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Blog

Nutcracker Parade

The nutcracker tradition probably originates with the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, written by German author E.T.A. Hoffman. This story was adapted for ballet by Alexandre Dumas and the music was created by the famous composer Tchaikovsky. Since The Nutcracker story takes place during Christmas, it’s easy to see how the elaborately carved …

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Camper’s Christmas

For most people, Christmas weather is too cold for camping in Canada. So why not create the magic of Christmas in July? In fact, that is a tradition in many campgrounds across Quebec. This year, a group of campers, inspired by my book How to make a Giant Nutcracker, created not just one but four …

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A surprisingly smart video game

I am not a big fan of video games. I think children these days spend too much time in front of a screen rather than interacting with real-world objects. I am convinced that kids learn a lot more about geometry and spatial relationships by doing crafts that make them cut out shapes from cardboard, paint …

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Saint Patrick: Fake bishop or real saint?

Saint Patrick is one of Ireland’s three patron saints, because he was the one who introduced the Christian religion to that island in the 5th century. Among the miracles he is given credit for is the fact that by the force of his prayers, he would have banished all snakes from Ireland. But should we …

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Organizing Animaplates’ new studio

Last November, the Animaplates team (my husband and I with our two cats) moved into a new home. I promised you, at that time, that I would share pictures of my new studio. After having organized the rest of the house (and celebrated Christmas and New Year), I finally have time to start organizing my …

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What does the Chinese Horoscope say about the Pig?

Happy Year of the Pig! I am the twelfth and last sign of the Chinese Zodiac, because I arrived last when they were deciding on the order. It wasn’t my fault: I was sleeping and I didn’t hear the alarm clock. But if you’re born under my sign, that doesn’t mean you are lazy! You …

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Children’s game review: Castle Logix (ages 3-8)

The game “Castle Logix” by SmartGames is a beautiful wooden 3-D puzzle game that stimulates concentration and spatial intelligence as part of a fun and challenging activity. The game consists of 4 wooden blocks with holes and 3 towers of different heights topped by a blue roof. The goal of the game is to build …

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Mosaiculture 2018

Last year, Beaverly introduced you to Mosaïculture 2017. This exhibition was organized as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary. This year, it’s my turn to present this wonderful exhibition. Mosaïculture is a horticultural art exhibition held in Gatineau, right next to the city of Ottawa. This year’s theme was “A magnificent journey.” Mosaïculture features 45 works …

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Board game review: Little Red Riding Hood (ages 4-7)

The game “Little Red Riding Hood” by SmartGames is a puzzle game and a fun way to help children improve their concentration and problem resolution skills. It is a beautiful game that is built to last a long time. The game consists of a plastic base, 5 tiles each with a path segment with colourful …

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Chinese lanterns in Montreal

For over 20 years, the Chinese Garden within the Montreal Botanical Garden is lit up every fall by all kinds of Chinese lanterns. Each lantern that can be seen at the Botanical Garden was designed and drawn in Montreal. Then, the specifications of the lanterns are sent to Shanghai where they will be manufactured. When …

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Preschool board game review: Day & Night by SmartGames

“Day and Night” by SmartGames is a game that will help young children develop their eye-hand coordination and their spatial reasoning. This game consists of a base with 3 posts and 10 brightly coloured wooden blocks of different shapes. The game comes with an easel booklet containing 24 coloured cards with pictures that must be …

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