kids

Daddy, I Don’t Want To Hold Your Hand…


Well, it took only 4-years for this moment to arrive and I was not prepared for it, but walking my daughter to school she saw a teacher and a couple of her friends and she let go of my hand.

“Take my hand.” I said.

“I don’t want to hold your hand, daddy” was her reply.

“Oh.  Is it because your friends might see?”

“I just don’t”, she said.

I’m not going to force her to do anything she does not want to do.  She’s getting to be a big girl, so I walked beside her to the school doors, squatted down beside her, gave her a big hug and said, “I love you.”

 

Hmmmm…

 

Not ready for that moment, I have to say.

I remember when my oldest boy did that to me the first time.  I protested, and said, “Fine, just give me a hug.”

In front of his friends he refused to, so in a loud voice and a smile on my face – looking at his friends – I said, “Bye sweetheart.  I love you!” and I have him the biggest kiss possible.

We all laughed.

 

Walking home from school, my 2 youngest ran ahead, and I told this story to my oldest.

He said to me; “I’ll hold your hand, daddy”.

… and that was how we walked home.

 

 

April Fools Day! Origins and Best Of…


So today is April 1st, or April Fools Day (this is true, not a joke).

April Fools’ Day, also referred to by some as “All Fools’ Day” is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1st. The day is not a national holiday in any country, however it is widely recognized as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools.

Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day – but not on the Internet, because we all know that everything on the Internet is 100% true, right?!?

Many believe that April Fools Day originated in In Iran, where jokes are played on the 13th day of the Persian new year (Nowruz), which falls on April 1 or April 2. This day, was celebrated as far back as 536 BC, and is referred to in Iran as “Sizdah Bedar”, making it the oldest prank-tradition in the world.

As far as April Fools Day pranks go – and many of us are already expecting there to be something so outrageous that it has to be a prank, but back in 1957, the BBC pulled a prank, known as the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest prank, where they broadcast a fake film of Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti. The BBC were later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a prank on the news the next day.

While that was a clever prank, some people take April Fools Da a little too far, such as, “An Australian woman called emergency services to tell them her baby had fallen off the bed and stopped breathing. When the ambulances arrived, there was no sick baby. It was her idea of a hilarious April Fool”.

But some fairly common pranks to look out for, and some classic pranks which garnered world-wide attention include these;

On April 1, 1976 famed British astronomer and radio presenter Patrick Moore announced over the BBC that a rare alignment of the planets Pluto and Jupiter would occur at exactly 9:47 a.m. during which the effects of gravity would be nullified and everyone on earth would feel weightless for a brief moment. “At 9:47, Moore declared, ‘Jump now!’”

A minute passed, and then the BBC switchboard lit up with dozens of people calling in to report that the experiment had worked!

But it was all a complete prank.

In more recent years some of the best April Fools jokes have been perpetrated by the advertising industry, specifically in 1996, when Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in the New York Times announcing it had purchased the Liberty Bell and would rename it the “Taco Liberty Bell.”

In 1998, Burger King announced the rollout of its “Left-Handed Whopper”, there has been stories about glasses for dogs, canned pizza, and in 2002 a British supermarket chain called Tesco published an advertisement in the British newspaper “The Sun” announcing the successful development of a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot.’ The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side, which, when fully cooked caused the carrot to whistle.

On the Internet, hoaxes are such standard fare that April Fools’ Day is barely distinguishable from any other, but this one keeps getting brought up year-in-year-out, and makes me laugh – the announcement to that every computer connected to the World Wide Web must be turned off and disconnected for Internet Cleaning Day, a 24-hour period during which useless “flotsam and jetsam” are flushed from the system.

What stories have you seen today?

Did you get fooled?

Did you pull a prank on your kids, or them on you?

We toyed with the idea of moving all the kids into each other’s beds in the middle of the night, but geez, we’re so darn tired, I just told them about it in the morning.

March Break Activities for Kids with differing interests. Something for the GTA as well.


Google’s creative projects to keep kids busy during March Break

With schools closed during March Break, it’s a challenge to entertain kids on days when the weather doesn’t cooperate. For families with kids with differing interests it can be especially hard to keep everyone engaged throughout the day. Here are a few free tools and projects families can use to keep everyone from the young artist to the budding scientist entertained during their time off.

For the mini movie lover…

Disney’s Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story on the Google Play Store

With thousands of movies & TV shows available on the Google Play Store, there’s something for every little movie buff. Once you’ve found the perfect flick you can enjoy it across devices, which means kids who can’t sit still can start the movie on your laptop while on the couch and finish it on your Android device from the kitchen.

Google and Disney have teamed up on a special original stop-motion movie that’s sure to warm hearts. Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story tells the story of Blank, an unpainted vinyl character, and his quest to find his lost love. Have a look at the trailer here. The Disney Interactive 37-minute stop motion movie will be available exclusively on Google Play.

For the aspiring artist..

Google Art Project

Have an aspiring artist but don’t want to clean up after craft time? Google Art Project lets museums from across the world invite visitors inside their doors and into their galleries with a little help from technology. People across the world who might otherwise never see the real thing, can access masterpieces, antiquities and other artifacts that are part of our cultural heritage.

This digital experience has some of Canada’s – and the world’s – most creative and beautiful art. Some iconic Canadian collections include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal BC Museum and the National Ballet of Canada.

For the inventor…

Google Science Fair

Does your teen want to change the world? Google is challenging students aged 13-18 to submit their brilliant ideas for the fourth annual Google Science Fair. Last year, Canadian student Ann Makosinski scored top honours in her age group for her battery-free flashlight. Thousands of teens around the world have tackled some of today’s greatest challenges, like an anti-flu medicine and more effective ways to beat cancer. The grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship along with a number of once in a lifetime prizes.

To inspire young inventors, Google hosts a series of Hangouts on Air with world-renowned scientists showcasing exclusive tours of cutting edge labs.

For the musically minded…

Pancake Manor on YouTube

The puppets from Pancake Manor know how to make kids move. The Victoria, B.C.-based YouTube channel has been making music for kids of all ages since 2011. The upbeat melodies don’t fail to provide entertaining and educational content. The videos can help teach little ones how to count to 10, how to remember the alphabet and, of course, how to make pancakes.

For a GTA excursion (entry fee applies)…

The Doodle 4 Google Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum

In October, Google challenged Canadian students to submit their creative ideas in the form of a doodle for the first-ever Doodle 4 Google Canada contest. Thousands of kids submitted doodles following the theme, “if I could invent anything, I would invent…”

In February and March, the Royal Ontario Museum will feature a special exhibit with the top 75 doodles from across the country. From time machines to new sports to ways to clean the environment, the doodles will be sure to inspire future inventors and young artists. The winner of the contest will of their doodle featured on the Google Canada homepage for one day.

I Love it when Children Blog! Introducing the Kids Food Fanatic.


My 9-year-old son’s friend told me today that he is a “food blogger”.  The mastermind behind Kids Food Fanatic, a blog aimed at giving a kids view of restaurants to other kids.  The blog takes into account the food, décor and some other interesting factors.

“Really? Awesome!” was my reply.

So while him and my son were hanging out at our place on a play-date, I decided to check out his blog.  I was immediately impressed, so I decided to interview him for The Urban Daddy (TUD), to help him get more readers and more comments and so he will be hooked on blogging like so many of us have become.  His blog is called Fun Food Fanatic, and he is the Kid Food Fanatic (KFF).

Here is the interview:

TUD: “Why do you blog?  What got your started?”

KFF: “I love rating food, and I want kids to have the feeling they can make good choices about restaurants they want to go to and they know the food there is a great, and kid-friendly”.

TUD: “What was the best restaurant experience you have had so far?”

KFF: “The Works! Then Boston Pizza“.

TUD: “What did you like about them?”

KFF: “The atmosphere. It was very funny. The food was also rock solid delicious. Did you get that?  Rock Solid Delicious.  It was burger galore at the Works.”

TUD: “How do you decide where you go next?”

KFF: “I don’t decide. I grab my notebook and write about where we go as a family.”

TUD: “Have you been to places you hated?”

KFF: “No, not yet”.

TUD: “What is your favourite type of restaurant / food?”

KFF: “I like restaurants with good burgers which have good, fast service. I also like restaurants with creative decorations I can look at while eating.”

TUD: “What if you went to a restaurant and the food was terrible. Would you post that?”

KFF: “I would tell them why I thought the food was terrible. I would say something like, “nice try” and “please do not make that mistake again” and then I would blog it because kids have to know this.”

Big thank you to the Kids Food Fanatic.

His blog can be found here;

or here if you prefer to paste and click on your own.

Please pay him a visit and welcome him to the blogosphere.