Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the latest craze hitting the schoolyard – fidget spinners. I’m going to take an unpopular stand here and say that they’re more toy than tool for most kids. There are definitely some kids that are helped by them but they can distract others and some brands of them are noisy enough to upset some kids on the spectrum. I’m not going to say never get your kid a fidget spinner, because if it works for your kid then it works for your kid, however I’ve seen more kids who are MORE distracted when using a spinner than if they had no fidget to use which is the opposite of the intended purpose. If you are getting one for your child with special needs, look for ones with the bearings enclosed, try it out first to see how the noise affects them (some are really quiet, others emit a low frequency hum that is quite annoying over time), and stay away from gimmicks such as LED lights and bluetooth speakers in the spinners. For the kids who spinners aren’t working for, there are other fidget toys that may be a better fit and aren’t banned in classrooms. Today I’m going to go through my fidget toy collection and post my top 5 recommended fidget toys for use in classrooms and at home.
I’m an overthinker. I like to weigh out decisions carefully, and make the best possible choice and even then I often second guess myself. I’m the person you want to plan your hike because I’ll have come up with solutions to problems that most people haven’t even considered. I’m pretty self-aware about this though, so sometimes I try to force myself to agree to things before thinking about them too much. Once I commit to something I very rarely back out – which makes this tactic work really well at pushing me out of my comfort zone to try something new. Except that it’s called a comfort zone for a reason – it’s comfortable, and comfortable is nice and safe. [Read more…]
Last week I wrote about all the indoor fun I had exploring Ontario’s Lake Country on the #LetsGoMaple retreat. Between the absolutely amazing food, the table gaming lessons, the pool, the king size bed, and the chance to explore a local museum, I had a wonderful time just being inside! A big part of the trip however, was to get outside and enjoy the beauty of Ontario’s Lake Country in winter. I’m the first to admit, that I’m a winter wuss. I don’t hate snow, but once the windchill dips below -25 degrees Celcius, I’m a warm blanket, good book, and hot chocolate kind of girl.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to go back to one of my favourite places, Casino Rama Resort, for a few days of winter fun thanks to the wonderful ladies at SJ Consulting, Casino Rama Resort, and Ontario’s Lake Country. I go up to the Casino a few times a year – it’s my preferred venue for concerts since it takes about the same amount of time as it does to go into Toronto but without the traffic headaches, expensive parking, or nosebleed seats. I went up in August with some of the same people for a great few days of learning and connecting, but this trip was going to be a little different. Whereas last time we pretty much stayed in the Casino, this time we were going to explore the areas around the Casino – downtown Orillia, Horseshoe Resort, and Mount St. Louis Moonstone. There was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity despite my complete lack of skills and coordination when it comes to winter sports. Because we did SO much in such a short period of time, I’m breaking my posts up along completely arbitrary lines – indoor fun and outdoor fun. Today, I’m writing about the indoor fun to be had in and around Casino Rama. Next, I’ll post about all the outdoor fun I had – and there was a lot of outdoor fun!
I swear if I have one more “friend” on Facebook or Twitter follower or casual acquaintance tell me to stop being so political I’m going to lose it. I was raised to speak up if I see wrong and to work towards fixing it. Silence is dangerous – today and always. As a historian, I’m haunted by the times humanity turned away instead of helped and I am going to do better. If it means I lose some followers and “friends”, so be it. If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.