building snowmen — or perhaps cozy blankets, books and hot chocolate. Those are all excellent winter fun ideas, but if you’re looking for something a little different this year, we’ve rounded up 10 outings in the Halifax Regional Municipality (OK, nine in the HRM plus one bonus day trip) to fit into your family’s winter plans for 2020.

Mi’kmaw Animals & Learning Habitats: Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club

This month’s book club book is called Mi’kmaw Waisisk/Mi’kmaw Animals by Alan Syliboy (published by Nimbus Publishing) and it is a board book for babies and toddlers. It has beautifully drawn images that will delight readers of all ages, along with the English and Mi’kmaw word for each animal, as well as the proper pronunciation of the Mi’kmaw word.

This book inspired our book club activity this month to teach babies, toddlers, and preschoolers about animal habitats, and learn a bit of a second language while they’re at it!

Valentine Literacy Scavenger Hunt

Holidays are always a wonderful time to take a simple learning activity and turn it into a fun, themed game. We made this literacy game a few years ago and it still gets pulled out with our Valentines decorations each year and ignites new enthusiasm every time. Plus, as is my way, it’s super simple to create and play (and cheap!).

How To Teach Kids To Use Scissors With a Cutting Tray

Watching my four year old struggle to use scissors takes every ounce of my self-control not to take the scissors from him and do it myself. He holds them awkwardly, the scissors often don’t make it all the way through the paper, and cutting along the lines? Not a chance. It’s so ragged and so crooked it makes my teeth hurt.

This activity is a super simple, supervised, activity that will go miles towards increasing your child’s comfort level with scissors. Another bonus is that it turns learning how to use scissors from a chore into something fun.

Matching & Fishing Game with Atlantic Animal ABC: Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club

The Atlantic Animal ABC book by Halifax artist, Angela K. Doak, is our pick for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club this month. This fishing and matching game was inspired by the book’s brightly coloured artwork and teaches little kids their letters, develops their fine motor skills (not to mention they’ll have lots of fun doing it!). **Information on how to enter to win a copy of the book AND a print of Doak’s artwork in the post**

Shell Scramble Easter Activity

This matching egg game is perfect for Easter and into spring and it has multiple levels of learning in it, but they’ll never know! Colour identification, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, patterns, counting and matching are all at work here. Bonus: Makes an awesome quiet time activity!

Name Egg Puzzle: Easter Activity

Trying to teach your toddler or young preschooler how to spell their name? Yeah, that can be challenging, especially if their name has more than three or four letters *guilty as charged.* I came up with this fun egg puzzle to help my kids learn how to spell their names. All you’ll need are some plastic Easter eggs, an empty egg carton, permanent marker, scissors and tape.

Using Blocks to Learn Shapes and Patterns

I cut off a sheet of paper from our long roll of easel paper and grabbed the bin of blocks. I found a pencil and starting tracing shapes. I would put two to four of the blocks together to make a new shape and then trace each block so there was a “puzzle” place to put them…

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