Friday, 18 June 2010

Great Last-Minute Father's Day Gift Ideas

I have a list of easy yet meaningful gift ideas here, but have recently found a few to add to the mix:

For the dad who is globally-minded, and/or is a nurse, doctor or other health worker:

A donation on dad's behalf to Doctors Without Borders

Or if dad is an engineer, try Engineers Without Borders

To encourage bonding with the kids, try The Geekdad Book

And one that will fit parents or grandparents: a photo montage. To do this, load up your memory stick or card with lots of recent (and even a few older) pics of dad and the kids, then head to your local photo lab/Fortinos/Zehrs/SDM etc. Pick a handful of best photos, then arrange them right on the machine in an 8x10 collage. Print, then pick up a suitable frame and you have a memento of great memories spent together.

If you have an hour or two still to put towards the gift, then you may wish to try one of the gifts kids can make ideas here.

When you are done, you can get creative with wrapping and card ideas found here.

Hope you have a great Father's Day weekend!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Each year at this time I see tons of books and ads aimed at parents who suddenly find themselves burdened with children claiming to be bored and demanding to be entertained.

Strangely enough, boredom is a complaint I have yet to hear from my kids (and believe me, there aren't many complaints I haven't heard from them!). My kids are rarely at a loss for what to do and in fact suffer from the opposite problem of wanting to do too much for the time they have. We always seem to run out of summer before we come close to doing all the things we wanted to do.

I remember myself being very bored as a child, particularly during the summer.
This has caused me ponder the subject, and in doing so I've come to the following conclusions:

- increasingly, kids find that the adults in their lives do all the scheduling, time management etc. for them, and as a result, kids gain little practice in organizing their own free time (since they have so little of it)
- adults may assume that kids who aren't structured will automatically be bored
- kids have a tendency to fall back to "screen time" activities, and adults often offer little resistance as it is easier (no cleanup, "safer", a perceived lower need for monitoring, etc.)
- kids are not encouraged to think creatively in schools or extra curricular activities, so they find it difficult to do so in organizing free time
- other kids may not be available to play with
- adults may fear that a bored child will get into trouble, so they may not let the child experience boredom and attempt to over-structure their child's time
- children may encounter rules that limit their activities to an extent that causes them to be bored (no crafts because messes might happen, no outdoor play because a stranger could come and snatch you or you could get insect bites, or get wet or dirty, etc.

It is good to remember that boredom can become a valuable source of creative energy if we are patient and willing to wait it out. Doing nothing can itself be a valuable experience.

If you happen to find that your kids are bored, or would simply like some ideas for fun summer activities, check out the Lemonade website.

outdoor games and activities
craft index
kid concoctions
plant activities
edible experiments
family camping guide
games, unplugged
recommended books for kids and teens