All Fired Up Heartplate
Summer has already begun and I can see the spreading jealousy over our kid’s endless free time, especially when we have our agendas full of appointments and conference calls. There’s so much going on over the summer — day camps, workshops, festivals, and of course hours and hours to spend on the playground. While the majority of these activities are designed for kids only and therefore happen during the week when they’re left on their own, you can still find a pretty wide range of things to do together on weekends. If you’re an eager or playful parent, sibling, or grandparent, get out with your kid and make the most of new summer adventures!
Ceramics and Glass
I’m sure you’ve all seen those beautiful, colourful art pieces from Europe (Italians and Czechs are masters of glass). What would you say if I told you that you and your child can make them as well? All Fired Up is a great glass and ceramic workshop. They offer several courses throughout the week, which usually last four days, or individual lessons, where you come in with your child and make something nice. The piece will be ready in one week since it requires firing in the kiln.
If you have a younger child, you might prefer to join the ceramics workshop. You can let your kid choose a piece he likes, whether a bowl, a plate, a mug, or a vase, and then you can paint it together. The paints used in this workshop are very easy to work with. If you don’t like the result, you can rinse the piece with water, let it dry completely, and start over. Once you and your kid are happy with the result, you can place it in a kiln and when it’s full, they will fire it. It usually takes a week, but if your piece is among the last ones in, you can have it sooner.
The glass workshop is suitable for older kids that have experience working with sharp objects already. You won’t be decorating any pieces; however, you will make them yourself. The technique used is called glass fusing. You will either use pre-cut pieces or if you wish you can learn how to cut glass and cut each piece as you need it. It would be a great idea to let your kid draw a pattern for glass fusing. The lecturers will show you how to place the glass pieces in the kiln so that they fuse together properly. Again, you will need to wait seven days for the result. But I can ensure you that the results are really worth the wait!
Do you have a toddler or a young child for whom the last workshop would be unsuitable? Gymboree is a place for babies, toddlers, and young kids. It has a long history of being a safe, fun place featuring age-appropriate activities for parents and young children.
Gymboree offers a wide range of classes including art, music, sports, and pre-school classes for kids of all ages all week long. It’s a place where you can discover your baby’s talents and help her to develop them while meeting new friends. Moreover, Gymboree is a place where parents can meet as well and share their parenting tips.
Play and Learn
Play and Learn is the best loved class offered at Gymboree. Your kid will learn about cause and effect, figure out how the world works, and become a competent problem solver. The class supports symbolic thinking, language development, and social interaction. Kids will play both independently and with peers while learning to connect ideas through cooperation and communication.
Music Class is here for temperamental parents and kids. You and your baby can join the class as soon as he reaches six months. Your baby will discover melody, pitch, and rhythm while building a repertoire of joyful songs then slowly learn new songs of various genres and add in simple dance moves. Gymboree has a special class for whole families who might wish to join.
Sports Class is tailored to kids from three to fifteen years. They will learn the basics of hockey, football, volleyball, track and field, or golf. The class will help them to learn how to communicate with their peers, address their commands, and follow the leader, as well as get in shape.
The Toronto Zoo is proud to offer you an African Culture experience in their very own African savanna. Let the sights and sounds of African music, culture, crafts, and art demonstration completely absorb you. Visual artists and performers will transform the usual African savanna into and unbelievable Market Place for you to engage in the complete African experience. You can visit one of the many artist workshops and take home an unusual present. There are shops with many artisan artefacts — handcrafted wooden masks, soapstone and ebony carvings, hand-woven textiles, and traditional African musical instruments. The African Arts and Culture festival will be on from June 30th until September 2nd at the Toronto Zoo. Whenever you and your kid feel bored, there’s place to visit!
Toronto will be hosting a very popular Fringe Festival that draws more than 90,000 people over 12 days each year. There’s something for kids and parents as well. You can see many musicals, comedies, family programs, dramas, and dance performances. It will all start on July 4th and will last until July 15th. I would recommend this festival for older kids since the performances might be late. The children's programming is called Fringekids! and consists of interactive plays, puppetry and musical geared towards kids. The Fringekids! performances are held Daily between 11:00am and 8:00pm at Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston Avenue.
The SunRype TRi KiDS Triathlon Series is the only Canadian series just for kids. It presents six Ontario races this season and they will be taking place in Burlington, Oakville, Bracebridge, Fregus, Niagara, and Milton (check TRi KiDS website for dates and locations). Each host community and each venue provides a different and therefore unique race setting for participants and audiences alike.
TRi KiDS Triathlon are events for kids from three to fifteen years old. They are non-competitive. Their main aim is to promote participation in three fun and lifestyle sports: swimming, biking, and running. It’s not important to win the series but to complete it and enjoy it. Kids will gain self-confidence and stay highly motivated towards achieving other goals, whether in sport, academics, or their personal lives.
The level of race is set individually for each contestant based on age. Kids will start off with a pool swim, continue on the traffic-free bike course, and finish with a run course. You don’t need much. A swimsuit, a bike in a good condition, a helmet, and running shoes are the essentials. Besides that, a great deal of enthusiasm is required and the willpower to overcome challenges. Participants receive their own personalized TRi KiDS t-shirt, a race bib, and a finisher’s medal. The most important reward will be a healthy boost of self-esteem and an experience to last a lifetime.
The SunRype TRi KiDS Triathlon Series is proud to support the Paediatric Oncology Group of Ontario and has raised over $48,000 through personal fundraising.
In Canada’s Wonderland, let’s go back in time to one of the world’s largest animatronic dinosaur parks, Dinosaurs Alive! You will see more than forty life-sized animatronic dinosaurs placed in a seven acre outdoor garden resembling Jurassic Park. It is a first-class interactive exhibition that would be loved by kid of all ages. The exhibition opened in May and will last until September 3rd in Canada’s Wonderland. Even though it’s mainly intended for kids, I’m sure adults will enjoy it at least as much.
By “touching experience,” we mean real interaction and fun with the exclusive live exhibit of sharks in the Toronto Zoo! There is more than one kind of shark in the exhibit, so you can see nurse sharks and bamboo sharks as well as cownose and southern stingrays. Visitors will have the opportunity to safely interact with the amazing animals and learn a lot about them with special keeper talks. Sharks are temporarily placed in 20-inch deep, 1,450 square foot, and 60,500-litre salt-water habitats with a waterfall and state-of-the-art life support system. You can also feed the sharks and stingrays for only $2 a cup of food. The exhibition is ongoing until October 8th. There are not many chances where you can actually get this kind of life experience and I’m sure it would be a great memory in your kid’s life.
Spending summer in the city with kids doesn’t need to be painful and boring, especially when there are activities for all age ranges and parents alike. Your kids can find new friends and learn new things in summer day camps while you’re working. That leaves you the precious weekend time to have some time together, participate in a workshop, or see an exhibition. Make this summer vacation and unforgettable experience for the whole family!