Explorer Hop in the News: The Whole Family Happiness Projects
We are so delighted at the reviews we are getting. Here are some of them:
July 2018: Explorer Hop review written by Julie Green in The Whole Family Happiness Projects - one of the best sustainability publications in Ontario.
After a 20-year career spent managing high-profile corporate projects and travelling the globe (visiting more than 45 countries, and living in eight), Hasina Lookman was ready for a change. She wanted the autonomy to do something she loved that would make a difference in the lives of others. But what? Her 10-year-old daughter, Mira, suggested teaching kids about money and travel — two areas in which Hasina has plenty of expertise. So, she started Explorer Hop — a series of “adventure” programs that teach kids financial literacy and global awareness, helping develop financially savvy youth with an appreciation for different cultures.
Recently Hasina’s been bothered that so few city kids know where their food comes from or consider farming a viable career, so this July, Explorer Hop is offering an exciting new summer camp. ‘Future Farmers’ will learn about urban agriculture, and how to set up their own agricultural business. We spoke with her about her work and why it’s important for children to learn about farming and entrepreneurship.
You teamed up with Ripple Farms for this one-of-a-kind program. Can you tell us how that partnership came to be?
‘Future Farmers’ is a unique camp where kids learn about cutting-edge urban vertical farming. Ripple Farms grows their plants in the farm at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. Explorer Hop teaches kids about everything: the soil (Mushroom foam), the pebbles (recycled glass), and the innovative use of light. We work with the children to create a step-by-step business model. By the end the week they are running their own market stall selling produce they’ve grown.
Why do city kids need to know about farming, anyway?
Because they eat food! I believe city kids need to know more about farming because without understanding the process and work involved in growing, transporting and selling food, they can’t really appreciate it. We spend most summers taking our kids to farms where they experience firsthand what is involved in growing their produce.
Another reason [for the program] is to try to combat the food waste that goes on in any city. When we teach kids about starting their own business, we also teach them how to identify waste and turn it into something usable. When kids put effort into growing their produce, they have more appreciation for food and less desire to waste it. And farming is something kids can do in their apartments and smaller urban homes.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a mom and entrepreneur?
I want to ensure my children are educated in a such a way that they are independent and understand the need to live a sustainable life. It is crucial my children know they’re part of something bigger, and that they should be prepared to make changes to make our world better. We want all children to understand how money works because we believe that when kids learn about money, it shows them how they can help create a more friendly world. Learning how to manage a portfolio, or starting your own company is a stepping stone towards a child having the skills to contribute to making this world better. We also realized that once we began empowering kids with knowledge about money, conversations at home changed. It wasn’t solely about what they wanted for themselves anymore, but what was better for the entire family.
How does the work you do impact your family life?
Teaching kids about investing and starting their own business is a fulfilling experience. I often have my daughter come along to these camps and after-school programs and am amazed at the depth of the conversations we have at the dinner table about sustainability and money issues. We started this business with the objective to empower kids with financial knowledge so they’d be part of the conversation at home.
A child who learns how to set up their own business, even something as simple as a lemonade stand, understands how to start any project — be it in the community or at school. Parents often tell us that their children are too young to learn about money, but we believe if a child can spend money in a store, then there is a benefit. Parent feedback from this course is immensely positive, with many telling us how much they’ve learned from their child.
‘Future Farmers’ goes one step further, giving kids aged 10–13 an exciting behind-the-scenes look at a state-of-the-art facility, and challenging them to create something new or try out a new idea on their own.
May 2018: Explorer Hop review written by Post City (Published:
6 educational camps that will keep their minds sharp this summer
Camp Director: Hasina Lookman
416 833 1782
The only Summer Camp in Ontario that teaches kids about money! And we do it with a lot of fun! Locations: Bayview & Eglinton, and Steeles & Hwy 404.
Camp Millionaire focuses on fundamental concepts such as Saving, Budgeting, Investing, Risk and more. All kids ages 9 and up, get $10,000 in a virtual portfolio and learn how to invest money. At the end of the camp, the kids will be able to understand the financial section of a newspaper.
At Young Entrepreneurs Camp (ages 10 to 12), we go one step further and show kids how to develop, test & market an idea and get investors interested. Lots of leadership training happens here.
Around the World in 5 Days Camp, is a fun camp where kids journey across all five continents exploring culture, history, art, music, dance and sports from around the world.
May 2018: Explorer Hop review written by HelpWeveGotKids
Toronto Money Camps for Kids Make Good Cents
Giving kids a strong basis in financial literacy should be as important as the ABCs. We’re living in a time when many adults carry a high debt load and struggle with financial understanding in topics like mortgages, credit cards, and investments. The significance of early intervention can’t be understated: researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that children form money habits as early as age 7.
For parents who want to educate their kids about financial matters, it’s not always easy to find an engaging way to do it. But Toronto kids can get ahead of the curve at ExplorerHop summer camps.
ExplorerHop began as an online teaching tool to help kids become money savvy. This family business, started by a mom, dad, and their daughter, has grown to include a couple of fun and creative summer camps where kids can increase their financial literacy, while playing and having a great time.
At Camp Millionaire (no—it’s not hosted in a gilded palace!), kids ages 7 to 14 will learn lessons that will set them on the right financial path. Starting with the basics of budgeting and saving, they move on to a virtual stock market challenge with $10,000 in pretend dollars to invest. Kids will come away with great memories and a far better understanding of how to make good financial choices.
Or how about nurturing the budding entrepreneur by sending them to the Young Entrepreneurs camp? Kids aged 10 to 14 participate in a two-week session where they learn some basics in financial literacy and then develop an idea for a business, including testing and marketing it, as well as learning how they would raise capital to launch their ideas. The session ends with the ExplorerHop version of Dragon’s Den, to showcase all the great businesses!
What about going Around the World in 5 Days this summer? This camp takes kids ages 7 to 14 on an imaginary journey across all five continents in one week, broadening their horizons by exposing them to art, music, and sports from different cultures. All this from locations in Leaside and Markham!
Future success stems from knowledge, and an age-appropriate understanding of financial matters is a valuable tool that parents can offer to their children. By creating a program that meshes physical activities, arts, and money and business education, ExplorerHop has put together a memorable and fun experience for kids that establishes the solid foundation kids need in financial literacy and entrepreneurship life skills.
May 2018: From Tanya Demjaneko, Grade 5 teacher at the very prestigious OISE Jackman Institute for Child Study, University of Toronto.
"ExplorerHop is a wonderful way to introduce your child or your students to financial literacy concepts. It was incredible to see how engaged students were in the stock market and how much they loved following and learning about the rising and falling prices."
May 2018: ExplorerHop Review written by Epoch Times (Mandarin newspaper)
June 2017: From Caroline Bernada, Head of School, The Giles School - a very prestigious private school in Toronto.
"Explorer Hop is the best program I have seen for teaching students about the realities of money and the economic world around us. It grabs the children’s attention right from the start with fun and innovative stories. The students instantly become connected with the characters and learn from their journeys. They are then enticed to complete missions, which helps to solidify their knowledge by having them apply what they have learned with realistic activities.
We introduced this wonderful program in our school this spring and the students are all fully engaged and have increased their knowledge of the financial world tenfold. The students are eager to follow the program and I have even heard them talking about their missions outside the classroom. I would highly recommend this program and I am very happy with the results I have seen thus far."
June 2017: From Suchitra- The PHDMama. One of the top 100 Mommy Bloggers in North America and winner of the Versatile Blogger Award. She's well established for saying exactly what she thinks and her followers value her honesty.
We are delighted at what she wrote about us:
"What I really liked about the website is the hidden lesson in every adventure. There is new information and little nuggets of knowledge spattered throughout the different adventures and kids reading them will find these useful, and contextual. Furthermore, the casual writing style that weaves the lessons into the narrative simply makes the learning a natural part of the process."
"The website has tremendous value and even more potential to take financial learning for children to an entirely different level. I was intrigued by the many adventures and enjoyed reading the stories too. In fact, I wished I was Mira and could go on her many adventures!"
Check out the whole post here.
May 2017: From Christina@Parentclub.ca voted the top 30 Mommy Bloggers in 2014.
Check out the Instagram post here.