Tag Archive for: Youth

Nicola Valley Parks and Playgrounds for Families 

Hiking, biking, horseback riding, mountain biking trails in Merritt

Parks in Merritt BC Canada – One of the most important things we look for when relocating to a different community in Canada besides a house, retail, safety,  are family parks. Merritt B.C. has much to offer when it comes to out-door enthusiasts. Moreover if you are thinking of moving to Merritt B.C. rest assured our community holds a certain standard to providing a wide variety of parks for all ages. Furthermore one can walk a short distance to most parks.  Truly there is a lot to experience in the Nicola Valley when considering play time in the outdoors in Merritt B.C. Canada. 

Parks in Merritt BC Canada with Experience Nicola Valley blogger Tania Stewart

Path through Rotary Park. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Rotary Bike Park – Parks in Merritt BC Canada

The Rotary Bike Park is one of the most visited parks in Merritt B.C. Canada for mountain biking.  The community park has a bike park, skate board park, playground park, also includes a walking trail. Rotary Bike Park was originally built in 2006 while receiving upgrades in 2018. Therefore with the introduction of this bike park, the sport of mountain biking in Merritt BC got a boost.  

Rotary Bike Park

Rotary Bike Park and Skateboard Park in Merritt BC Canada

“Ride As Much Or As Little Or As Long Or As Short As You Feel, But Ride!” – Eddy Merckx

Mountain Biking Parks in Merritt B.C.

Place to meet friends. Bike Park. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Mountain biking in the Nicola Valley BC

Adrenalin jumpstart! Photo Credit Tania Stewart.

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Watch me, I will get this jump! Photo Credit Tania Stewart.

Merritt Skate Board Park

Adjacent to the bike park is a well maintained skate board park. It is for all ages, being safe, and has a community friendliness about the park. Personally I have brought my son there since he was 7yrs old. What made me love our community even more were the older kids who were always on hand to teach new tricks or help dust my son off when he bit it. Social interaction is so important for children’s development and self-confidence.  

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Helmet is key! Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Moving to Merritt B.C.

Skate Boarding for all ages. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

“Children will learn coordination, movement control and confidence at the skateboard park” Tania Stewart.

Merritt Skateboard Park

Learning the ropes at the Merritt Skateboard Park. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Children’s Playground Park

Within this area is a playground park. It was built as part of a community and not affiliated with a school at all. The equipment is soft padded to help prevent injuries. There is a slide, swing, merry go round and more.  See… lots of activity and playground parks in Merritt BC Canada. And we are just getting started. 

Merritt bc playground park

Surrounded by “Nature!” Photo credit Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley Parks

Playground fun. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Valley Kitchen 

Hungry? We have that covered too. Located beside the Rotary Bike Park you can feed your hunger with a great burger at Valley Kitchen. With a kid’s menu as well as drinks, ice-cream, coffee, and one of the best burgers I have ever had. One of my blogger cohorts had an opportunity to sit down and have a chat with these young entrepreneurs. Below is the short interview.  

“Playing promotes social interaction without biases while developing imagination.”  Tania Stewart

Parks in Merritt BC Canada Have Health Benefits

Albeit exercise is key for our children! Therefore, it is safe to say, being exposed to sunlight and fresh air provides a healthy dose of the “sunshine vitamin D” when playing in our parks in Merritt BC Canada.  Who would’ve of thought that swings can help provide children with physical development. Some of the skills research shows swings have include grasping, balance, landing, pushing, while getting into a rhythm of the swing. Moreover the memories that are gained at the playground are priceless as there is no limit to a child’s imagination. Moreover this is one of the few places a child has control of play with little adult interference. 

Playground in Merritt bc

Bench School Playground. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicola Valley park and playground

Super slides. Photo credit: Tania Stewart.

Merritt Bench Elementary School

Located at Bench Elementary School are 2 playgrounds. One for younger aged children interested in playing hop-scotch, , and a second one for intermediate aged ones interested in playing basketball hoops within a forest setting.  Although I do believe there is no age requirement to take part in the adventure and fun enjoyed on playgrounds. 

Bench Elementary School

Bench Elementary School. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Child Development Is Supported by Parks and Playgrounds

Moreover playgrounds and parks can help stimulate our child’s cognitive development while helping with problem solving skills. Going across the monkey bars truly takes thought, with space, distance with a lot of bravery. Making it across that first time gave me the confidence to tackle everything at the playground. 

 

Merritt school playgrounds.

Playground team ship. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Smith Pioneer Park  Lower Nicola

Parks in Merritt BC Canada includes Smith Pioneer Park, which is really a Thompson-Nicola Regional District community park, located in the heart of Lower Nicola.  Let me assure you that this is an amazing recreational park for all.  Firstly, the equipment will surely  keep them interested and invigorated for hours.  Secondly, adjacent to the park is a arena for horse lovers who may want to train in a safe arena.

Horse riding arena next to parks in Merritt BC

Horse riding arena. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Playground Amenities

Many of our parks in Merritt B.C. offer a person a chance to cool down or have a family picnic while enjoying the beautiful scenery.  Moreover, many recreation areas are suited for parents who would like sit in the shade, relax while your children play. All is good when one knows their children are having fun, exercising while being where they should be “outside.” Truly because of the many benefits children gain playing outside only makes the need for playgrounds that more important when looking to relocate. The  “Annual Garlic Festival” is hosted in Smith Pioneer Park in late September. 

Thinking of moving to Merritt B.C.

Playtime is paramount for a child’s imagination. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Lower Nicola Park.

Picnic in shade. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Lower Nicola Merritt B.C.

Adventure time! Photo by Tania Stewart.

“Defending castles and slaying dragons were my playground adventures.” Tania Stewart.

Moving to Nicola Valley.

Arena for horse riders. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Fun for hours. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Rotary Water Park

So when all is said and done. A great way to cool down in those hot summer days is Merritt’s only water spray park, Rotary Park.  Located within walking distance from downtown is our only water park. Truly a place for children to cool down while parents can rest assure that this is a safe child zone. Furthermore, this park has been visited by the Easter Bunny, with an annual egg hunt, host to “Aboriginal Day”, “Canada Day Festivities” as well as “Music in the Park”. Along with having an amazing bandshell for live entertainment this park gives a unique venue for a family park.  

Merritt bc spray park - water park playground

With a children’s playground there is a small rose garden dedicated to Princess Diana.

Rotary Park Playground

Adjacent to the water park is a playground full of adventure for every age. Proving slides, swings, jungle time apparatus and more. Safely built with a child’s imagination in mind. Providing tons of fun with a short hop to the water park to cool off. 

Rotary Park. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC slides and swings

Fun n play. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC

Also beside the Rotary Park flows the Nicola River.  With safety and adult supervision a world of nature can be explored. Spotting some ducks, tadpoles, occasional frogs, chipmunk or a beaver swimming by is not unusual. More than often my son and I have come across a sleeping deer. What could be better than this, nature at your fingertips.

chipmunk in merritt bc - wildlife sighting

Spot a chipmunk. Photo by Tania Stewart.

wildlife sighting and self guided tour in merritt bc

Spot a sleeping deer. Pic by Tania Stewart.

 

Catching frogs. Photo by Tania Stewart.

In Conclusion

Knowing that one of the most important things we look for when relocating to a new community are family parks and child playgrounds.  The Nicola Valley  offers everything from a water park to skate boarders, bike park, and countless playgrounds. Ideal for all out-door enthusiasts.    With a wide range of different parks that provide unique experiences in the community of Merritt enables families to enjoy the outdoors.  

Parks in Merritt BC sunsets

Merritt B.C. sunset. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Parks in Merritt BC Canada

Moving to Merritt BC for Parks 

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Halloween in Merritt BC

Trick-or-Treating in The Nicola Valley

 

Celebrating Halloween Oct 31 in Merritt BC

Halloween in Merritt BC – Halloween is celebrated annually on October 31. While being one of the world’s oldest holidays. The community of Merritt additionally recognizes Halloween as one of the most important nights of the year for children including  many adults.  Although it’s derived from ancient festivals and religious rituals,  Halloween is still widely celebrated today in a number of countries around the globe. In countries such as Ireland, Canada and the United States. Celebrating “Halloween” in Merritt is a memorable experience. 

Halloween Merritt BC

Scary little people! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC Halloween

Zombie Night! Photo Tania Stewart.

Ghoul Night is Halloween in Merritt BC

Growing up in Merritt B.C., truly was a child’s dream. To say nothing of the excitement with dressing up in costumes spending the night “Trick-Or-Treating”. Moreover ending the night with a bonfire while watching the fireworks is a great finish to a scary night.  After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends.  Furthermore many downtown businesses have treat’s for all the Goblins. What a great way to Experience Nicola Valley

Trick-or-Treat Merritt

Faceless ghouls! Photo by Tania Stewart

Merritt Halloween night

Is that you Batman? Photo by Tania Stewart

Hallows Night

Halloween is celebrated every year on the evening of October 31st. Together being a Celtic historical festival which also marked the division between the time of year when days are longer than nights and when nights are longer than days. Correspondingly believed to be the day when the border between the world of the dead and the world of the living narrows.  Interesting to note is the date of Halloween is almost in the middle of the time interval between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. 

Halloween Merritt B.C.

Scary things will knock at your door!

Take all the candy! Photo by Tania Stewart

Halloween Origin

Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. Over the centuries, Halloween transitioned from a pagan ritual to a day of parties, costumes, jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating for kids and adults.  In addition to dressing up as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, children may perform antics in exchange for food and drink. 

Fun times in Merritt B.C

Carving time! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Get your Pumpkin and carve away. Even if you have to hire a Vampire with sharp teeth.

Vampires bring teeth! Picture by Tania Stewart.

Moreover “Spiders” and “Crows” are always welcome on Halloween night in Merritt B.C.

Nicola Valley Halloween

Spiders are always welcome! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Night for the crows. Halloween Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Folklore 

In Ireland and Great Britain, the first jack-o’-lanterns were turnips or  beets.  Carved with demonic faces that are lit inside by a candle.  Then placed in a window or on the doorstep to scare Stingy Jack and other evil spirits. Irish and Scottish immigrants brought the custom to Canada and the United States. Adapting the jack-lantern to a North American native  vegetable,  the pumpkin. 

Friendly Ghoul. Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Such fun! Photo Credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Party Games in the Nicola Valley

At the parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as the “treasure.” Or try out “Halloween Snack Board” with Jennifer Schell. Children are also known to play tricks on their neighbors, such as “knock-a-dolly,” a prank in which children knock on the doors of their neighbors, but run away before the door is opened. Sounds very familiar. A little warning to all goblins, witches’, ghouls, and monsters. You may never know when a hand or zombie may pop out of a dark corner or behind a tree .

Halloween costumes

Halloween is truly for the young! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween in Merritt B.C

Pumpkin carving competition has been won! Photo credit Tania Stewart

Halloween Safety

Firstly remain safe. Pair up with friends, and younger children with parents or guardians. Secondly stick to one side of the street, not running across the street to other houses. Thirdly, carry a flashlight or go out before it gets dark. Fourth, try to stick to areas you are familiar with. Wear appropriate clothing. Importantly let your parents check your candy haul. Just get out and “Trick-or-Treat.” when enjoying Halloween in Merritt BC Canada.

In Conclusion

Moreover just enjoy Halloween Night in Merritt BC or wherever you live. A little warning to all goblins, witches’, ghouls, and monsters.  It is the one night we can all dress up and be whatever we want with a lot of imagination and creation. I may just dress up as a spider this year. Boo!

Halloween in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Trick-or-Treating

 

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

A tasty way to enjoy Halloween Treats!

You are going to feel like the ghostess with the mostest when you try this Halloween Snack Board.

This Halloween snack board is just the thing you need to try. Snack boards are so multi-purpose. I do them for lunches and I do them for birthdays. This board was created last year when Covid hit and we were all in lock down. It was such a somber season for for the entire Nicola Valley and the world.  As a result I decided we would have our own little party.

Halloween Snack Board and Treats in Merritt BC

Halloween Puns Are So Corny. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Snack Boards are Spooktacular Treats!

 I had never made one for Halloween and wanted to boost the kids spirits. We assembled this easy enough and I am sure you could definitely simplify it by only picking a few elements to recreate. Furthermore, I wanted the kids to be quite hands on with this and have a great experience. Based on the snack board we created as a family for Valentine’s Day, I had some ideas on what I wanted to do. 

Hot Dog Dinner for Halloween

Lets Give Them Pumpkin To Talk About! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Spooky Season is upon us 

Getting spooky like this is easy with a quick trip to Walmart. They always have such a great assortment of cookies and cupcakes seasonally. So putting something like this Halloween snack board can be as easy as 1,2,3! You can make your board a mixture of sweet or savory, like I chose to.  Or you can choose to keep it completely on the sweet side with gummy candy, cookies, and candy bars.  This Halloween snack board has some homemade items and some bought items. Don’t burn yourself out. Let your creative juices flow. Lastly and most importantly have fun and take a lot of photos of your creative eating masterpiece like we did. !

Treats for Halloween Snacking Board

We’re Here For A Gourd Time! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Mummy Dog How To! 

Interested in making your own mummy hot dogs? They come together easily enough. And can make your own Halloween snack board totally stand out. All you need are your favorite hot dogs. Then some canned crescent roll pastry.  You then simply place the crescent roll pastry on to your cutting board. Cut into strips and then wrap them around your hot dog. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 mins or so at 350 degrees. You can then use mustard to make eyes. Lastly theses were so fun for all of my kids to make. So easy and very tasty! 

Baking and making Halloween treats

Let the Halloween Treats begin. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Mummy Hotdogs

You Will Win The Award Of “Mummy Of The Year” With These Guys! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Looks So Beautiful and Yummy

Healthy Snacks for Halloween

Cavities Beware. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell

Hocus pocus its no joke, candy helps me to focus. Lets zero in on some of these spooky treats. For this Halloween snack board we first have an easy addition with red pepper hummus.  Add in some pumpkin type lines and the top of a cucumber and you have an adorable pumpkin. Can you find the black olive spiders? They came together quick and easy. Just slice open 1 black olive lay it flat and with the opposite side make the legs. The peeled oranges and if you take a closer look you will also spy pumpkin deviled eggs. We used some turmeric and mustard to get a more orange hue. Crackers, gummy worms, tiny spooky cupcakes all round this tray out. Lastly make this your own and let your creativity flow. 

 

Healthy Halloween Treats

Life Is Gourd Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Have an eek-tastic Halloween

“Fa-boo-lous!

You are going to feel like the ghostess with the mostest when you try this Halloween Snack Board. I promise you it comes together easy enough. There is so much inspiration online. As a busy mom of 8, I can say that we all had so much fun. I had little ones making spiders, snacking and laughing. All gathered around my table.. This was honestly one of our biggest highlights from lockdown, and I’m so thankful I get to be in a space that lets me share our families experiences Being able to share our stories with. Experience Nicola Valley fills my heart with gratitude. In conclusion from my family to you, we wish you a happy and safe fall season. 

Family halloween treats and sweets

#Squadghouls. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

And finally, just a teaser, for the next big holiday after Thanksgiving here is a sneak peek into our  Christmas themed snack board. 

Halloween Snack Board in the Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Camping  Treats for All Seasons

Smores is delicious snack for any time of the year in British Columbia 

Easy Smores Dip –  Summer treats when in Canada brings on so many amazing experiences. A huge part of summer in British Columbia is R&R, and a big part of that relaxing could be sitting around a campfire enjoying smores. Our beautiful  province is blanketed in lush mountains and heavily forested areas, and not many things comes close to the joys of sitting around a campfire, enjoying family and friends under the stars, snacking on smores.  It just might be the unofficial food of camping for kids. 

Easy Smore Dip - Campfire treat

Snacking Board Pretty – Betty Crocker Easy

Easy Smores Dip Helps With Fire Safety

However, smores is not just a campfire treat, no…  you can have smores anywhere and anytime. And if you live anywhere where campfire bans are usually in effect, and for good reason, there are alternatives. This summer was one to remember for so many people who were displaced during evacuations. For this reason we even had the children’s Great Grampa stay with us during the Logan Lake fires. 

Graham Wafer, Marshmallow, Chocolate

Smores Deconstructed

Crackling Fires And Warm Summer Nights 

So how do you enjoy this tasty seasonal delight? Pop it in the over of course! As a result you can now enjoy it for all 12 months of the year. Easy Smore dip satisfies that deep craving crackling fires and warm summer nights. Smores are decidedly  a flavor of a Canadian summer that can make a place for so many happy memories. It’s so easy and a great dip to have kids help in the kitchen with. With a little supervision kids can easily make this easy smores dip quickly and safety of home. This dip goes from prep to table in 20 mins or less.

Still Sticky, But With The Comforts Of Home

Smores Can Be Quite Sticky If You Aren’t Prepared

Easy smores dip is almost a cheater meal. First off if  you are new to the world of smores let me give you an idea of what these are to you. Smores are a gooey fire roasted marshmallow and chocolate square smooshed together between a cookie or graham wafer cracker. The method is usually quite simple. But can be a very exciting food item to make, especially if you have any child under the age of 4 around the campfire awaiting a delightfully sticky snack. To make this treat in theory so simple yet super tricky.

 

Easy smores dip ingredients and tips and tricks.

Directions

Lightly grease whatever sized pan of your choice. I used my tiny cast iron for a more camp like theme.

Coarse chop roughly 3 cups of chocolate. We ended used a giant frozen Toblerone we had saved since Christmas. 
Then you can lay the marshmallows on top. Enough to cover the pan.

Ingredients for Smores

Easy Smores Dip Baking Instructions

Oven temp – 400
Place in oven for 5-7 mins. Watching the marshmallows closely
While that’s baking assembly is a breeze for this easy smores dip. Simply place graham crackers on a board or tray. In addition you can dip and dunk cookies, pretzels, or fresh fruit. Be cautious if you are dipping straight from the pan. It holds the heat and can burn. Parental supervision is a great idea.

 

In Conclusion 

I would personally like to thank everyone involved in our summer and the fire efforts made here in our beloved province. Thank you to everyone doing your part and helping us all grow in being fire smart. Our hearts go out to those that have lost so much and to those brave men and women working tirelessly to help keep us all safe. Additionally making small tweaks as we practice fire safety  doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy experiences. Easy smores dip certainly makes #nocampfirenoproblem! Exploring the great outdoors and making plans is easy when you follow the Experience Nicola Valley Crew! As always if you recreate this recipe give us a tag. The family and I would love to see your creations and connect.

Willing Taste Testers

Easy Smores Dip – Camping Treats in BC Canada

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Festive White Hot Chocolate – Merry Xmas

Festive white hot chocolate is a decadent twist on a winter warmer you may not have tried yet 

With a few simple ingredients, this creamy indulgent treat takes your winter holiday experience to a delectable new level

Who doesn’t love sipping on festive white hot chocolate, something warm and creamy, after being outside? Especially with out chilly winters here in Canada. I think everyone has a staple that they reach for when they come in from the cold. For some it may be a warm coffee or tea. However, you can rest assure, in my home, we are usually sipping on hot chocolate or apple cider after a romp in the snow. Why not make a fun twist on a childhood classic and give this one a try today. 

White Chocolate In The Great White North

Warming up after being outdoors is nothing new to us Canadians.  But have you ever considered trying white chocolate? Do you like it? Have you ever even tried it? White chocolate is not technically chocolate so its a great caffeine free option if you were not aware of that.

What I do know is that the kids will sleep good that night, after you have tuckered them out from being in the snow. Lastly, white chocolate is creamy and sweet, a less bitter option of its dark and delicious cousin. 

White Hot Chocolate Recipe & Method

6 oz of White Bakers Chocolate Squares

395 grams of White Chocolate Chips

4 Cups of Water

3 cups of Powdered Milk

Pinch of Salt

2 tsp of Vanilla Extract

1 Cup of Half n Half 

Extra Toppings for Hot Chocolate: 

Festive Sprinkles, Marshmallows, Whipped Cream, Toasted Coconut, Oreo chunks or more white chocolate chips.

Method:

Add all the ingredients ( except the extra add ins ) to a pot. We are going to slowly stir and warm everything up together. Whisking or stirring frequently, we want everything smooth and melted together for maximum flavor.

Keeping an eye on the heat we do not want to bring this to a boil. Serve warm with your marshmallows and maybe some extra chocolate chips. Or with a generous serving of whipped cream and sprinkles. In addition I think Oreo chunks would also look and taste amazing!

Do You Like It Honey?

Famous last words right? I turned to my husband Kyle and asked him if he would like some of our festive hot cocoa. To which he replied “Sure!” I gave him a steaming mug of the liquid sweet syrupy goodness and he drank it silently and walked off. Curious my treat drink was a flop to him, I followed him and asked him that fateful question “Do you like it honey?” to which he replied that it was “OK”.

OK?! Shocked and thinking that my drink for the blog was quickly tuning into a flop… I mustered up the courage to ask him, “Would it taste better added to half coffee?” To which Kyle quickly smiled and said “oh you bet!” I think adults may or may not appreciate adding this to half coffee creating a while hot chocolate mocha. 

 Winter Experiences With Experience Nicola Valley

Winter in Logan Lake and the Nicola Valley is honestly boastful. We enjoy many indoor and outdoor fall/winter activities. To learn what to do and who is who please follow the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers. It is always a good idea. They work hard to find activities and experiences that you and others will enjoy all year round. If you are looking for inspiration as to what to do before you enjoy a mug of this festive white hot cocoa, check out this link here

 

Rest assured in my home we are usually sipping on something warm after a romp in the snow. Why not make a fun twist on a childhood classic and give white hot chocolate a try today. 

Hot Chocolate in Logan Lake BC

Nicola Valley Bloggers

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group. Contact us for more information on this program at media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com.

 

School Snack Ideas and Recipes

My Best 5 School Snack Ideas!  

Being a mama of 7,  our house runs on snacks. I  hope you enjoy my 5 back to school snack ideas! Nutritious and delicious. 

 So this week I decided to share with you our school snack ideas! Consequently it is back to school season. Therefore it is a great time to share school snack ideas that my family comes back to again and again. I think these snacking suggestions would be great for anyone, home schooled or public schooled. Assuredly these are some great options if you are hungry and need something to tie you over until your next meal.

Plant Based School Snack Ideas

I love using plant based treats for snack time. These snacks come loaded with healthy grains,  nuts and seeds. Add  in healthy fats like coconut oil or delicious nut butters and you have a sticky and satisfying snack time. In conclusion I feel these plant based snacks have all  the makings for the perfect school snack. 

school snack ideas in Merritt

School Snack Idea #1 Chocolate Hummus

Hummus is a great one to lead with for school snack ideas. A different spin on a good classic staple. Hummus is great any time of the year. I love keeping a batch fresh and ready to spread on tortillas or rice cakes. That is where chocolate hummus comes into play. Decadent and dark, enjoyed with fresh fruit or pretzels this is a crowd pleaser. In addition to dates being a sneaky health building sidekick, binder and tasty thickener – they are high in fiber and may promote brain health. Which makes them a easy go-to for an after school snack.

Hummus

Unexpectedly Yummy

Chocolate Hummus Recipe

1 Can Chick Peas ( microwave for 3 mins to cook) 

6 Dates (more or less – depending on how much sweetness you are looking for)

1/2  Cup Cocoa Powder 

1/4 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup

Pinch of Sea Salt 

1/4 Cup Tahini Paste ( If you do not have any of this on hand, you could always use peanut butter or maybe almond butter)

Blend in your food processor  taste and enjoy! I recommend trying this a few times before you say you love it or hate it. It does have a “beany” taste some may pick up on. But I would say, don’t give up on it if they first batch is a bust. In conclusion I know my kids love this now. But did take some effort to warm up to the idea. I am ecstatic I can add it to my school snack idea rotations.

School Snack Idea #2 Fruit, Veggies & Protein

School snack ideas is not complete with out these three. For example, I keep fruit and veggies stocked up in this house. I was recently listening to the audio book “Atomic Habits” and in the book the author was talking about replacing cookies to fruit in your cookie jar. This was something I did years ago when my kids were little. I counted this as a win. 

Easy Kid Meals snacking

Un-Bear-Ably Cute

Previously, the sight of the cookie jar made me want a cookie.  Or my toddler would want a cookie. Since replacing the “cookie” with fruit. Our eating habits have improved as well as our waistlines. For us a easy protein is always nut butters or hummus. In addition a small handful of almonds or walnuts is also a great way to get some healthy fats and protein. This un-bear-ably cute snack was created with sliced “banana pennies”, peanut butter and tasty blue berries. 

School Snacks ideas for kids

Fun Food Kids Will Ask For Again & Again

Snack Idea #3 Treat balls

School snack ideas cant be complete with out these super simple and easy to do treats. I love making a huge batch of these and enjoying some right away. But then also tucking the rest away in the freezer. Perfect for when a sugar craving hits, or you need some easy protein after a work out or intense trip or as a reward for not buying the cookies you were eyeing at the supermarket. I personally love to use them as a way to get our daily flax seed intake in. Flax is delicate and can loose effectiveness if heated to high temperatures . So I feel the best way to enjoy it is either in a fresh smoothie or eating in a raw tasty treat ball. I like to store my flax in the freezer for freshness, it can go rancid if left in the cupboard for too long. 

Snack Idea #4 My Home Made Granola Bars

These are a great school snack idea! Granola bars always are a hit! They are perfect for adding into lunches or ready to go when you want to hit the trails and go on an adventure. So easy to have it ready for when you need some quick and easy inexpensive energy. I have made these bars for years. And have played around with different flours. You can always add an extra egg or add more apples sauce or even a banana if you use a flour that is more dense like whole wheat or spelt. 

Healthy Kid Snacks for school

Healthy Kid Snacks

Jens Granola Bars Recipe

2 1/2 Cups of rolled oats                                        

1 cup of flour

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup of apple sauce 

1 cup of ground flax seed

pinch of sea salt 

1/2 cup of honey

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of  either trail mix, chocolate chips, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, raisins and white chocolate chips, dried fruit. 

Oven; 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C)

Kid Approved School Snacks Ideas

Granola Bars Are Always A Treat!

Stir oats, flour and ground flax seeds, brown sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add your egg, honey, apple sauce, vanilla. Stir until evenly combined. Pour mixture into a 9X13-inch baking dish, pat down and smooth evenly . Bake in pre-heated oven until golden and set. About 25 mins. 

Snack Idea #5 Roasted Chick Peas 

Simple Snacking for Toddlers

Easy for little fingers to handle also.

These are a great after school snack. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, and offer a good dose of iron while stabilizing your blood sugars. So all in all a great snack to reach for in the afternoon. I love to make a big batch of these and add to snack time or as a side to our lunches. These are super yummy sprinkled over salads here are a few recipe ideas to get you as excited for these as I am. I always bake mine in the oven, But I could see owning something like an air fryer might be pretty great for this healthy treat! 

Roasted Chick Peas school snack ideas

A tasty snack.

Doritos – This looks like a tasty option if you have a craving for chippies but gotta cut back. 

Basic  – This is an easy basic recipe to get you started. 

Cinnamon Sugar  – If you are looking for a healthier option for a sweet treat. This is also a tasty way to enjoy! 

Ketchup – We call our chickpeas “nibbles” due to using this cookbook. The ketchup version is so delicious. We have a bunch of ketchup lovers in this house so this satisfies the craving asap! 

In conclusion

 I hope you enjoyed my mash up of some of our favorite school snack idea’s! Its exciting to be blogging with the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers! We are always so thankful when you stop by.  If your curious about getting to know me and my family a little more you can read this post. To learn how we do life with a large family. And you are always welcome to follow along with us on Instagram.

Login Lake BC Canada

Recipes for School Snacks

Recipes, ingredients and directions for 5 snacking ideas for school. 

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group. Contact us for more information on this program at media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com.

Merritt Dance Studio

The Love To Dance Academy in the Nicola Valley

In these times, we “bring the joy of dance into homes”.

 

The Merritt dance studio, Love to Dance Academy, contributes to the art and culture in our Nicola Valley.

Love to Dance Academy

Love to Dance Academy Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

I invited dance teacher, Lizette Nel, to talk about her work when we connected here in Merritt BC Canada

How and when did your Merritt Dance Studio start?

I took over the local dance studio in December 2012 as the previous ballet teacher here in Merritt, Linda Sanford, was looking forward to retirement. The name, Linda’s Dance Studio, was changed to Love To Dance Academy in January 2013.

I started teaching in 2012. We had only 12 little ballet students in a lovely compact dance studio on the top floor of the beautiful old Courthouse in Merritt, BC.

Since then a strong dance program has been developed and the Love To Dance Academy now offers classes in four different dance genres to dancers of all ages.

There are recreational classes for those who want to dance for fun and exercise as well as classes for the more serious dance student who would like to do dance exams and participate in in dance festivals and competitions. 

Therefore, at the end of 2018, there was an opportunity to move to bigger premises and with the help of volunteers a second hand shop was converted into a spacious and fully equipped dance studio downtown.

 

Dance Studio Merritt BC

Lizette Nel, Head Dance Instructor, Love to Dance Academy Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Who is a part of Love to Dance?

The Love To Dance Academy is a project of the Merritt Dance Society, which is a non-profit organisation. The Merritt Dance Society consists of a wonderful, supportive Board of Directors.

I am the Head Dance Instructor and I developed and manage the dance program for the Merritt Dance Society.

Vanessa van Rensburg, regularly teaches Spanish Flamenco and jazz dance classes.

However, from time to time guest teachers are invited to do short courses and workshops or teach during dance camps.

 And of course, there are the many children, youth, and adults who come to the studio to dance!

How is the Merritt dance studio supported in the community?

It is very well supported by the Merritt community who loves attending our classes and our twice a year recitals.

Love To Dance fundraisers are well supported by the community and we are fortunate to always have enthusiastic volunteers to help whenever they are needed.

Tell me about the different dance genres you offer.

Currently our main dance genres are Ballet, Modern Jazz, Spanish Flamenco, and Latin Line Dance.

From time to time Love To Dance offers workshops or short sessions of other dance styles such as Hip Hop, Tap, Musical Theatre/Broadway, Contemporary, Highland Dancing, Bollywood and Country Line Dance.

You put on twice yearly performances. A lot of the dances are choreographed by you, Vanessa, and your Love to Dance dancers.

Merritt Dance Studio concerts

Love to Dance Winter Concert Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

LTD Display

Love To Dance Poster Display of Dancers Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Ballet Shoes

LTD Red Ballet Shoes Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

What are your inspirations for the themes and performance?

Life and what is going on around us… sometimes fun and sometimes deep and meaningful. We choose themes showing that we are different, but the same.

Your dance recitals are so enjoyable for the community!

Not only do we watch a themed story unfold onstage, but the Civic Centre is always full of beautiful displays focusing on the dancers and the culture of dance….

Merritt Dance Studio Instructor

Lizette Nel, Head Dance Instructor Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Can you share your dance background with us, Lizette?

Training:  I was introduced to the world of dance at age 5, in Johannesburg South Africa.  I did not like it, but fortunately my mom did not give up and reintroduced me to dance a year later.

In the beginning I was very shy and could not face an audience, but I loved the dancing and movement to music. However, I did all my dance exams and in my final year of school, I decided to become a dance teacher.

Work Experience:  Before coming to Canada, I owned and operated a successful dance studio in South Africa , where I successfully trained hundreds of young dancers and prepared them to enter exams, festivals and competitions with confidence, always striving for excellence.

 In addition to teaching and running a studio, I also provided mentorship for some dance instructors in South Africa. Consequently, I created an online dance network as a resource and networking tool for dance teachers, and was a founding organizer of the national “Eisteddfod of the Performing Arts”, a prestigious dance event of its kind in South Africa

It continues to this day, attracting thousands each year.

I was also a judge for the National Society on Dance Teachers as well as a lecturer in the Movement Science Department of the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

 It was a journey for you to be here with us in the Nicola Valley. Can you tell us a little about that journey?

When I became aware of the possibility of teaching in Merritt BC Canada, I started the process of obtaining a work permit, a very long process.

I started teaching in the dance studio in the old Courthouse in December 2012. After teaching for a year, there was a delay in the renewing process of my work permit, and I had to return to South Africa for a few months.

The local students and their parents were very disappointed that we had to leave. The community wrote petition letters and did fundraisers. Fortunately everything got sorted out and we returned in August 2014, just in time for the new dance year to start.

What inspires you?

Young Dancers at Merritt Dance Studio

LTD Young Dancer Photo Courtesy of Vanessa van Rensburg

I’ve had five dance teachers. Two of them, Janet King and Dorothy de Witt still inspire me. Also the smiling faces and chuckles in the dance studio inspire me.
Our Merritt dance family’s dedication and strong will to succeed inspires me even more.

Every new day and the fact that God’s loving kindness starts fresh each day inspires me.

What support do you receive in your role in your Merritt Dance Studio?

Non Profit Volunteers

Love To Dance Volunteers Photo Courtesy of Love to Dance

I have strong support from the Merritt community.  I am very grateful for the many volunteers involved in the many Love To Dance activities. They make it possible for us to successfully present many extra dance opportunities and related activities.
My children in South Africa support what I do and always encourage me.


Without Herman, my husband, keeping things together in the background and the assistance and hard work of Vanessa, my daughter, the Love to Dance Academy will not be able to exist

How do you relax, and give yourself a break?

Gardening.

Favourite things about Merritt?  

Four definite seasons in a year!

Favourite Music?

Classical harp

What role does dance have in society?

I am particularly conscious of the benefits of dance and I promote my programs as a holistic tool for physical fitness, and mental, emotional and social health. We promote character building for youth and motor planning for seniors and people with disabilities.
In addition, dance develops physical strength, co-ordination, and good posture.
Dance improves self confidence and positive body image. Dance builds self discipline
.

Ballet Dancing

Love To Dance Ballet Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Dance Concert

Participants in a Love to Dance Recital! Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

What effect do you feel Love to Dance has on our community?

Community Dancers

LTD Dancing in the Community Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Our young students learn to take charge of their lives by being responsible for scheduling and costumes and by managing their time wisely. They take pride in work well done, show leadership with younger dancers, and experience the value of teamwork and supporting others.

They are growing into mature, confident adults and they set an example which has a positive influence on younger dancers.

These positive effects are felt around our community.

Love to Dance brings together all ages, and the different ages interact and dance together in the recitals. It is a joy to see the older students take the young ones by hand and include them in the specially choreographed dances! I can feel and hear the pleasure in the audience around me at this collaboration of ages and levels of dance.

Community Dance

Love to Dance Valentine’s Tea Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

For the older dancers of 55 plus, in the program, “Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing,” the benefits of dance include brain agility, fitness, improved balance and reduced stress. This contributes to their independent longevity, and their ongoing participation in the community.

 In this Covid 19 pandemic, we taught our students (and their parents) to be grateful, and to not give up. We taught them to not wait for it to pass, but to accept it and make the best of it. We put new things in place. Our students made it through 10 weeks of doing things differently and they’ve learned many new skills.  It was hard, but we all survived and we’ve all become stronger.

We hope that this will spread wider and have a positive influence on our community.

What challenges does your dance studio, Love To Dance, face?


We are challenged with how to catch up the three months during covid – recovery of financial loss over three months with little income, continued rental and utility, and other commitments.

The whole world is currently turned upside down and inside out. But we see these obstacles as stepping stones, not mountains.

Street Dance

LTD Street Dance in Merritt Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

In this time of Covid 19, how is Love to Dance managing to stay connected with the dancers and the community?

SET UP VIRTUAL DANCE STUDIO

When we had to close our physical doors at the end of the day on March 16, after just one day of Spring Dance Camp, we decided to explore the possibility of changing from a brick and mortar dance studio to a virtual dance studio.

We attended many webinars presented by four different dance associations and got ourselves set up for Zoom classes and coaching by video.

To keep the interest in dance going, we lowered our class fees to encourage attendance.

BALLET

Ballet Dancer

LTD Ballet Dancer Photo Courtesy of Vanessa van Rensburg

To give our Royal Academy of Dance ballet students and parents hope, we continued to practice as if our exams, which were scheduled for April 29, were going to take place. 

Students could attend our Zoom ballet classes once per week and they could also make use of our private coaching by video option. 

This worked really well for some students, who had the full support of their parents. But as always happens, we unfortunately also had some dropping out (“stopping dance until the brick and mortar studio re-opens”)…. 

Most dancers have lots of self-discipline and keep up their daily practice while they are placed under movement restrictions, but we notice that they still needed to see each other to feel connected and to be motivated. The weekly Zoom dance classes really help to create some sense of normalcy. 


SPANISH  FLAMENCO

Thirteen of our Spanish Flamenco dance students successfully completed their exams by video at the end of April. 

 

Dance Studio

Herman Nel, Technical Expert for Love to Dance Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

SENIORS

We also set up ZOOM exercise classes for our seniors to help improve their balance, posture and flexibility and also improve your sense of well being – physical, emotional and mental. Payment for classes is by donation.

None of this would have been possible without Herman, my husband. To set all of this up, was a steep learning curve and involved some expenses.

What is next for Love to Dance?

We want to expand opportunities and restructure the dance program to accommodate what is currently happening all over the world.  It will be a constant dynamic situation going forward.

Keep an eye on Love To Dance’s current initiative that the members of Love to Dance Society can participate in.

Ongoing MEDAL TESTS

To further keep the interest in dance going we started having Medal Awards by video during the months of May and continue for June. This is open to everyone in Merritt and the Nicola Valley. Participants can enter Ballet, Jazz, Spanish and Folk/National dances – set dances and/or own choreography and interpretive dancing.

We noticed how the fun element and dancing with family members can bring the joy of dance into homes, so we added a section in which you can partner up with a sibling or parent or grandparent to dance a duet. 

Video submissions must happen before June 26 and participants will each receive a bronze, silver or gold certificate and medal in the beginning of July.

Merritt Dance Studio

Thank you, Lizette, for telling us all about the Love to Dance Academy! Many of us in the community are grateful to have an inspired dance studio here in Merritt.

Just one more advantage to living here in the Nicola Valley!

Support our art and culture in our community!

We hope to see the doors of the Love To Dance Studio open soon!
Merritt Dance Studio

Love To Dance Studio, still closed Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Artist Cassandra Dolen

Dance in the Nicola Valley Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Dance Teacher

LTD Head Dance Instructor Lizette Nel Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

CONTACT LOVE TO DANCE

1976 Quilchena Avenue, +1 250 378 9898

www.lovetodanceacademy.com

LTDADANCE@GMAIL.COM

Facebook Love to Dance Academy

Instagram Love to Dance Academy, The Merritt Dance Teacher

Art and Culture Blogger, Jano Howarth

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

British Columbia, Canada – Merritt Speedway

The Home of Dirt Track Racing in the Nicola Valley

Merritt Stock Car Association located in the Nicola Valley

 

Just 8 km west of Merritt, BC, Canada on Hwy #8 you will find “The Home of Dirt Track Racing in the Nicola Valley”, also referred to as the Merritt Speedway.  The 3/8 mile dirt track was established in 1991.  There was a lot of hard work, long hours and support of many businesses and individuals to make this happen.  As a result the track was ready for Stock Car Racers to try some dirt track fun on May 24, 1992.

Zero 4 Barry Bussiere Street Stock

Drivers can be as young as 14 years old

Merritt Speedway is operated by the Merritt Stock Car Association in the Nicola Valley.  It  is a family oriented Dirt track.  Drivers can be as young as 14 years old and, well, our oldest driver currently is 78.  He drives a Late Model Stock Car.  Hence, proving that you are never too old to play in the dirt.  We encourage members as well as the public to bring their whole family to the track. Members include racers from all over B.C.  Some come occasionally from Alberta and of course hometown favorites enjoy playing in the dirt at Merritt Speedway.

Merritt Speedway - #88  Amanda Dandy  4 cyl bomber

#88 Amanda Dandy – 4 cyl Bomber, she now drives #95 in 4 cyl her husband Sean Dandy #77 races in the Late Model Class

5 classes of Dirt Track Races

There are 5 classes of Dirt Track races to see, that is plenty of great family entertainment at affordable prices.  From Mini Stock,  4 cylinder Bomber (Sr and Jr),  6&8 cylinder Bomber,  Street Stock and Late Model. 

experience merritt bc

Swag Shop & Concession

We also  have a great concession serving up some great burgers, smokies, candies etc.  Also enjoy our  Swag Shop.  There is quite the variety of  items, magnets, hats, t-shirts in many colours and styles to choose from.   So between races, the chills, thrills and spills, visit one or both.     

merritt speedway 9 bill fader

8 cylinder bomber – #9 Bill Fader

Feel free to ask questions

When racing day is over at Merritt Speedway fans are welcome to come down to the pits and visit with the racers and pit crews.  Feel free to ask questions.  Some of our drivers would be happy to give the kids a ride around the track in their cars, safely of course.  There is also a campground area for drivers, family & friends.  Visitors are welcome after the days events.

Food Bank Drive and  Toy Drive

The Merritt Stock Car Association are proud to support those who may certainly need a little helping hand.  In the fall we hold a Food Bank Drive and a Toy Drive.  Fans are welcome to participate along with the club members.

Merritt Speedway Bill John Memorial Invitational

Our last race day of the season is on Thanksgiving weekend.  Merritt Speedway – Bill John Memorial Invitational, is named for the original owner of the land the track is situated on.  This is racing at its finest, racers come from Washington State, all over B.C. and Alberta to race on our dirt track. 

For more information check out

Website:  www.merrittspeedway.ca

Facebook page:  Merritt Stock Car Association

Email:  merrittspeedway@outlook.com

 

Nicola Valley Merritt Speedway

Merritt Speedway in British Columbia, Canada is one of the last few active dirt tracks in B.C. and the last to shut down each fall.

Come Catch the Action!

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Mason Bees in Merritt BC

Bees in Merritt BC are some of the best friends your garden can ever have.

Mason Bees in Merritt BC – These solitary, non-aggressive little bees are not only great pollinators but also just one nest of them is more than enough for the average back yard in Merritt BC Canada.  And when I say they are non-aggressive, I mean it! I have never heard of anyone ever being stung by one. In addition, Mason Bees in Merritt BC are abundant. To attract and also to keep these nature friends in your garden, you need to know a few things.

Life Cycle Of Mason Bees in Merritt BC

Mason Bees in Merritt BC emerge from cocoons when the daytime temperatures reach 14 degrees C(57 F). They mate shortly after emerging. Then, immediately after mating, the female starts foraging for pollen to provide her nest. She goes into a tube about 15 cm  (6″) long, creates a pollen lump, lays an egg on it and then seals it with mud, plant material or a mixture of both. Each egg hatches out into a grub or larva and feeds on the pollen lump until it is fully grown. Then it rests before spinning itself a cocoon. Inside the cocoon, it first changes into a pupa, then into a bee.
By the end of summer, the cocoons contain adult bees. Both male and female bees remain in their cocoons until spring when the cycle starts all over again.

mason bees in merritt bc

Mason bee hard at work pollinating

Mason Bee Nest Requirements 

If you want to encourage Mason Bees in Merritt BC, build them a nest and meet their few requirements. They like their nests about 5 ft. from the ground and facing east. Preferred nesting spots are in dry tubes about 6″ long and 5/16″ deep, with only one entrance. Wood, masonry or even paper will do. It must be protected from wind, rain and extremes of cold and heat. Also, early flowering plants are also essential for bees in Merritt BC since the female must provide pollen lumps for her eggs. In addition to these few things, your Mason Bees will also need mud to seal in their eggs and protect them.

Early flowering plants for your Mason Bees

I checked with Vicki Hansen at Petals & Plants Flower Shop at 2052 B Quilchena Avenue for some suggestions for early plants in our area. She suggested the following: bleeding hearts, bachelor buttons, snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and, of course, lilacs. If you need more information, contact Vicki on Facebook, Instagram or phone her at: 250-378-5575. 

merritt mason bee pollinating

Spring is here and Mason Bees are hard at work

Constructing your own Mason Bee Nests

The easiest way to do this is to purchase paper straws, crimp the ends and tape them together so the open ends are uneven. Next, wrap the taped straws with cardboard glued together, then wrap in insulation to protect them from heat and cold. Paint the bee house in bright colours. Bees see colour and this helps them to find their nest. While you’re at it, why not paint the ends of the straws too.

Securing your Mason Bee nest

Paint the inside of a large, plastic bucket a dark colour. Insert the straw bundle in the bee house and put the whole thing into the plastic bucket turned on its side. Drill holes on the under side to let out water if rain gets in. Mason Bees in Merritt BC have many predators, so remember to cover the open end of the bucket with chicken wire. Also, keep the wire at least 3″ away from the nest entrance to keep pests out.

nesting mason bees in merritt bc

Example of a home-made Mason Bee nest

Harvesting Mason Bee cocoons in Merritt

Sometime between October and December it will be time to harvest your cocoons. If you use paper straws for your nests, harvesting is easy. Make a small cut in one end of the straw and unravel it carefully over a paper covered surface. Place cocoons in a container.

Merritt Mason Bee Nest and cocoon cleaning

Clean nests and replace straws as previously described. Between late September and December bees will not emerge from cocoons at room temperature, so clean the cocoons then. Mason bees in Merritt BC have a lot of wasps that parasite  them. Because of this, a thorough cleaning is necessary.

mason bee hotel

Mason Bee hotel and accommodations

How to clean Mason Bee cocoons

Place cocoons in an ice cream bucket. Add 8 cups tepid water. Wet cocoons by gently rolling and moving them for 5-15 minutes. Remove and place in a large strainer. Rinse again adding 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of water. Rinse well under gently running water. Remember, you have delicate, live bees in there.

After at least two washings, check for mites by placing the cocoons on a white paper towel, cover them with a wet paper towel and leave them to drain.

Mite check for your Merritt Mason Bees

After an hour, remove the paper towels and check the cocoons. You are looking for small orange spots. These are mites. If there are 5 or fewer per square inch, your cocoons are OK. If there are more than this then wash your cocoons again until there are fewer than 5 orange dots per square inch.

Which cocoons have  Mason Bees in them?

Cocoons with bees are dark grey and firm to the touch. “Parasitized” cocoons are lighter colored and feel crispy or look empty. Keep suspect cocoons in a clear container. In spring if wasps emerge, freeze and destroy. If bees emerge, cool them for 30 minutes in the fridge and release them outside.

Now you have Mason Bees in Merritt BC . Store the dry, clean cocoons in a cardboard box cushioned with toilet tissue. Keep the box in a metal, lidded container so pests can’t eat the cocoons. Punch some holes for air.

Releasing your Bees

In February, keep the box in the fridge over a damp paper towel until flowers bloom and the bees have food. A temperature between 2-4 degrees c. is ideal but colder could kill them; warmer could cause them to emerge too early and starve.

Emergence of Mason Bees in Merritt

Cut a small hole in the box for the bees to emerge. Then, place under the cleaned nesting box protected from rain, wind and of course, birds. However, remember to provide mud for your Mason Bees.  Also, remember to keep it moist so the bees can scoop it up as needed.

Smile every time you see one of your bees foraging in the garden!

Need more information?

Check out our local Merritt Public Library
address: 1691 Garcia
phone: 250-378-4737
website: tnrl.ca

Your senior blogger
Diane

Mason Bees in Merritt, B.C.

Creating a home for your Merritt Mason Bees


Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Culture and Art Show for Children

Merritt artists create inspiring art for children in our new Gallery Show!

“Out of inspiration comes curiosity, motivation, desire, and the creative process.”

Art for children in Merritt BC is thriving! We asked our local artists to bring in, or create new art that would inspire children’s ideas and imaginations. And we have had a wonderful response with over 25 artists participating in our five week-long show. It’s up! It’s fun and colourful! And it’s on until 4pm, Saturday, March 14, 2020. Come on by!

Art for Children

Children in Art, Art for Children

How did we get so many artists to contribute to a show about art for children?

First, we put a call out to artists in the fall, through our membership newsletter, our local papers, and social media.

Then an email went out directly to most of the artists who have participated in our shows in the past, and a few we would love to gather into our active arts and culture community.

Lastly,  were our personal reach outs to those who popped in to see us at the Gallery, or who called in for questions, or met at events like Open Mic, and on the street! We did our best to reach out to as much of the Nicola Valley community as we could!

Art horses

Miriam Loken’s “A Moment with Max”

What’s in our Art for Children show?

Of course, we have children in the art…

  • Miriam Loken’s A Moment with Max features a child and a horse
  • Nancy Ellingsen’s grandchildren’s portraits, Ember and Logan
  • Bruce Walter’s photo A Teachable Moment, children in nature
  • Jean Kiegerl’s Reborn with a father and his baby girl
  • Judy Young’s amusing Shopping with Dad
  • Robert Moretti’s Camping Branch Swinging 
  • Joel Reid’s large graffiti 3 Candles
Art for Children

Artists Michael Behrens and Joel Reid Paintings

Art can inspire.

But a lot of the art in the show is meant to inspire children, of all ages- from babies to teens. We have paintings – watercolour, acrylic, and pastel…. depicting a variety of subjects like butterflies, undersea creatures, fanciful trees and mountains by artists Joel Reid, Fran McMurchy, Karen Otway, Michael Behrens, Shirley Reynolds, and Herta Klassen, Gale Simpson, and Diane Wandler.

Paintings, 3D pieces, mixed media…

We have 3D pieces, like Pius Chong’s monkey and Amanda Pryzner-Dunn’s folded steam engine (protected in a glass case). Kelly Reid brought in two magical fairy gardens made from a mix of materials, like a path of pennies, and a tiny tea cup.

painting in merritt

Tina Barlow’s Love, Laugh

There are mixed media pieces like Lin Butler Buchanan’s stunning dark Sunflowers at Night, and Tina Barlow’s The Laugh Love Tree. There are cloth and fibre art pieces like Cindy Trent’s Circus quilt and Vickie Strom’s bright woven wall hanging.

Amanda submitted paper cuts depicting three fairy tales. Can you guess them? Visit the show and see!

And we are displaying whimsical pieces like a Vicki’s felt mouse, Barb Sayles’ vintage dolls, and Pam Clark’s adorable knit bunnies and chicks.

And My Topsy Turvy Circus Diorama

I jumped in myself for this show and created a five foot Circus diorama, populated with several dolls and puppets from my collection. They are dressed as jesters, clowns, mimes, trapeze artists, and horse trainers for the occasion. My favourite wooden Czech Marionette hangs high up in the Topsy Turvy Circus, attracting children to see the three ring performances. All in the imagination, of course. And I tried my hand at doll faceups, including a mime face on a Berenguer doll. Fun!

Children artists in merritt

Jano Howarth’s Mime Face Up

Art for children is one way to reach out to children.

As a life long educator, with over 30 years of interaction with children of all ages, I have realized how important inspiration is to the process of creativity and life itself. Out of inspiration comes curiosity, motivation, desire, and the creative process. Art is a very effective way to reach children! There are so many forms of artistic creativity that can appeal to children’s natural interests and help them identify their own passions and life directions.

When I put the call out to artists I said:

“This show is about children and how we inspire them to take their own path- maybe art, maybe another passion. Think of Cindy Trent’s quilt depicting the layers in the earth. Inspiration for quilting? painting? sculpture? photography? geography? zoology? ecology? writing? Art that stimulates the imagination. And not necessarily kids stuff.”

children art

Art Bud’s Renee Hartwig

And that’s what we got! One gentleman was expecting art by children, or at least childlike art. And we certainly have on display some very cute art, and art that is appealing to the child in all of us! Our Art Buds teacher, Renee Hartwig, brought in her Bunny on a Hill painting that brings out the oohs and aahs in children and adults alike. 

“Interesting, beautiful, quirky, or socially conscious art”

But we have some sophisticated pieces that can stimulate great ideas for parents, grandparents, etc. on how to look for and choose art for a child’s room. Or art for a living room or dining room (or waiting room, or educator’s office) where children can be exposed to interesting, beautiful, quirky, or socially conscious art.

children and art in merritt

Art to Inspire Children

 
Even some of our local artists were challenged by the idea for this show! But it didn’t take long, in this community of creative artists, to bring together over forty-five pieces of inspiring art for children. I am very excited and pleased with the wonderful responses, from the artists, and from the visitors, local and out-of-towners, who have come by the show already. 

We have art that stimulates, amuses, and soothes.

Art for Children

Vicki Strom’s Felt Mouse

We had a great Reception the other night, complete with marshmallow squares, of course! But with chocolate, whipped cream and fresh orange toppings! Thanks, Diane! And thanks to Lin, Joel, and all the volunteers who helped put this show together!

Now that the show is up, the people are coming by with and without children. Thursday to Saturday, 12-6pm.

We have invited teachers to bring classes. (Just let me know! nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com or Jano 250-315-3437)

Art for Children in Merritt, BC… Alive and Well! 

For more info on this show, or upcoming shows at the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery at the old Courthouse on Nicola Avenue contact me at 250-315-3437 or email nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Jano Howarth, Arts Gallery Director and community supporter!

Art Things To Do in Merritt, BC

Check out some of our past Arts Gallery Shows

  •  Open Mic Weekly! Friday nights 7-9 pm at Kekuli Cafe
  • Gallery Shows every five weeks or less! At the the old Courthouse Arts Gallery, 1840 Nicola Avenue, Merritt BC. Thursday to Saturday, 12-6 pm
  • Gallery Shop all year round, and yearly popular Artisan Winter Show
  • Arts Classes, course and workshops- visit our website for info
  • Special Arts Events: Mayor’s Gala, Jazz in the Attic, Art in the Park

Join the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council! Tax receipt for Memberships and Donations! Online or pop in to the Gallery.

Jano’s

Interested in doll characters and photo stories?

  • Website: Hiya Dolly
  • Facebook and Instagram Hiya Dolly

More on the Art for Children Show…

Bev Veale contributed an in-progress piece designed for a child’s involvement… Come in and find all the animals!

Bev has been painting the flora and fauna of the Nicola Valley for decades. And she continues to contribute her support and show submissions! Anyone interested in an original Bev Veale, contact me!

NVCAC Vice President Karen Otway’s colourful painting is both our cover photo, and our show poster. Thanks Karen!

And getting ready for the Topsy Turvy Circus kept me happily busy for days!

art and culture in merritt

Topsy Turvy Circus by Jano Howarth

Get inspired with your children! Get a hold of a canvas, a fun item to paint, and get busy!

Art for Children

Inspired!

Art for Children in Merritt British Columbia Canada

Nicola Valley Arts Council

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides