Monthly Archives: October 2012

Halloween: more tricks, less treats

Halloween doesn’t have to just revolve around candy and scary things ~ it can be fun too! There are so many things you can do in your home to get the little ones ready and excited for the big day. 

– If you’ve got your pumpkins picked out already, it’s time decorate them! Young ones may not be able to carve them, but they can certainly turn them into eye-catching works of art! They can have just as much fun pasting and painting them too!

… if you still prefer the glow of candles in your carved pumpkins, why not use battery operated tealights inside to set the mood.

– Dig out and dust off a few extra items from the back of your closet to add to your dress-up bin. I just know you’ve got some things in there from past decades… give them new life!

– Involve the senses: Make some goop or slime for the children to play with. Or theme your sensory bin to Halloween. Include plastic bugs, worms and skeletons, or cotton balls and ghost felts just to name a few ideas.

– Play Halloween music and maybe even have a dance party with your group! If you have a laptop or computer in your playroom, it’s easy to create a *free* playlist of Halloween songs on (and yes they have the Original Monster Mash album in their extensive online library)!

– There is no shortage of Halloween craft ideas. Here are just a few of our own:

Children can decorate their own masks;

paper treat bags with paper, foam or felt shapes for toddlers and preschoolers;

or go one step further with fabric bags with fabric markers or paints for schoolagers.

For even more Halloween craft ideas, check out our pinterest page here.

And if you have a real sweet tooth and insist on having treats for your little ones this Halloween – have them decorate some cookies or cupcakes as an alternative that is fun to make!

Licorice, marshmallows, sprinkles and chocolate chips can jazz up any cupcake to make them festive!

Of course we all love to see our little ones dressed up in their costumes on the big day but they are often purchased with the cold weather in mind. They might be too warm to be worn indoors for long periods or they may be a couple of sizes too large to accommodate a bulky coat underneath. Consider having the kids dress in orange and black on Halloween so that they can still feel festive, even when they’re not wearing their costume.

For more info on Halloween safety check out Health Canada’s website.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween!

Too Many Pumpkins

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, Megan Lloyd

This is one of my absolute favourite children’s books to read this time of the year.

It’s a touching tale about a woman who hates pumpkins so much she can’t even stand to look at them. Her world is turned upside-down when she discovers them growing on her own front lawn!

This book gets my kids excited to make our annual trip to the farm to pick out our very own special pumpkins. Here in Ottawa, we are lucky enough to have several pumpkin patches at these locations:

J.C. Orchards: 2726 Moodie Dr. at Fallowfield in Barrhaven,

Millers’ Farm and Market: 6158 Rideau Valley Dr., just south of the village of Manotick.

Proulx Sugarbrush and Berry Farm: 1865 O’Toole Rd. in Cumberland, near Innes and Trim roads.

Saunders Farm: 7893 Bleeks Rd. in Munster south of Fallowfield Road.

Valleyview Little Animal Farm: 4750 Fallowfield Rd., west of Cedarview Road.

But if you can’t make it out to a pumpkin patch, Ottawa’s Byward market is another great destination for choosing that special pumpkin.

At the CCPRN office we have many Fall and Halloween related dies for the die cutter including pumpkins, witches, haunted houses, ghosts and more! Of course our bulletin board is always filled with craft inspirations too so be sure to swing by and check them out!

A Must See: Butterfly Exhibit


There really is no better way to spend a rainy day than to visit the Annual Biology Butterfly Show at Carleton University. It’s happening this week through to Thanksgiving Monday and is in the Nesbitt Building of the Biology Department.



The show features 1300 butterflies representing 41 species. Your children can feed butterflies, watch them flutter about, and observe the chrysalis stage.

What to bring?

– Change for parking. There is metered parking nearby or parking lots. View the campus parking map here. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.

– Sliced oranges for the butterflies… and don’t forget some for your kiddos too!

– Your camera!

– Dress in layers – it’s quite warm and humid in the greenhouses. You can avoid overheating by dressing your children in layers that can be removed. Also, keep in mind that butterflies are attracted to bright colours and may land on you if you wear them.

– Patience. It’s a very popular exhibit so get there early and be prepared in case there is a line up.

The show opens at 9am and remains open until 4pm each day.



So why not head to the university this week to bring the science and wonder of butterflies into your daycare. For some of us, it has become a Fall tradition!

Child Care Connection: Finding the Right Fit

CCPRN hosts monthly meetings across the City of Ottawa to connect parents looking for daycare with caregivers providing care in their homes.

What can you expect when attending a Child Care Connection meeting?

CCPRN has volunteer facilitators who begin each meeting by talking a bit about our organization and the kind of resources we offer. Then they gather each attendees contact information to add to our database. The information is kept on file for 3 months and allows parents and caregivers who attend future meetings to broaden their search. The data can only be accessed at the meetings.

Our meeting facilitators ask everyone in attendance to introduce themselves and to give a brief explanation of what they are seeking. Parents looking for care might share their child’s age, the hours and date that they require care to begin. Caregivers can use this opportunity to discuss their hours of operation, years of experience and the dates their daycare space(s) become available.

There is time at the end of each meeting for the attendees to mingle and discuss their individual needs. Our Child Care Connection meetings are intended to be informal gatherings for parents and caregivers to meet, exchange information and decide whether they would like to proceed with a more formal interview. At that point, parents can tour the caregiver’s home, discuss policies and contracts etc.

If you have business cards, bring them along! Pen and paper is also recommended for recording contact information from the database from previous months.

Our next meetings are starting up this week!

Barrhaven & Surrounding Area meets at Loblaws Upstairs, 3201 Greenbank Rd on the first Monday of the month, from 7-8pm.

Gloucester East, Beacon Hill and Area meets at Loblaws Upstairs, 1980 Ogilvie Rd on the first Tuesday of the month, from 7-8pm.

Ottawa West meets at Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, 1365 Richmond Rd on the first Wednesday of the month, from 7-8pm.

Ottawa Centre meets at the Ottawa Public Library (Sunnyside Branch), 1049 Bank St on the second Monday of the month, from 7-8pm.

Kanata meets at the Katimavik Preschool Resource Centre, 180 Katimavik Rd on the second Monday of the month, from 7-8pm.

Ottawa South meets at the Ontario Early Years Centre, 2330 Don Reid Dr on the second Wednesday of the month, from 6:45-7:45pm.

Orleans/Cumberland Area meets at the Ontario Early Years Centre, 240 Centrum Blvd, Suite 105 on the second Wednesday of the month, from 6:30-7:30pm.

Stittsville meets at the Brown’s Independent, 1251 Stittsville Main on the second Thursday of the month, from 7-8pm.

* Please note that the dates may change from time to time so be sure to check our calendar of events at for your next Child Care Connection Meeting. Also, there are no meetings in July or December.

We hope to see you there!

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