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Recent Entries

Black Friday Feature

25 Family Activities for Black Friday

by Allison McDonald | November 26, 2014 at 10:42 am | comments

When I first moved to the United States (I was born and raised in Western Canada) I had vaguely heard about Black Friday but never experienced it. Now after living in the United States for over 10 years, I spend the day with my kids, who are home from school, and use this day together as a mini break from our everyday routine. As a Together Counts™ ambassador, I’m always

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Fall Activities Feature

Three Favorite Fall Family Activities and Meals to Make Together

by Allison McDonald | November 6, 2014 at 9:57 am | comments

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean the outdoor fun has to stop! As a Together Counts™ Ambassador, my family and I have learned to embrace fall’s crisp days as an opportunity for more outdoor activities. Here are my 3 favorite ways to make the most of fall: Pumpkin Patch Whether you live where pumpkins really grow on the vine or if your pumpkins are trucked in, making an

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Water Activities Feature

Five Fun and Creative Ways To Use Your Kiddie Pool For Active Play

by Allison McDonald | July 31, 2014 at 9:15 am | comments

Summer is in full swing, and as a Together Counts™ ambassador, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to stay active while staying cool. You don’t need a beachfront estate or even an adult sized pool to have fun and get active with your kids this summer. All you need is a simple kiddie pool! Here are five fun ways to splash and move with your little (and not so

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Storytelling Walks Feature

Storytelling With Activity

by Allison McDonald | May 27, 2014 at 9:29 am | comments

As parents, we spent a lot of time asking our kids if they are telling us stories when we’re trying to determine if they are telling us the truth. Children are natural storytellers, and while it can be frustrating when the story is coming out while they are trying to explain why the vase in the living room is broken, it’s an important skill for literacy that we should be

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TBT Allie Feature

Throwback Thursday: Sharing Games and Family Meals From Your Childhood

by Allison McDonald | March 27, 2014 at 12:02 pm | comments

“Mama what was it like when you were little?” My kids have inherited my curiosity of the past and beg me to tell them about what life was like in the olden days, which for them means the early 80s. The questions that pop up the most are always about food and play. When you think about it that makes sense because for kids, meals are something that they know

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Smart Start Energy Balance Feature

Smart From The Start with Energy Balance

by Allison McDonald | December 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm | comments

Young children don’t have a lot of control over their world and choices, which can easily lead to frustration. So why not give them control over something with the practice of energy balance, a fundamental aspect of the Together CountsTM program. Energy balance is all about balancing the energy we take in with the energy we put out. Introducing our little ones to the idea of energy balance can be

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Let Them Be The Coach Feature

Let Them Be the Coach

by Allison McDonald | October 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm | comments

Being a kid is tough, probably much tougher than we care to remember. It’s easy to feel like you aren’t important, don’t know what you are doing and aren’t as good as you want to be at something. As a mom it makes me sad to see brave faces that you can tell are hiding those feelings but as a teacher I need to find a way around it. That’s

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RECESSTogether Counts Photo

Bring Recess Home for The Summer

by Allison McDonald | June 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm | comments

On summer vacation kids want to leave a lot of their school work at school, close the books for a few months and just relax. Who can blame them? Kids need down time too. As parents, we know that it doesn’t work like that. As a blogger representative for the Together CountsTM Program, I know it’s equally important to make sure they keep moving all summer too! Three things kids

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Spring into Activity

by Allison McDonald | April 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm | comments

Spring has been slow coming this year for most of the country, but we need to get our kids outside and active again so the winter lethargy doesn’t turn into a year round habit. What better time to get outdoors than Screen-Free Week, a week that kicks off today devoted to get families playing together, moving, dreaming and creating their own entertainment. It’s the perfect chance to practice some of the basic

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Get Crafty This St. Patrick’s Day

by Allison McDonald | March 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm | comments

One of the tricks I use to get my kids involved in family dinners is to have them make crafts for special occasions. St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect holiday to bring out the green galore and get them involved in the fun. Even if you aren’t planning a big family meal on St. Patrick’s Day, you can still make these easy napkin rings with your kids for a fun

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