Bronwyn Moser: Toys to borrow, places to go

bronwynmoser

I may be a little late to the game, I don’t know, but I just learned about a fabulous resource in the North Peace called Child Care Resource & Referral, and let me just say that it is amazing.

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I’m flipping through the flyer now, which is for January and February, and learning about all these fantastic programs, events, and play opportunities, some of which I’ve missed already, but some that are still to come!.

Yes, it’s true, I’m endorsing something that I have only experienced through the stapled set of papers I picked up on Friday afternoon. But I am fairly certain that the CCRR, as it’s called, is a godsend. Quite frankly, I’m a little mad that I am just learning about it now. Has anyone who’s stumbled upon this resource been sworn to secrecy?

Listen to this: There is a Toy Lending Library. It’s amazing. You get to take home a box of toys suited to your child’s age and keep them for a month. When you return them, you can take home another box. It’s that easy. And it’s free.

There are also CCRR Play Days. They’re free, too. You show up with your kiddos (10411 – 100th Avenue) and set them loose to enjoy the center’s toys, crafts, songs, and stories. The next ones are Friday, February 14, and Friday, February 28th, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. You can bet Munchkin and I will be there.

Every page in this flyer is gold. There are arts and craft activities, a Valentine’s Day song, and there’s information about workshops and courses they’re hosting, too (which seem to be mainly for educators).

I’m sharing about this newfound resource because it’s too easy, as a stay-at-home mom or dad, to get stuck in a routine – especially in winter. I know that for my 10-month-old daughter and I, who live out of town, sometimes just going to the grocery store is our big event of the day. And, let’s face it, that’s pretty lame.

I, for one, have to get better at getting out of the house. I can’t be the only one.

Here are some other kid-centered programs and activities that might interest you, and I’m sure there are many more that I don’t yet know about. (I am, after all, still pretty new to being a mom.)

Bouncing Beans and Tumble Time at the Kids Arena Field House – Bouncy castles, sports gear, and toys for toddlers make this a fun day out. A pass is required.There’s a free Family Day session on February 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The North Peace Family SuperPark Facility – An indoor playground for all kids, including those with special needs.

North Peace Leisure Pool – Sunday swims are free for all ages from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mother Goose Program at Community Bridge – learn rhymes and songs to help foster language development (infants to four years of age). Email FamilyPlace@communitybridge.ca for more information.

Mother Goose on the Loose at the Fort St. John Public Library – Thirty minutes of songs, rhymes, puppets, and more to support babes’ and tots’ learning. Drop-in on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Family Play and Learn Centre at the Child Development Centre – a free, drop-in program for babies and kids up to five years old. Visit their website for more information.

Skating at the Pomeroy Sport Centre Oval – Sundays are free from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Northern Vac Track at the Pomeroy Sport Centre – Throw babe in the stroller and hit the track for a bit of exercise and to get those endorphins going. Free.

There you have it. My comprehensive list of Fun Things to Do with The Kids. Hope to see you out there!

Bronwyn Moser is a teacher and former journalist, and lives in North Pine. 

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