For your radiant fall explorations.
Photo by Randen Pederson via Flickr.
This time of year, the world is ablaze with gorgeous leaves and the parks are full of scurrying animals to peep. Don’t let the season get away without getting a proper look. Any of these great binoculars can turn your kids’ outdoor play into an eye-opening experience.
Bushnell 10×50 Perma Focus Free Wide Angle Binocular
This user-friendly model focuses automatically, so children can see clearly without fumbling for any dials. No time wasted! It’s also coated in a rubber armour for no-slip grip and durability. And they look super grown-up.
Alpen Pink 10×42 mm Pink Binoculars
This sassy number will make a statement on the trails. They’re lightweight, compact and most awesome of all, they’re weather-proof. Ideal for unpredictable fall days because a grey sky shouldn’t stop your adventures.
Vivitar 10 x 25 Digital Camera Binocular Read more...
Your boredom-thwarting plan to stave off soggy spirits
Photo by Scooter Lowrimore via Flickr.
Not all October days are fair-weather strolling and leaf-rolling. Unpredictable as the weather can be this time of year, a little rain needn’t dampen your spirits. Here are some ideas to make like Zoe and enjoy a rainy day, indoors and out. Read more...
Killer Kid Lit
Aiming for a homemade costume this year? We applaud your ambition.
Photo by statelyenglishmanor via Flickr.
Going DIY is the best way to rep your enthusiasm for this treat-filled holiday. But making a costume yourself can quickly become more time-consuming than you intended. Get your kids to help with the execution and you’ll not only save yourself effort, they will be hugely proud to wear it on the big night. These helpful books all have super simple ideas for kid-friendly DIY:
Quick Costumes For Kids by Deborah House
Even the most high-tech looking robot costume doesn’t require any toil. The 30 costumes in this book, designed for kids aged eight to 13-years-old, range from adorable insects to impressive wizards. There is little or no sewing and each costume takes less than two hours (!) That works for our schedule.
Easy Halloween Costumes by Instructables.com
News + Culture
You know, that’s not a bad idea at all.
Excited about tonight’s second Presidential Debate? Want to build on your kid’s sudden interest in U.S. politics? We can help with that.
Every four years, Nickelodeon’s Nick News gives kids the opportunity to weigh in on the presidential election with their pre-election special, Kids Pick the President. The show makes candidates accessible to younger citizens through a By-Kids-For-Kids question and answer session, highlighting what’s on the minds of kids all over the United States.
This year, things are a little different on account of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s absence. His staff said he couldn’t make time for Nick’s politically-minded young viewers, so he gave the show a pass. (Womp womp womp.) So instead, last night’s show featured Barack Obama answering kid’s questions via video, while Nickelodeon played existing news clips of Romney’s stance on the issues. Read more...
GTA Weekend Hit List
It’s the best time of year in Ontario. Fall colours in full effect, temps are crisp, and days are bright. Get out and celebrate the season already. Here are 3 cool ways:
photos of the Junction FLEA by Kalpna Patel
Bundle the kids and run to tonight’s Drop-in Dinner at The Depanneur
The place where “interesting food things happen.” This cozy corner storefront supper club in the west end is open to all, and is home to lively events, food workshops and a bustling community kitchen. Best of all, they host weekly family-style dinner gatherings with a rotating selection of chefs. Tonight’s meal is Malaysian Chicken Curry by Grace Chow (vegetarian version available!) Drop in, eat, laugh, leave happy. And full.
(Friday, Oct. 12 beginning at 6 p.m. 1033 College St., 416-828-1990)
2. SATURDAY Read more...
Hotel Transylvania’s Mavis is on our list of awesome costumes for Halloween 2012
We love vampire girl Mavis from the new Adam Sandler flick Hotel Transylvania: She’s mod, she can turn into a bat, she loves wormy pancakes and she’s NOT A PRINCESS.
Here’s how you can make your girl a Mavis costume without picking up a needle.
Defining features: Black lipstick, red converse, fangs.
Kid friendly techniques for show-stopping pumpkins
You don’t have to carve the Mona Lisa to make an impressive Jac-o’-lantern. You don’t even need to use a knife at all. These 5 pumpkin decorating ideas are completely doable by kids independently, using materials like gems, paint and candy to jazz up the exterior. Besides, who wants to deal with pumpkin guts?
This shadowy decal will fit right in on a ghostly front porch. First, paint your pumpkin completely white. Find the flattest side and tape a simple stencil over it. Trace the lines using a pencil. Remove the stencil and paint in the pencil lines black.
Give your pumpkin bling! Stick on glittery craft store jewels at random (“Starry Night” style if you’re ambitious) or in patterns like hearts, or other shapes. It’s an especially cool effect with a sprawling spider web design. Check out more of this glam idea at foreverthehostess.blogspot.ca. Read more...
Postcards from Bunchland
Wrapped up in fall
Today’s Postcard from Bunchland comes from Anya Shor.
All the tricks and treats you need for a night so awesome, it’s scary
By the time October hits, the kids are counting down the days til the 31st. There’s just something about Halloween that no other holiday can match. So many ways to get wacky creative, from Jac-o’-lanterns with personality to something-from-nothing costumes. Besides, what other holiday makes it acceptable to dress up, race around the neighborhood and demand candy from strangers?
Here’s this year’s Bunch guide to get you revved up. Play our two favourite spookifying songs while you read:
Turning your humble home into a super scary haunted house requires a few dollars, a limber imagination, and most important of all, a desire to scare the pants off friends and fam. We got pro tips on turning your house into a den of dread from Shawn Gusz of Kitchener’s elaborate haunted house, Haunted House of Horrors. Read more...
Queer as Moms
Meri Perra reclaims her long weekend
It all started with two pie pumpkins on sale at the No Frills for $1 a piece. I thought, what a great fall activity, making pumpkin pies with the kids and their Uncle A., our resident pie expert.
It’s likely, I was ovulating. Uncle A. came over with his pastry cutter. We pureed, added sugar, spices, and made crusts. The pies were in the oven, but I kept spiralling, out of control. I needed to create, to nurture. I wasn’t done yet. Before I knew it, I had called up my whole family. I said, “We’re hosting Thanksgiving next weekend, come over!”
My gosh, never make Thanksgiving plans while ovulating. Now we’re at 11 for dinner, and I went out and got folding chairs so folks could have a place to sit. (We needed them, my teenage stepbrother has been forced to sit on kids Ikea desk chairs at previous family functions.) Read more...
One artists tender take on the photos that embarrass us most
Thought everyone cringed at their childhood photos?
Finnish artist Wilma Hurskainen actually celebrates them with her project, Growth. She recruited her four sisters to recreate the snaps taken by their father over twenty years ago, doing what can be seen in everyone’s childhood photos—singing happy birthday, country skiing in too-big mittens, stuffed into the bathtub altogether.
“I have always been very attracted by the photograph’s ability to cross time and create this kind of comparisons,” she says. “There is something sad, almost tragic, about looking at old photographs compared to new ones and seeing how people and things have changed or grown up.”
Hurskainen decided to gain control over the change and recreate the photos with the exact same composition, place and facial expressions. Although the new picture of the grown up women looks similar in the original, the same positions can’t really be adopted because those limbs just aren’t as tiny as they were. ”We unavoidably fail. We have to fail—there is no return in time,” she says. Read more...
Toy box treasures that run on creativity
The best toys will set your kid up with hours of fun, but also allow a bit of experimentation. Remember how much fun etch-a-sketches were? We’ve rounded up the best artsy toys for a new generation who want to get their hands busy and creative juices flowing. Here are our choice picks for builders, stylers and DIY modifiers. We love when art meets play.
These little guys are 4 inch figures (Munny, Bub, Trikky, Raffy, and Rooz) made of blank vinyl and ready to be styled up. Each one comes with a mystery accessory, sticker and a marker so kids can work their DIY magic.
Rev your kid’s engine by letting them put together a handcrafted car of their dreams. They can doodle on five layers of cardboard, then put together the car to race down ramps and railings. Read more...