Heads Up Dad Celebrates Canadian Winters

HeadsUp Dad in Torontokids on rock climbing wall at outdoor adventure showWhile it is easy to think that winter is long, and cold and hard to endure year after year, it really is more of a state of mind than a set of circumstances we have to endure. When you take the time to actively engage in activities that force you to dress up and get outside and move around for extended periods of time, winter can actually be really fun. If you set your mind to it, it becomes a great opportunity to seek out and find ways and things to do that build resilience, shorten the season, and put you in great shape physically and mentally and emotionally.  This is the state of mind for Heads Up Dad, a parent’s blog told from a father’s perspective.

Inside the Outdoor Adventure Show

SpintheWheel1The blog takes readers to unexpected places, like inside the Outdoor Adventure Show which is tailor made for parents – kids find unexpected fun around every corner.  Richard writes how, “Crown & Anchor wheels here are  re-purposed into spin-the-wheel games for coupons.  This one operated by Tourism Toronto dispensed vouchers, gift certificates, and coloring books and there was almost always a crowd of youngsters in front of this rig.

Heads Up Dad shares health, finance and recipe ideas for all seasons, but its Richard’s winter fun activities that bring the most readers. For all Dads stuck at home with kids in wintertime, with no idea what they can do outside the home that doesn’t cost a fortune, Richard’s blog can help.

Richard’s Takes His Brood Horseback Riding

Recently, in a post entitled, Kids Love Riding Horses and Dads Should Too, Richard takes readers inside his children’s weekly horseback riding lessons.  He writes how children riding horses come to understand and participate in the many activities involved in caring for a horse,. grooming, hefting buckets and saddles, and cleaning stalls. This is good exercise and kids see firsthand the importance of having a good diet, regular veterinary check-ups, and good dental work. It may cause kids to consider their own health needs, and the disadvantages of choosing improper feed for their own bodies.

HeadsUp Dad child learns equitation on horseback in riding lessonsRichard communicates his beliefs on how “Horses are in our nation’s blood. Canada has wild horses and our culture is filled with equestrian myths and ceremonies, like the Sable Island Horses and the RCMP Musical Ride. These creatures are magical to our children, even more magical than they are to the rest of us. Horses make wonderful childhood companions. Children are naturally attracted to them, and that makes horses great bait for boisterous boys and girls and reason enough to spend the day outside at the stables.” The post also reminds us how the cast of Heartland on CBC perplexes young people, especially urban youth who admire the lifestyle of these rural characters.

Richard Carmichael editing heads Up Dad

Another terrific post on HeadsUp Dad deals with the rudiments of making your own backyard ice- skating rink.  This is a very good family project and very satisfying when it all works.  Richard writes about how he discovered his neighbour’s rink, “As I came through the back of Keith’s suburban bungalow, I spotted the attraction in the backyard. Behold, twelve hundred square feet of ice, six inches thick, rimmed with plywood boards!

A neighbour competes with Richard for best backyard ice rink on the street.

ice rink in residential house backyard

Richard’s own backyard skating rink continues to evolve each year, and this space shown in this post is the most ‘kid-friendly’ ice rink he’s ever made. However he claims his winter playground is entirely injury free (knock on wood).  Despite the flawless safety record, or maybe to help ensure it continues, Richard took the time to eliminate any edges that could cause more harm. The wooden perimeter rises about a foot above the ice surface, and this year the corners and top edges are smoother and all the stakes have been hammered down flush with the top of the boards. You can see Richard’s ice rink is very well used.

Heads Up Dad is a support community for engaged and active Dads. A resource pool of useful advice, tips, articles of interest and other illuminating stuff all designed to make the world a better place by empowering Dads to learn, grow and become better parents, partners and global citizens.