Soccer for Toddlers

I signed my 22-month old son up for soccer sessions with Lil Strikers. The class we joined is for 18 months to 2 years, but they do have classes for kids up to the age of 9.

For his age, my main goal was for him to get some exercise and release some energy so we can go home and enjoy a good, long nap. I don’t expect him to learn any soccer skills but it’s likely he’ll learn a thing or two, even if it’s just learning that the ball goes into the net.

My soccer knowledge is very limited, but from the looks of it, the classes are structured in such a way that their activities do translate to skills that can be applied to a game of soccer.

It’s actually really cute to watch. For the first half of the 10-week session, here’s what they do during the 50 minutes:

  • Stretching
  • Stepping on the ball – The tots are asked to step on the ball, one foot at a time (with the help of the parent for balance). I assume this is for trapping.
  • Jumping over the ball – None of the tots can do this on their own, so they’re all swung over the ball by their parents. Jarvis loves it.
  • Running – “Red Light/Green Light” “and Freeze” games
  • Throwing and kicking the ball – Throwing would be used for throw-ins, I’m guessing; and the kicking is obvious. Jarvis much prefers kicking over throwing. And I may be a bit biased, but I think he’s a pretty coordinated kicker :)
  • Tower building – Yes, the tots build towers with mini pylons. How is this useful? They’re supposed to kick it down when they have it built. It’s a kicking exercise. This one is entertaining to watch because you can watch their creativity.
  • Obstacle course – There’s a tunnel, hoops and a net. Most of the time, the kids just go back and forth in the tunnel, but the idea is to get through all the obstacles and kick the ball into the net. Fun times.

Once all that’s done, they’re all given stickers. I love this because the sticker distracts my little guy almost long enough to get to the car without any struggle.

He’s had 3 classes so far and I can’t wait to see how he progresses. He’s at an age where he’s constantly observing and learning, so it’ll be interesting to see what he picks up next.

DIY Planner

I’m mostly a digital person when it comes to organizing my life; I rely on Google Calendar to keep track of my schedule, Out of Milk to manage my grocery list and Pinterest to collect all my recipes.

However, when it comes down to exercise and meal planning, I haven’t found the right apps for me. So, I’m trying out the traditional method of writing things down, and for this to work, I needed a custom planner specifically for my needs. This is what I did:

  • Used a 3-ring binder so I’d be able to remove/add pages as needed. I chose a bright-coloured Russell + Hazel mini binder
  • Designed 8.325″ x 6.325″ pages with InDesign (using 5/8″ inside margins)
  • Printed them out in colour and double-sided
  • Three-hole punched the pages using the Swingline Precision Pro hole puncher, which has configurable 2- or 3-hole setup
  • Trimmed letter-sized dividers down to 8.325″ x 6.325″

Here’s the pretty result:

diy-planner

Donating Hair

It’s a new year, so you’re maybe thinking of a new hairstyle.

If you like drastic changes, consider donating the hair you’re chopping off to help make wigs for women and children who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment.

Note that your hair must be chemically untreated (no dyes or perms). It took me awhile to do this because I’ve always had a little bit of something in my hair since I was 16.

If you have at least 8″ of hair to donate, you can send it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which is a partnership program with the Canadian Cancer Society. If you have at least 12″ to donate, you can donate to the Angel Hair for Kids.

In the summer, I was able to cut off 12 inches! Here’s the before and after photo (of what my stepdaughter calls “the mom cut” :))

Neck Warmer for Toddlers

Overnight, the temperature plummeted. I woke up to a windchill of -25℃. I don’t know why I wasn’t prepared for this; actually, I feel like I haven’t prepared my 20-month old for this.

I couldn’t be that parent who sends their child to daycare without the proper winter gear. He did have a hat, mitts, boots, snowsuit, and coat, but what do I do about his neck and face? And if I did have a scarf for him, was it okay to wrap a scarf around a toddler’s neck??

I came up with this solution instead and quickly sewed one together before getting ready for work this morning.

Here’s the impromptu neck warmer (safe scarf alternative):

toddler neck warmer