May 2011

Change your destination to change your mood

Indoor playgrounds. The Zoo. Heritage Park. The Leisure Centres.

All tried and true and all have provided hours of entertainment for me and my children. Problem is – I was desperate to find something new. Something we had never tried before. Something that would capture their attention long enough to avoid the dreaded melt-down and choruses of “I’m bored!”

Problem solved.

Story time at Monkeyshines was the answer.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Story time isn’t a new concept. In fact, it’s probably in strict rotation on your calendar. Truth be told, it’s something we do with frequency as well.

The difference isn’t the activity; it’s the activity’s location.

So on a dreary Thursday morning, we strapped on our rubber boots and rain slickers and we ventured to Marda Loop for 10:30. Though the skies were overcast and grey, with our moods running a close parallel, we immediately perked up upon entry. This delicious, children’s-only bookstore is filled from front to back, floor to ceiling with books and toys and activities – all devoted to young and imaginative minds. The items were cleverly and creatively displayed, the selection was widespread and the overall “feel” of the store was a combination of cheery, inviting and cozy.

With the children plopped on colorful floor cushions in front of the large storefront window, they sat engaged while proprietor, Sue Hill, read story after story… much to their delight. She captured their attention with her warmth, kindness and tremendous ability to convey the story to children (which I think we can all agree, it takes a special quality to read a children’s story and read it well!)

While I wish I could tell you what the stories were about, I have to admit while my children were occupied and amused, I took the opportunity to browse the store and have a friendly chat with Shannon, a mom with two small children of her own, working there part-time.

After the books were read, the balloons were distributed (a nice touch!) and I made my purchase (I rarely leave a bookstore without one in hand), we left content, entertained and most important, happy. It was a lovely morning spent in an even lovelier environment. Which just goes to show, sometimes a change of scenery is just what the doctor (and the mama) ordered!

Monkeyshines Storytime Details:

Where: Monkeyshines Children’s Books
Address: 113, 2215 – 33rd Avenue SW, Calgary AB
When: Every Thursday morning at 10:30