EGG-citing EGG-speriments!

Crack open a carton of eggs and start experimenting:

1. Make the shell disappear. Submerge an egg in white vinegar overnight or longer. Keep checking until only the membrane is left. Feel how rubbery it is. Will it bounce? (Be careful!)

2. Follow the same instructions as #1 but this time use a hard-boiled egg. Now try bouncing it!

For other eggy activities, visit Momma’s Fun World.

egg shell


about eggs, birds or any topic can be found at your branch of the Public Library.

For tips on choosing books for various ages and interests, head to the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

Bookcentre logo

Some favourite titles:

Giraffe and Bird by Rebecca Bender, Dancing Cat Books, ISBN 9781897151846 | Age: 3-5

BooHooBird_BK  by Jeremy Tankard, Scholastic Press, ISBN 9780545065702 | Age: 3-5

One Duck by Hazel Hutchins, illustrated by Ruth Ohi, Annick Press, ISBN 9781550375602| Age: 3-6

One Hen by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes, Kids Can Press, ISBN 9781554530281| Age: 8-12

Backyard Birdsby Robert Bateman, Scholastic Canada, ISBN 9780545997430| Age: 8 and up


Mice are Nice!

Look for tips on choosing books for every age group at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre website.

These mouse-themed books from Canadian authors and illustrators can be found in libraries, bookstores and online.

The Night Before Christmas for all ages from Scholastic Canada

The Night Before Christmas for all ages from Scholastic Canada

The Tooth Mouse for ages 4 to 8 from Kids Can Press

The Tooth Mouse for ages 4 to 8 from Kids Can Press


Busy Little Mouse for ages 2 to 5 from Kids Can Press

Busy Little Mouse for ages 2 to 5 from Kids Can Press


The Stowaways for ages 8 to 12 from Pajama Press

The Stowaways for ages 8 to 12 from Pajama Press




Some Hershey Chocolate kisses, a little white glue, bits of felt or paper, ribbon and a marker. Follow the instructions here.


Strawberry Mouse.228

A strawberry, tiny almond slivers, mini chocolate chips and a licorice lace tail. Yum!  See the recipe at Kidspot.

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Halved hard-cooked eggs, radish or pickle ears, black olive eyes and a tail of chive or cheese string. Healthy, too. Visit Group Recipes for directions.



walnut micearticle_ArticleImage

Carefully split a walnut in half, use white glue to add felt ears and tail, and a marker for eyes and nose. Paste a paper backing on the reverse side and add a small strip of magnetic tape (from craft or stationary stores). Presto — a fridge magnet! Or use them in a rolling race by adding a marble under each mouse. See how at the Oh Baby site.


Camp Cariboo on iTunes

A blast from the past with summer memories of good old Camp Cariboo.  A re-release on iTunes of the I Love Camp CD from our award-winning TV series:

For a reminder of what made the show a hit, here’s a clip.


1. Use a flat cookie as a base for each snowman.

2. Puddle a dollop of icing in the middle of the cookie and set one large marshmallow in place.

3. Add a drop of icing on the top of the marshmallow and stick another on top. Do the same for the head of the snowman.

4. Using a toothpick, make a hole in the sides of the middle marshmallow. Insert pretzel sticks for arms.

5. Spread frosting on top of the marshmallow head and “glue” on a chocolate mint or bell for a hat.

6. Use icing as glue to hold a strip of red licorice lace in place as a scarf around the snowman’s neck.

7. Mini chocolate chips or tiny dabs of chocolate frosting can be used for eyes. Snip a bit of an orange coloured ju-jube for a carrot nose.

Here’s a recipe for a variation from Nestle.


Even preschoolers can help decorate these edible evergreens.

1. Turn empty ice cream cones upside down on a sheet of waxed paper. Sugar cones work best.

2. Add green food coloring to frosting (icing sugar mixed with milk and butter and a drop or two of peppermint flavouring, if you like). Make sure it’s not too runny but thin enough for little ones to work with.

3. Using a spatula (or even clean fingers!) slather the cones with the frosting until completely covered.

4. Decorate with coconut, sprinkles, chocolate chips or assorted candies.

Here are more ideas for decorating your frosted forest.


Check out the Canadian Children’s Book Centre website for tips on how to choose the right books for and with your kids.


The outdoors is one big playground and learning centre at any time of year. It’s easy to access (even in the heart of the city) and it’s free! Recent research shows that “nature deficit disorder” is something we should take seriously. We have become so removed from nature that it is having a negative effect on our health and our kids — physically, emotionally and mentally. Apparently, kids even do better on school test scores when they spend time in natural surroundings.

Here’s something you can do right in your own backyard.

 Take a nature walk to look for interesting stones, pebbles or rocks in your garden, a park or along a country lane.
 Collect a few specimens, wash them, add some paint to transform them into “pet rocks” or paperweight presents.
 For added features, use white glue to stick bits of fabric or googly eyes in place.
 For a shiny finish, add clear varnish or nail polish.


For these easy and inexpensive candles and holders, you will need:

 White glue or spray adhesive
 Recycled glass jars or glasses
 Paper lunch bags
 Ribbons, lace, glitter
 Votive or tea candles

Follow these links for directions:

Lunch Bag Luminaries
Lacy Lanterns
Jam Jar Votives

They make great gifts!

For Kids and Families

As a regular contributor to CTV Ottawa’s News at Noon, Janis brings parents and kids ideas for things to do, places to go, and ways to play, learn and grow together. If you have ideas to share with families, contact Janis at