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Want to get kids outside to play? Make an ice rink

By Russell Gienapp
icerinkfrontIf somebody asks me what is the most “Canadian” thing I could think of, I would say ice hockey and free skating. In Toronto we have many ice rinks run by the city but we also have a number of natural rinks in city parks that are run by the local community. In our community we have tried to make an ice rinks for some time and last week it was finally cold enough to make it happen. This weekend it was such a joy to see all the kids and families skating and it sure is nice to have it so close.

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Make snow savvy kids

One thing that connects indigenous peoples of all the Nordic countries of the world is that they have so many words for different kinds of snow. I was wondering today if the Inuit have different words for snow because of all the different things they can do with snow? I think we have a lot to learn from these cultures.

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Valentine Picnic ideas

Dress the youngster s warmly; grab the summer picnic blanket, your favorite Valentine picnic treats and head out to have an afternoon of winter fun. It is no snow at Toronto at the moment so I think it safe to say that we will be skating for our outdoor valentine picnic this year in our community ice rink close to our house if the winter will stay in Toronto.

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Have a Valentine picnic with Norwegian waffles

Once upon a time (About 6 years ago) there was a Norwegian woman and her daughter. They were all alone in a frozen empty city park. She just wanted her daughter to have other children to play with like she did when she was a kid, outside in all kinds of weather. She even resorted to bribery, enticing passing by parents and their children to stop for hot chocolate, coffee and homemade Norwegian waffles.

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Tiger Moms vs. Polar Bear Moms

By Russell Gienapp
Much attention has been given to the iron handed tiger mom pushing their children to perfection, but now the mainstream media is noticing the existence of another mother personified by a meaner predator of the world; the polar bear mom. These arctic monster moms of the north expose their children (even babies) to science, math and art outside... even in the winter.

Polar bear moms’ kids learn and play in conditions so harsh the very molecular activity of water is slowed. Forming what scientists call ice and snow.

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A heart in a tree

Last Friday we went for a skate only to find the skating rink covered in rainwater. We still had some fun outdoor time playing on the snow mountain and climbing trees.

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