Virtual School Is In Session: 3 Tips For Parents

With pandemic restrictions in full effect and virtual classes becoming the new normal, you may be having difficulty keeping your child on task during the day. As there are so many distractions around the house and possibly other people working from home, it can be complicated for your child to stay engaged with their teachers while also taking full advantage of the class.

If you have multiple children, you may find it even more challenging with everyone in class simultaneously. It can be draining trying to keep an eye on everyone to make sure they are on task.

Outlined below are some tips for you and your family to make virtual school a little easier. While most schools in Ontario are currently online, these tips will help ease the coming months as everyone hopes for a return to regularity in the future.

Limit Distractions

Even though most children have smartphones these days, it doesn’t mean that they need to have access to the smartphone at all hours of the day. During school time, their phone use should be limited, as it is a significant distractor. By having your child give you their phone at the beginning of the day, you will notice they are much more likely to stay focused during school hours. You can also put parental controls on their school computer to prevent them from visiting websites online throughout their day.

Create Learning Spaces

Creating learning spaces is an ideal tactic for parents of children in virtual schools. Having a space dedicated to their school will help them differentiate between home and school life. If you have multiple children, you should make sure there are clear boundaries between their spaces, as listening to someone else’s lesson can be a distraction. If there is not enough room in your home, opt for headphones or room dividers. You can even have each of your children personalize their space as they would their desk at a school.

Start & End The Day Outside

With the transition to virtual classes, one thing missing from everyone’s life is the commute. While a commute can be arduous, it is sometimes a great way to prepare for the day mentally. Start your day outside with your kids, before their classes start, by going on a brisk walk around your neighborhood. You can do the same in the evening. Through this exercise, you can help them prep for class and wind down after a day online.

Adjusting to the new normal will not be easy, and many teachers and parents are struggling now more than ever. Learning from home presents many hurdles. There are tons of distractions from phones to other family members, and staying engaged with a talking screen all day is not an easy task. With the three tips outlined below, you can attempt to ease the school days. Hopefully, by next September, virtual classes become a thing of the past, and you can get back to your standard way of life.

 

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How To Ward Off The Winter Blues

While Ontario is home to lush landscapes with diverse plant and animal species, it is also a victim of winter’s cold and dark days. While the lead up to the winter with preparing for festivities can be joyful, and the end leading into spring is exciting, the middle months of January and February can be long and arduous. 

For many people who live in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area, winter is usually filled with long days at the ski hills and friendly banter next to blazing wood fires. However, with the pandemic in full force, people no longer have access to outlets that would usually keep them sane during these months. 

Outlined below are a few measures you can take to boost your mental health so you can forcefully take on the months ahead. 

Virtual Exercise Classes

One of the best ways to increase your mood during the winter and fend off the winter blues is through exercise. Through exercise, your body produces endorphins, which can have incredible effects on your brain. While getting exercise in the winter is difficult, especially with gyms being closed, you will have to think outside of the box. 

Following an online video exercise class can be useful. Still, the live feedback you would gain from an in-person class is usually a primary motivator for people who wouldn’t typically work out independently. However, how many fitness instructors are scheduling online, live virtual lessons. You connect your camera, and they can see and give feedback while you follow along in your living room. 

Eat Healthy Foods

You are probably eating raw fruits and veggies throughout the summer, going outside often, and breathing in the fresh air, but these behaviors tend to disappear in the winter. People often adopt unhealthy eating habits throughout the winter, eating heavily processed foods high in sugar, salt, and chemical additives. When you eat this way for a prolonged period, it can severely impact your mood. 

By subbing out processed foods with whole raw ingredients, you will notice that your mental state improves. You can look up some new recipes or speak to someone you know who eats healthily for some help. While it can take time to change up your diet, with a bit of determination, you will come to see it is well worth the effort. 

Try Supplements

If you are eating healthy but still find you are not getting all the minerals and nutrients you need, try supplements. Most people lack vitamin D during the winter, affecting mood, the immune system, and several other bodily processes. 

By adding a few vitamin D drops into your water each morning, you can combat the deficiency. There are also several other vitamins and minerals like B12 and magnesium that can help support mood. If you speak to your healthcare practitioner, they can steer you in the right direction. 

Defending yourself from the winter blues requires an adjustment. You need to carve out time during your day to prioritize mental health. By exercising, eating right, and supplementing, you will feel incredible by the time spring arrives when you can go out and enjoy your neighbourhood

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Foraging In Collingwood: 3 Edible Wild Plants You Can Find In Ontario

For many households, the pandemic has initiated an interest in culinary experimentation. People are busting out old cookbooks and looking to get creative in the kitchen. From sourdough starters to banana bread, the cooking trend has been growing, especially now that it is winter and people are spending even more time indoors. But did you ever think of using foraged ingredients in your meals?

One of the best things about living in Ontario, especially in the Collingwood Area, is the proximity to wild forests and beautiful beaches. These wild landscapes are home to a diverse network of plants that are not only beautiful to look at but edible. Foraging in Ontario has become more popular, and people are doing their research now during the winter to get ready when the vegetation starts to bud in the spring. 

If you are interested in trying your hand at Collingwood foraging, you will want to know which plants to choose. Once the warmer weather comes along, get out your wicker basket and head into the woods with your best pair of garden shears. 

Maple Blossoms

Almost every Canadian is familiar with maple syrup, but maple blossoms are not as well-known, especially when eating. Maple blossoms grow in the spring, and they are most prominent before the actual leaves begin to form. These are said to be sweet, and crunchy, and best served covered in batter and fried. You can also try and pickle them and eat them at a later time. Make sure to search for some reference photos, so you know you are picking the right ones. 

Dandelion

An unknown superfood, dandelions are very common throughout Ontario. These yellow-flowered plants are not only delicious but extremely nutritious with a hefty amount of antioxidants. When picking dandelions, make sure to do so in wild areas rather than in urban areas as there may be pesticides. You can throw the leaves in a salad, use the stems as a pasta- substitute, and add the flowers to a stir-fry.

Mulberries

Mulberry trees are prominent throughout Ontario. These large trees can yield tons of berries every spring and summer, but many do not realize they are edible. These tart delicacies are perfect for adding to a summer pie or your favorite jam recipe. They tend to look similar to a blackberry but can come in red and lighter shades as well. A reference photo will be your best friend as you hunt for these sweet treats. 

With a wildlife oasis in your backyard, you should start getting ready for the many activities you will get to explore when springtime arrives in Collingwood.

While it may be cold now, the winter will breeze by in no time. When it does, you can get ready to pick some delicious maple blossoms, some healthy dandelions, and sweet mulberries. You could even make a salad combining all three.

Make sure that you always do your research before picking edible plants. These three tend to be very distinct and safe, but many others could pose health risks. 

 

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Great Rainy Winter Day Activities For The Whole Family  

Do you know those days when it’s not cold enough to snow but not sunny enough to spend it outside? The days where the rain doesn’t stop pouring, but it’s not warm enough for you to splash around in the puddles? Well, in Canada these days happen more often than not, especially in the Collingwood Area. 

If you have recently moved into the neighborhood and looking for something to do, the list below has got you covered. When the days are lovely, you can get excited to indulge in some of the most fantastic outdoor scenery that Ontario has to offer. 

Indoor Treasure Hunt

If you have kids and live in the Collingwood area, an indoor treasure hunt is a perfect activity for a cold and rainy day. While you may want to get some fresh air still, you probably don’t want to spend too much time outside, so why not spend what little time you do outside on a cold rainy day, collecting natural treasures. 

Head outside with your outdoor gear and have your kids collect unique stones, driftwood, or other tiny treasures. You can then head inside, make some hot cocoa, and hide the objects around the house. Your kids will be excited to find their outdoor treasures inside. 

Living Room Camping

While Blue Mountain and Collingwood are prime areas for camping and enjoying the outdoors, you won’t be getting to do much outdoor adventuring when the winter is cold and rainy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring that camp atmosphere indoors. 

Bust out your old tent, get some flashlights and sleeping bags, and set up a campsite in your living room. Your kids can camp out for a night or two, or the whole family can snuggle up for a movie marathon. Once you’re enclosed in the tent, the rain pattering away at the window, it will feel like you are deep in the woods. 

Make A Rain Gauge

If you have young kids, they may be studying science and learning about the weather and atmosphere. What better way to help progress their learning while having fun than by seeing if the weather channel predictions are accurate. You can create a rain measuring device by merely attaching a ruler to a bottle or can with a flat bottom. You can then measure the rainfall over a day and see if it matches up with weather reports. You can give away prizes to whoever has the closest guess.

While rainy days are not the most enjoyable, you may have more fun than you think if you try the above activities. Once the snow starts falling, you can grab your skis and head to one of Collingwood’s gorgeous resorts. While they may be closed for a short period, they will undoubtedly be back up and running in no time. 

If you are not a skier, no need to worry. The spring and summer present just as many opportunities for enjoying the fresh air in Collingwood. With a bit of time, you will soon come to realize you are living in the best place in Ontario. 

 

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3 Ways To “Get Together” Apart This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time when you get to enjoy time with family and friends while getting a bit of a break before you dive into the new year. You often think about the year’s accomplishments and set goals for the future. However, this year is not like others. 

If you want to get together with your extended family and friends this holiday season, you will have to do it “apart.” Thankfully, the pandemic happened at a time in history when connecting with people worldwide and in your own town is easier than ever.

Outlined below are three ways that you can “get together” apart this holiday season. While the pandemic might limit how close you can get to each other, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some good conversation and laughs from afar. 

Zoom Recipe Swap

While you can have a video conference with all your extended family to catch up and hear about each other’s lives, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming with everyone trying to speak at once. Sometimes it helps to have a goal for the call rather than hope everyone is willing to chat into the computer screen. A great way to enhance these video calls is by exchanging recipes beforehand with your family members and planning to cook them on the same night. After you have eaten, or even while you are eating, you can do a conference call and talk about how the recipes went. This activity is a great way to share traditions and celebrate the holiday spirit without leaving your home. 

Neighbourhood Campfire

Many people throughout Ontario and the Collingwood area have close relationships with their neighbourhood. Many people have even bubbled up with their neighbours during the pandemic as they see them nearly every day. If you live in a neighbourhood with some of your closest friends and family members, you may be tempted to have an indoor get-together, but unfortunately, that can’t happen. Instead, bundle up and get together with our neighbourhood at an outdoor campfire. You can visit some of the Collingwood hotspots or meet in someone’s backyard. 

Decorating a wild tree can be a fun socially-distanced activity.

Wild Tree Decorating

The wonderful thing about living in the Collingwood area is that most neighborhoods are in proximity to densely wooded areas with wildlife and beautiful pine trees. Go to a local wooded area and spend some time decorating a wild pine tree in some of your favorite decorations. You can bring a portable speaker and a thermos of hot chocolate. Together you will be able to enjoy the holiday spirit while keeping your distance and staying outside.

Even though the holidays are looking a little different this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t still try and make it as festive as possible. By doing a video conference recipe exchange, a neighborhood fire, or decorating a wild pine tree, you can get a taste of a regular holiday season without putting yourself at risk.  

 

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Preparing For A COVID-19 Collingwood Ski Season

With an unprecedented year coming to a close and some cold and unpredictable months ahead, more people are thinking about how to get their daily recreation and leisure in during the winter. Skiing, the perfect combination of exercise and recreation, has long been a winter pastime for many Canadians throughout the country (primarily on the West Coast, in Quebec and Ontario.) 

Collingwood, one of Ontario’s most coveted ski destinations and the home of some established mountain resorts and private clubs, is witnessing a changing tide that could change not just the face of the mountains, but skiing accessibility in general. As more mountains prepare for a busy winter and try to navigate COVID-19 protocols without going under, skiers try to comprehend how they should approach the snowy season. 

If you are a skier and wondering what you can do to stay safe while also skiing regularly, you will need some advice. Whether you plan on moving to the area or are a long time visitor, these tips will help you feel more confident about the months ahead. 

Contact Hills Individually

A big mistake you might make this ski season is assuming the rules are the same at each ski hill. While past winters were as easy as driving up to a resort, unloading your gear, and hitting the lift, things are different now, much different. As most hills will be swamped trying to invoke a new system for booking and renting, you need to ensure you have the correct details before jumping in the car. 

If you are already living in the Blue Mountains area, currently looking for homes, or coming in from the city, knowing how each hill is approaching the season will help you prepare. You can find out what their scheduling system is like, what their COVID protocols are, and other information that will better inform your excursion. 

Avoid Renting

For tourists and people looking to try skiing for the first time, renting equipment is useful, especially if you realize you never want to do it again. However, if you tend to ski every year, even if only once or twice, but have never bought yourself gear, this is the year you should. Renting requirements could make your ski excursion more complicated, increasing wait times or costing you more money than usual. 

If you invest in some good skis or borrow from a friend, you will be better prepared for the Collingwood ski season. As you might also have to ski somewhere further from home or at a hill you’ve never visited, having your own equipment will ensure you actually ski and aren’t just waiting for your friends and family to finish.

Stay Updated

If there was ever a time to listen to the news, it’s now. With COVID-19 protocols in constant flux and more news regarding the months ahead being released every second, you should be staying up to date. Keeping informed about the issues and the state of various winter activities like skiing in the Collingwood area will ensure you don’t miss any critical information. 

Preparation will be necessary if you want to ski this winter in the Collingwood area. If you contact the various hills and find out their protocols, avoid renting and stay informed, you will plan your trip more effectively. While the upcoming months may be different than others, if there’s anything Canadians handle best, it’s the unpredictability of winter.

 

 

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A Brief History of Collingwood

Collingwood, Ontario is a beautiful town in Simcoe County. Just a two-hour drive from Toronto, Collingwood is a welcoming community, boasting an interesting and historically significant past. Located along Nottawasaga and Georgian Bay, Collingwood’s unique location means its been inhabited for centuries, first by the Iroquois and later becoming the first municipality in Canada to have a Heritage Conservation District included on the prestigious list of Canada’s Historic Places.

A truly unique town for its warmth, hospitality, and rich history, today Collingwood is a vibrant town attracting thousands of visitors each year. Read more to learn about Collingwood’s incredible history and why this town should be on everybody’s bucket list!

 

The First People

Surrounded by waterways used by the First Nations to travel across Canada, Collingwood’s central location made it an ideal settling ground for the Iroquois. Building a number of villages all around the Niagara Escarpment, whose natural resources later attracted European settlers, the Iroquois inhabited what is now known as Collingwood until the 18th century.

As European settlers began to arrive and the settlement grew, Collingwood went by a number of names, including Hurontario, Nottawa, and even Hens-and-Chickens Harbour as a reference to the small islands in the bay. Eventually incorporated as a town in 1858, Collingwood was named for Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, the man who had been Lord Nelson’s second in command during the Battle of Trafalgar and who succeeded Lord Nelson in commanding the British navy after his death.

 

A Growing Economy

By the early 1900s, Collingwood’s harbour was booming and became the shipment point for goods travelling to the upper Great Lakes, Chicago and Fort William (now known as Thunder Bay). Consequently, for much of the 20th century, Collingwood’s economy boomed as shipbuilding businesses appeared to service the ships coming in and out of the harbour. During the Second World War, Collingwood’s shipyards were used to build warships for the Royal Canadian Navy and at one time employed as much as 10% of its workforce.

However, steep competition in shipbuilding made the industry unsustainable and by the late 80s, much of Collingwood was employed by manufacturing firms, many of which still remain today.

 

Modern Day

Well known for its stunning vistas and proximity to Blue Mountain, a popular skiing destination, today Collingwood boasts a robust tourism industry that attracts visitors year round. Full of incredible heritage properties that remain carefully cared for by residents, Collingwood’s rich history and commitment to its conservation is truly something to behold. From skiing in the winter to its Scenic Caves, upscale spas and Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (now a designated biosphere reserve), there’s no shortage of exciting activities in the region.

Well known for its stunning vistas and proximity to Blue Mountain, a popular skiing destination, today Collingwood boasts a robust tourism industry that attracts visitors year round. Full of incredible heritage properties that remain carefully cared for by residents, Collingwood’s rich history and commitment to its conservation is truly something to behold. From skiing in the winter to its Scenic Caves, upscale spas and Wasaga Beach Provincial Park (now a designated biosphere reserve), there’s no shortage of exciting activities in the region.

 

 

Whether you’re seeking a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life, or looking for a place to stay while you’re in town, Collingwood is an attractive destination for families, friends, and couples. A truly quaint town that has managed to preserve its vibrant character for future generations, it’s no surprise that interest in Collingwood continues to grow!

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The Best Trails in Collingwood, ON

Collingwood is famous for its outdoor activities. With Blue Mountain and Georgian Bay on either side, there is an endless list of recreational sports to fill your time. But what if you aren’t into sports? What if you prefer a nice leisurely walk or light hike? Here is a list of the best trails in the area.

 

Pretty River Provincial Park

Part of the Escarpment and located 6 km southeast of Collingwood, Pretty River Provincial parks is a nature lover’s paradise. There no facilities and no camping permitted, so there is nothing but nature. The 6 kilometers of trails are on some of the highest points of the escarpment. Visitors can enjoy fishing, hiking and skiing. The area has a variety of terrains and users should be aware that some locations in the park are for more advanced hikers.

 

Harbourview Park Loop in Collingwood

Harbourview Park is perfect for a leisurely afternoon walk for the whole family. Starting on Birch Street, the trail goes all the way to Georgian Bay. Visitors can expect to walk or cycle about 1.3 km from start to finish. The trail is well maintained and has a great mix of trees, greenery, and flowers.

 

 

Kolapore Uplands Trail

Part of the Bruce Trail Network, the Kolapore Uplands Trail is quite long. Beginners should expect a challenge and bring a map. The trail itself is about 9 km, but in the winter it turns into about 50 km of cross country skiing trails. The trails are clearly marked and their difficulty is marked on the trail as well.

 

Western Circle Route

For the seasoned and ambitious hiker, this is a system of 6 trails that tour throughout the Collingwood area. During a hike, users can stop in at a number the local resorts as they will pass many. The total circle can take about 2.5 hours so visitors should be prepared. A map is also suggested.

 

Blueberry Plains

Described as an easy to moderate hiking trail, the trail is located on some very unique sand dunes. The dunes have been marked as a nature reserve. The area and vegetation are very fragile so families should be aware of that when walking.

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3 Tips For Staying Healthy in Collingwood, ON This Spring

After enduring a long, chilly winter, many people like to visit Collingwood, ON because the fun activities to partake in this waterfront town are countless. From fishing on Georgian Bay to hiking through the trails, spring is the perfect season to experience this incredible place.

 

However, many people often forget that it is easy to get sick during this time of year as the temperature is still relatively cold and germs are more easily spread. Anyone who wants to have a happy and healthy spring break should heed these helpful hints.

 

Tip #1 – Get Sweaty

 

Feel a cold or flu coming on? The best way to get better is to sweat it off. Exercising makes people sweat and, as the human body perspires, it can release toxins that are trapped in the body.

 

Not a huge fan of going to the gym or playing sports? Try going to a sauna or taking a hot bath. This will help the body release toxins without having to move a muscle.

Tip #2 – Take Lots of Vitamins

 

Many people in Collingwood, ON will take vitamins to stay healthy in the spring. These vitamins can help a person obtain nutrients that they can’t get from their diet. As an example, someone who is lactose intolerant may want to take calcium vitamins. Additionally, people who want to avoid getting sick should try ingesting vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc.

 

Tip #3 – Keep Things Clean and Germ-Free

 

During the winter, people are constantly spreading germs in their homes, at work, and everywhere else. Those who come in contact with these germs can become ill. At the first sign of spring, residents need to wipe down all of their belongings, especially the items they use on a daily basis. By doing this, people will be able to use these items without having to worry about getting sick.

 

Nothing is better than taking a trip to Collingwood, ON in the spring. There is so much to do and see that it is impossible to pack everything into one visit. However, anyone that wants to have fun in the spring needs to be healthy. Anyone who wants to stay healthy this season needs to get regular exercise, take lots of vitamins and keep things as germ-free as possible.

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4 Reasons to Visit Collingwood, ON in the Spring

The first day of spring isn’t far away. Because of this, many residents in Collingwood, ON are getting excited to take part in a plethora of fun activities. Collingwood, ON is filled with fun attractions all year-round, however, it is extra festive and eventful in the spring. Anyone who is looking for a fun weekend getaway this spring needs to consider taking a drive up to Collingwood, ON!

Reason To Visit In The Spring #1 – Absolutely Beautiful Weather

 

It is hard to find a town that is more picturesque than Collingwood, ON, especially in the spring. As soon as the snow melts, the town begins to come to life. Animals wake up from hibernation and the plants begin to grow. It is a gorgeous site that is truly breathtaking.

 

Reason To Visit In The Spring  #2 – Tons of Great Fishing Opportunities

During the winter, Collingwood, ON is an ice fishing hotspot. Additionally, in the spring, recreational fishers fill the shores of Georgian Bay and other nearby bodies of water. Georgian Bay is home to numerous types of fish, including small and largemouth bass. The nearby Lake Huron also has an outstanding selection of fish. Fishers that are willing to make the drive will find a number of great fishing spots all over the BruceGreySimcoe area.

Reason To Visit In The Spring  #3 – Picturesque Parks

 

What’s better than spending a spring afternoon in a beautiful park? The town of Collingwood, ON is filled with beautiful nature parks. These parks are the perfect places to get some quality family time. For couples, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to enjoy a romantic picnic in one of these parks!

 

Reason To Visit In The Spring  #4 – Lots of Great Events

 

Regardless of the month, there are always enjoyable activities to take part in Collingwood. However, it is especially fun during the spring months as there is a more diverse selection of events to participate in.  Anyone who is thinking about making a trip up to Collingwood, ON needs to take a quick look online to learn about these fantastic events.

 

There is so much to do and see in Collingwood, ON, especially in the spring. Anyone who wants to get the true Collingwood, ON experience, needs to visit during the stupendous season. With the abundance of fishing opportunities and loads of amazing events, it’s easy to find a reason to visit Collingwood, ON in the spring.

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