Each month for years now, Marcella from Food Share has come into Creating Together to offer a workshop for families around toddler food prep. This month’s workshop on March 20th was a great hit – cheese and bean tortilla roll-ups (pinwheels). Take a look at the recipe below, and mark your calendars for next month’s workshop: April 24th from 10-11am.
Did you know that the Literacy Area at Creating Together holds incredible opportunities for communication, language, literacy, and social skills? Reading aloud here not only improves expressive language and vocabulary, but also social skills such as imitation, turn taking, social interest, and the ability to maintain connection across space.
On March 11 & 15, Creating Together hosted “Benefits of Literacy” information sessions, to share with parents and caregivers why reading to your child is such an important part of childhood development. Read below to learn what reading aloud to your child for 15 minutes per day will bring, while preparing them for success in school.
10 Great Reasons to Read to Your Child (A Message From the Toronto Early Literacy Specialists)
- Reading stimulates your child’s imagination.
- Children learn lots of new words through reading.
- Reading builds a child’s ability to concentrate.
- Children learn about the world through books.
- Reading builds a child’s listening skills.
- children gain awareness of letters and words.
- Children learn to appreciate the richness of language.
- Reading together brings you and your child closer.
- Children thrive on the positive attention at story time.
- you will give your child a life long love of books by reading aloud regularly.
Join us each Monday for Literacy Mondays!
Every Monday at 9:30 and 1:30, Creating Together hosts “Literacy Mondays“, and we’d love to see you there. Come read and sing along with parents/caregivers and a staff member. This program is designed for one-on-one or small group storytelling, featuring developmentally appropriate books and CDs. Children also have a choice to listen to a story with headphones on their own.
According to a U.K. study, women who work full-time and are raising two or more kids are 40 per cent more stressed than working women with no children. Even moms with a job and only one kid are under more pressure, as researchers found they had a 18 per cent higher level of stress.
It’s essential that parents and nannies care for themselves—for their own well-being—but also because any effort they put into self-care has huge payoffs for the children they are caring for. Filling up our own cups helps us have more patience, energy, and passion to spread to others.
This month we celebrated International Woman’s Day (IWD) at Creating Together with food and some fun DIY pampering activities for moms and caregivers. It was a great way for mothers and caregivers to receive some self-care and connect with eachother while the kids played.
Did you know that a homemade face mask of crushed ripe bananas can help keep the wrinkles at bay? And that a beaten egg white with 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice tightens the skin and cleanses pores? Try applying the raw yolk of an egg to your face and neck for 30 minutes and rinse with cool water. Egg yolks are high in vitamin A. This mask is very effective in healing blemishes.
Below are a couple more recipes for home-made masks to help you take a break at home with ingredients from your cupboard. Enjoy!
Creating Together gratefully acknowledges Mazon Canada for their grant of $2,500 in 2018 to help support our food and nutrition programs. This funding was used to purchase food for our daily snack program and for healthy meals provided through community events and potlucks for families. In 2018, this program served 5,831 nutritious snacks to 393 children and approximately 480 meals to families.
One of the beautiful things about Creating Together is the varying ages of caregivers. When you come in and scan the room, you’d see grandparents, parents and nannies mingling and supporting each other, while the children play and learn.
This intergenerational connection brings out a better quality of life for all ages. For the young, it improves self-esteem, empathy, respect, and a healthier approach to aging. For the wise, it contributes to joy, meaning, improved memory and active living. On a community level, connecting our wisest and our youngest promotes the transmission of cultural traditions and values from older to younger generations, helping to build a sense of personal and societal identity while encouraging tolerance.
Join Creating Together each Month at White Eagle Residence
Apart from offering a space within our community for different ages to come together, Creating Together also spends Circle Time with the senior citizens at White Eagle Residence once per month. In February, this happens this Thursday, February 28th from 10:45-11:15pm. We sing songs together, read stories and chat with the residents. Next month, we’ll be going over on Thursday March 21st (same time) – so do consider joining us! You can either walk there with us from Creating Together, or meet us directly at Chartwell White Eagle Long-Term Residence (138 Dowling) at 10:45am. If you can’t make it to these ones, keep an eye on our calendar for our next visit.
About White Eagle Residence
Located in a mature, residential area in Toronto’s west end (right around the corner from Creating Together), Chartwell White Eagle Long Term Care Residence is committed to delivering quality care to its residents. A strong community partner, White Eagle’s highly trained staff has earned a positive reputation for being compassionate and professional in equal parts. Competent in the care and management of residents with mental health concerns, White Eagle is able to accommodate a wide spectrum of care needs, including short-stay residents. With 24-hour nursing care, assistance with daily living activities and high levels of personal care available, family members can feel confident that their loved one is well cared for. Home-like and comfortable, this residence has a warm atmosphere that is welcoming to both residents and their visitors.
Honouring our Elders
The Toronto Seniors Strategy identifies Respect and Inclusion as one of the 7 priority areas, and intergenerational initiatives as one of the core recommendations for combatting ageism and ignorance through improving connections all Torontonians, and ensuring a place for all in our communities. As a result, resources are being circulated to help promote respect for older adults among the youngsters. Here are some tips for honouring our elders:
- Spend time with them
- Ask for advice
- Be kind to them
- Eat Together
- Discuss family heritage, history and traditions
- Call them
- Tell them how much you appreciate and respect them
- Visit senior living communities
- Get involved in Intergenerational Day Canada on June 1st this year
Tips for Grandparents and other Older Adults
Sometimes the gap in age can make it challenging for our wisdom keepers to connect and relate with children. After all, so much has changed since they were young. The Healthy Aging Partnership offers these suggestions for grandparents and others who want to play a bigger role in young lives:
- Be yourself. Youngsters will benefit from and enjoy having someone who listens and gives them their undivided attention. All too often parents don’t have enough time to spend with their children and that’s where you can help. Be a mentor and a friend.
- Arts and crafts, such as making a scrapbook, create great memories and allow you and a child to learn something new together.
- Youngsters love to help in the kitchen. The hands-on cooking exercise can be as simple as baking a box cake, with a little measuring and mixing.
- Gardening is another kid favorite. Spring is fast approaching – so consider digging in the dirt, planting, watering, and sowing together. Sow fast-sprouting bean, pumpkin or sunflower seeds that grow with every visit.
- Go to the library. Computers and video games may be the new thing, but you can never go wrong with a great story. Teach them about something you love. If you’re excited about it, they will be too.
- If you don’t have grandchildren of your own, volunteer to share an interest or skill with a local youth organization. The American Red Cross, Intergenerational Innovations and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, just to name a few, can help connect older adults with young people in their community.
References and Resources
The Toronto Seniors Project
The Legacy Project
Healthy Aging Partnership
For more information on intergenerational activities or other issues related to life as an older adult, visit www.4elders.org. The free and confidential resource line offers a wealth of information and assistance to seniors and their caregivers.
Intergenerational Day Canada