Friday, November 30, 2012

momstown Victoria Little Scientists: Bubble Experiments with Kids

momstown Victoria moms and kids had another whiz-bang of a time at our  Little Scientists: Something Incredible with Glenn Kachmar! This time Glenn did a fantastic bubble show. First we played with different tools to make our own bubbles: wands, trumpets, and even a vacuum hose attachment. The kids used extra long straws and together made a mountain of foam bubbles in a large bucket. We also played with hundreds of little bubbles that floated and "dried" in the air and stayed for a long time, even when you touched them. 

Ever wonder why bubbles are round? According to, bubbles are "minimal surface structures." They always hold their contents with the least possible surface area, which is always a sphere.  Of course, there is one amazing exception! When a bubble is surrounded by other bubbles... can take the shape of a cube! Well done, Mr. K. Then it was time for something truly incredible...each of our kids was put INSIDE A GIANT BUBBLE! What a unique and memorable experience for both the moms and kids!

The kids continued to be astounded by the bubble antics! Fog-filled bubbles popped like magic in their hands and bounced lightly atop a bubble trampoline. Thank you again, Glenn, for another fantastic afternoon of science discovery - and for sharing your bubble recipes with us! I'm not sure how you'll top this one! ;)
Giant Bubble Recipes: 

Shampoo Mix
1/2 Johnson's Baby Shampoo
1/2 water

Dish Soap Mix
350 ml. Dawn dish soap
15 ml. glycerine
10 litres water

And that's it!

Our momstown Little Scientists program is open to non-members! Join us for another full hour of science excitement on Thursday, December 6th, 3:30-4:30 pm at Saanich Neighbourhood Place (3100 Tillicum Road, inside Pearkes Recreation Centre.) Suggested donation is $2 with 100% proceeds going to Saanich Neighbourhood Place.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

momstown Victoria Christmas Tradition: How to Make Holiday Graham Cracker Houses

This is one of my favourite Christmas crafts to do at a crafty playdate with toddlers. It's easy to prepare, inexpensive, and the moms enjoy decorating the houses as much as the little ones. Next month we'll be making these adorable holiday graham cracker houses with our momstown Victoria moms and kids, and hopefully it will become our Christmas tradition together!

Holiday Graham Cracker Houses

You'll need:
7 graham crackers per house
1 cup of quick icing
ziploc bag
Assortment of candies for decorating
Ribbon (optional)

  1. Make the icing by mixing 1 cup of icing sugar, 1 tbsp milk and 1/4 tsp of vanilla until smooth.
  2. Fill the plastic ziploc bag with the icing. Use the scissors to cut 1/4" off the one of the corners. This small hole will be used to pipe the icing.
  3. Pipe the icing along the edges of the graham crackers to glue the pieces together. Start by making the box (4 walls attached to a floor) and allow the icing to harden. Then pipe glue along the tops of two walls (opposite each other) and balance the roof (two graham crackers making an inverted V) on top, sealing the top seam. Allow to harden (1 hour to overnight.) (TIP: It helps to pipe the icing on both edges being glued together, and also to reinforce the seams.)
  4. Now the fun part! Use the icing to decorate the houses and to stick on the candies.
  5. Once your masterpiece is dry, you can put a ribbon through the roof and use it as a tree ornament!
I can't wait to do this craft with our momstown Victoria moms and kids next month! Not a member yet? Join us now for a FREE 4-week trial and enjoy all the great events coming up in December! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

momstown Victoria reads "I Spy Letters" at Scholastic Sponsored Tales for Tots

momstown Victoria had a great time reading "I Spy Letters" with a wonderful group of moms, babies and toddlers at our Scholastic sponsored Tales for Tots program at Chapters Victoria! "I Spy" is a national best-selling series of picture riddles by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick. In this fun learning book for two- and three-year olds, young children are introduced to the letters of the alphabet using brightly coloured pictures and playful rhymes.

 Our momstown toddlers had fun pointing out the letters!

We made yummy "Alphabet Soup" for our craft.

Congrats to the lucky winner of our free Scholastic book prize draw!

 Gotta love the fun play area for toddlers and kids. 

A few of the beautiful moms who came out!

Our Tales for Tots program is a free monthly drop-in on the third Wednesday of every month, at Chapters Victoria. Join us downstairs in the children's area for a craft, story time and bonus book prize draw from Scholastic Canada. Wanna check out the full momstown Victoria events calendar? Register for your FREE 4-week trial here!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 2012 momstown Team Conference at Fern Resort: Here's to Us!

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending the November 2012 momstown Team Conference at Fern Resort in Orillia, Ontario. momstown is not just a website, and we are much more than a network of moms' groups: momstown is the leading mom-focused social media and events company in Canada. Our ability to connect and support Canadian moms by coordinating over 400 in-person events monthly across Canada, to amplify and build brand awareness through our message boards, blogs and social media savvy, and to do it all while changing diapers, running our kids to and from school and getting supper on the table, makes us a unique and powerful set of entrepreneurs.
momstown itself is a unique and powerful business, and I believe that what sets us apart is our team. This is why momstown holds two conferences a year, and why both professional development and collaborative exercises are on the agenda. Each momstown owner is personally invested in seeing all the other momstown owners succeed, because we understand that our own success depends on the growth and success of the whole team. As a result, the sharing of knowledge and resources that we do in our sessions, from the Team Apprentice Challenge to our round table discussions on membership, sales & sponsorship, social media and team development, is nothing short of phenomenal.

I can't describe how proud and grateful I feel to be a part of this team and business. We had an exclusive, all-inclusive, 4-day conference with fabulous meals and accommodations at beautiful Fern Resort and Conference Centre. We had the use of a brand new Pilot, Odyssey, CRV and Accord, courtesy of Honda Canada, for driving together to and from our conference. And we each brought home a beautiful book bag from Scholastic Canada, which included several great books and a sweet box of Nestle Black Magic chocolates. How wonderful is that.
I also spent 4 days networking, collaborating, and laughing together with 25 other women whose job it is to connect and support moms and families every day; who are deeply involved in their own families and local communities; and who are driven by their passion for making a difference. Imagine realizing that together you are the leading parent-focused social media and events company in Canada, and that your combined #momstownconf tweets over the weekend reached nearly 2 million impressions. Now imagine the possibilities of what your business will achieve when the momstown team is doubled, or even tripled. Is it motivating? Empowering? You betcha.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the incredible planning and leadership of our momstown HQ. If our team is great, it's because we stand on the shoulders of giants. Thank you to the dream team: Ann-Marie, Christy, Ally and Heather, for all the work that went into organizing our amazing conference and sponsors. It was so worth it. I miss you, my momstown family! Here's to us, and here's to a Western conference in the near future! ;)
Could YOU be at the next momstown Team Conference? Click here for more info!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

momstown Victoria Baby Basics: Take-Home Traditional Chinese Medicine for PostPartum Health

momstown Victoria moms will be learning practical information including acupressure and diet therapy for post-partum care during "Yue zi" and beyond. This is based on principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, but also Chinese home remedies passed on from many generations, mother to daughter.

“Yue zi” is the month after delivery and it is a very important time for a woman to recover. It is this period of time where after childbirth, a woman can be most vulnerable to pain, depression, and hormonal problems. When a woman pushes herself too hard after giving birth, it can lead to premature aging and chronic hormonal/emotional imbalances. It is important to remember that a new mother needs to conserve her energy in order for her body to heal from blood loss, changes in the pelvic floor as well as being able to produce milk for breast feeding.

The workshop will be provided by Christina Chan, a Community Acupuncturist at Heart & Hands Health Collective. Active in the community, she is passionate about using acupuncture as a tool for social change through providing outreach, increasing accessibility and bringing the practice back to its traditional roots. She continues to explore her own personal experiences as a community organizer, a woman of colour and as a business owner of an unorthodox social enterprise in Victoria, BC.

Our momstown Victoria Baby Basics events connect moms with babies ages 0 to 12 months! Baby Basics is your opportunity to connect with other new and expecting moms as well as enjoy high quality workshops and presentations included in your membership. Want to come out to one of our awesome events? Register for your FREE 4-week trial, and sign up for this event on our momstown Victoria calendar!

momstown Victoria Baby Basics: Baby Budgeting

Let's talk about money. It's on the top of your list of stressors, so let's talk about it. We'll talk about:

  • Living on a squeezed budget.
  • What are the most important monthly expenses, and which ones can be cut?
  • How much to put away for your baby's education?
  • Life insurance...what is it? Are there different kinds? How much does it cost?
  • How much do you have to earn to make going back to work worth it?
  • and more important money topics.
Presented by Lindsay Plumb.

Where: Saanich Neighbourhood Place, 3100 Tillicum Road
When: Monday, November 19th, 12:30-1:30 pm

Our momstown Victoria "Baby Basics" events are your opportunity to connect with other new and expecting moms as well as enjoy high quality workshops and presentations included in your membership. Want to attend one of our awesome mom-focused events? Sign up for your FREE 4-week trial!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

momstown Victoria Little Scientists: How to Make Magic Mud and Silly Putty!

Our momstown Victoria moms and kids did something incredible at our Little Scientists program last month! Science whiz and on-leave primary school teacher, Glenn Kachmar, demonstrated the amazing properties of both "Magic Mud" and Silly Putty!

Magic Mud is a suspension of cornstarch in water that has the bizarre property of being a liquid when it is resting or moving slowly, but solidifies once you slap, punch or squeeze it. The science behind it? “The cornstarch is ground into such fine particles that the molecules line up like little plates. The plates stay rigid when squeezed or slapped, but slide around when released and there is little or no pressure.” (Dianne Pratt, Hey Kids! You're Cookin' Now!)

Glenn mixed up a huge blue batch and let our lil' scientists dip their hands into it, squeeze it into a solid, and punch the surface which would become instantly hard. Amazing! You can also do a lot of other cool tricks with Magic Mud (also known as Oobleck,) like using sound waves to make it take on life-like movements, or running across a huge container of it!

Magic Mud Recipe:

Stir together approximately:
3 or 4 parts cornstarch
1 part cold water
Optional: several drops of food colouring

Next we made silly putty! Glenn gave each of us a cup and added Elmers Glue, water and food colouring. We mixed and mixed our ingredients, and then added a solution of borax and hot water. When the ingredients started to solidify, we took them out and started to squish and knead. Voila, silly putty!

Like Magic Mud, silly putty is another non-Newtonian fluid. It has characteristics of a fluid and will form a puddle if left to rest; but it has elastic properties and can stretch and bounce, or even break if given a sharp blow. Our kiddies had so much fun playing with these bizarre properties!


Silly Putty Recipe:

1. Mix 250 ml of hot water with 7 ml of borax powder until all the borax dissolves. Set this solution aside. It is called borax solution.
2. Get a cup and mix 30 ml of Elmers White Glue with 20 ml of water. (Elmers works best!)
3. Add two or three drops of food colour to the glue/water mix.
4. Once the glue, water and colour is mixed together well, ad 20 ml of borax solution. Stir this lal together.
5. Take the mix out of the cup and knead it in your hands (it's messy). Be sure to pop all of the bubbles of glue. More borax solution can be added if it is very gluey. Knead it until it has a consistent texture. You now have silly putty.
-Keep it in a closed ziploc bag when you are not using it.
-Experiment. Does it bounce? Does it stretch? Can you break it?

Kids, do try this at home! Thank you, Mr. K, for this incredible momstown Little Scientists workshop! We can't wait to see what you have planned for us next!

We are partnering with Saanich Neighbourhood Place for our next momstown Little Scientists program! Please join us for a full hour of science excitement, suitable for ages 0 to 6, Thursday, November 22nd, 3:30-4:30 pm at Saanich Neighbourhood Place (3100 Tillicum Road, inside Pearkes Rec.) Suggested donation is $2, all proceeds going to Saanich Neighbourhood Place.