By Sheri Selway with co-authors Jack, Abby, Eileen, and Aly from Bennetto School

Happy New Year to all! Even though the days are getting longer now, January is still a cold and dark month.  Jack, Abby, Eileen and Aly met with me again to write Kid’s Column.  We came up with interesting ideas to amuse ourselves during January when it is usually cold and snowy.

If it is snowy, please shovel someone’s walk.  You can do it as a surprise. An Act of Kindness. Just be sure to tell a parent or guardian where you are going! Shoveling is good exercise and it is outside in the fresh air.  You might make a bit of money shoveling, but you might just make someone happy!  Even if you don’t know the person living in the house, (or you don’t really like them) remember you are doing it for the people USING the sidewalk!  Moms or dads with babies, little kids, seniors or those having trouble walking.

Maybe you can go tobogganing or ice skating.  You can rent skates at William’s coffee shop and there is a rink there.  There are small hills in several parts of the neighbourhood – beside the Mary Street bridge or near Welcome Inn.

A Movie Night might be fun.  Put the name of movies in a jar and pick one to watch with either friends or family, and add some popcorn and hot chocolate.

And if you are inside, it might be a good time to clean off a book shelf.  You can donate books to a Little Free Library or New Horizons. There are Little Free Libraries on Wood Street near James and on Macaulay near Bay.  Do you like to create?  Maybe write a poem or write a story.  There are lots of crafty things to do also, like painting, drawing or making things.

This is the perfect weather for GAMES!  Scrabble, Chess, Othello, even Checkers.  Maybe even card games but it might be more fun to create your own card game. And when the weather is not so nice, you can always work on puzzles!  Not just jigsaw puzzles but crossword puzzles, sudoku, word find also.  And you can try to MAKE your own puzzle!

The last suggestion is cooking.  Winter is the perfect time to bake cookies, muffins, noodles or potato pancakes. And it’s a great time to make some yummy soup!

Did you know that January 25 is Chinese New Year?  It is the MOST celebrated holiday in the world!  It is also called Lunar New Year and is a lot of fun.  Who wouldn’t like a like a dragon parade! Many countries around the world celebrate Lunar New Year such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea and South Korea.  It is also celebrated in many other countries, but not as a “public holiday”. For instance, many people in Hamilton celebrate the Lunar New Year.  To wish someone a happy Lunar New Year, a person would say “Gung Hey Fat Choy”.  This is the Year of the Rat.  People born in the Year of the Rat are said to be “clever, quick thinkers; successful but happy to live a quiet, peaceful life.” So, January is a great time to have a party to celebrate Lunar New Year! Make some noodles and cookies!  Gung Hey Fat Choy from all of us!  Your challenge is to read a book in January!