First bell: summer 2019

By Suzanne Rent

New program helps SpellRead students make mind movies

Halifax Learning is offering a new program called Painting Mind Pictures through its popular SpellRead program. Students enrolled in SpellRead and Painting Mind Pictures will work with speech language pathologist Natalie Sampson in 10 sessions, one session per month. The goal of Painting Minds Pictures is to enhance the learning in SpellRead by helping students visualize the material they’re learning in a new way, so students can make a movie in their minds that helps with overall comprehension. The Painting Mind Pictures program was launched in January and students who sign up for SpellRead are automatically enrolled. Enrollment is ongoing. halifaxlearning.com or 902-433-4113

Room to grow and play

Outgrow Outplay Halifax is hosting its spring sale on May 25 and 26. Shop for your kids’ summer styles at discount prices. This annual sale also has toys, sporting equipment, arts and crafts, children’s books, maternity clothing, infant wear, and furniture. This is also a great way to sell the toys and clothing your children have outgrown and outplayed over the years.

The sale takes place Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the BMO Soccer Centre on Thomas Raddall Drive in Halifax.

Bring your baby to the bar

Parents can enjoy a fun date out with the kids at Chain Yard Cider – Urban Cidery BYOBB (Bring Your Own Baby (or kids) to the Bar). Enjoy a meal and one of Chain Yard’s ciders made with Nova Scotia apples, while babies and kids are entertained with movies and headphones, a kids’ menu, and colouring packs and prizes. Located on Agricola Street in Halifax, Chain Yard will host the BYOBB events once a month until June from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fun for families at IWK Kermesse

Kermesse Raffle Painting

The annual IWK Kermesse is back on May 25 with all the activities that make this a must-attend event for families. Bring the kids to the Kermesse Children’s Fair on the grounds of the IWK where there will be live entertainment, a fish pond, bouncy castles, and train ride. Stop into the Chase Gallery at Public Archives at the corner of Robie Street and University Avenue for the Kermess Art Show and Sale from May 22 to May 30. And the Kermesse Flea Market will be at Gorsebrook Junior High School on May 25. If you have items to donate, you can do so until May 11.

Back to the farm

Head to the little farm in the suburbs and learn about local history. The Cole Harbour Farm Museum is a great spot for children to see pigs, chickens, and goats up close and in the barn. Have lunch in the tearoom on-site where everything is made from scratch, including the scones and jam. There are also two farm camps this summer: one for kids ages six to eight; and another for kids ages nine to 11. Also, check out the Cole Harbour Fibre Frolic, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Watch as the farm’s sheep are sheared for the season. You can make fibre crafts and watch demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and knitting. The farm is open daily from May 15 to Oct.15. There’s no admission, but donations are accepted.

A taste of the sea on the Eastern Shore

Photo: Dick de Gier

Take a family drive to the Eastern Shore for the Coldwaters Seafood Festival at Memory Lane Heritage Village, June 1 and 2. Located in Lake Charlotte, about a 45-minute drive from Halifax, the festival celebrates the seafood and coastal history of the Eastern Shore. Get a taste of fresh seafood or take in the family-friendly activities as net knitting, paint your own buoy, or build a lobster trap. The historic buildings of Memory Lane give a glimpse of rural life in Nova Scotia in the 1940s. Admission is $5 per person and children under 12 are free. Tasting tickets are $2 each. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Teaching ocean literacy

Teachers can bring learning about the ocean to their classrooms with a new toolkit from COVE, the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship in Dartmouth, N.S. Created in collaboration with more than 50 educators from across Nova Scotia, the Taking Making Into Classrooms Ocean Toolkit includes a number of design challenges appropriate for students in various grade levels. Each challenge includes a design rationale, problem scenario, parameters, and success determinants. For example, design challenge three, “Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink,” teaches students in Grades 2 to 4 how to turn salt water into fresh water to grow a few seeds if they were stranded on McNab’s Island.

Getting crafty

Parents who are shopping at Michael’s in Bayers Lake can drop off their kids to Kids’ Club at the store every Saturday. This is a fun, creative, and inexpensive way to keep the kids occupied while you shop. There are two groups: one for kids ages three and up; and another for kids ages six and up. Projects include painted rock friends, rainbow bright, tulip time, gnome sweet gnome, and carrot crafts. The sessions take place every half hour from 10 a.m. until noon with the last session starting at 11:30 a.m. There’s no registration required, but parents must stay on the site while their children are in the club. The cost is minimal: $2 per project for kids age three and up; and $5 per project for kids age six and up.

Summer of music

The Broadway Company Players at the Maritime Conservatory of Music is hosting weeklong summer camps for kids in Grade 4 to 12. The camp for elementary students in Grades 4 to 6 runs from July 2 to 5, while the junior high program for students in Grades 7 to 12 runs from July 8 to 12. All students learn about voice, acting, and dance. The summer camps are a great introduction to the 36-week program that runs from September to June. That program wraps up with a fully-staged musical production in June. There are no auditions and everyone is welcome.

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