Ontario Electronic Stewardship

What’s Hiding Under Your Bed?

Hey, you, what’s hiding under your bed? It’s not something that you get asked every day, is it? I can’t imagine how I would react if someone actually said it to me, although I’m sure I’d laugh it off awkwardly before rushing home to take a peek at what treasures lie underneath my double mattresses.

I decided to lift up the curtain and would have never guessed what I actually found under there. First, there is the lovely, if not completely beat up, Acer laptop picture above. That beauty gave up 5 solid years of internetting and I guess it chose to hide under the bed as its final resting place. Here is a short list of some of the other items I found under the bed.

- 3001 socks
– 1 Smartie
– 4 Pokemon cards (No EX’s)
– 1 used concert ticket (Foo Fighters)
– 6 miscellaneous things I didn’t recognize (See: wife)
– 1 random remote control (Device not found)
– 0 children (Phew!)
– $3.15 in change (WooHoo!)

As you can see, the haul was very random and in some cases very profitable. In the case of the Acer laptop and the random remote control, I knew exactly what to do. A couple weeks ago I talked about all of the old electronics I had found lying around my house, as part of a campaign with the Ontario Electronic Stewardship.

The goal of their #WhereAreYoursHiding campaign is to encourage everyone to go on a scavenger hunt in their houses and to dig up all the old, unused electronic devices they can find. Once you’ve collected everything, you can visit RecycleYourElectronics.ca and find out where your closest drop off point is.

Recycling your old electronics has many benefits. Not only do they contain valuable materials such as gold, copper and other rare metals, but by recycling them you ensure that fewer TV’s, computers, phones and other devices end up in our landfills. Plus, the electronics that are still deemed useful can go to families who can’t afford the newest technology.

If that hasn’t convinced you, I don’t know what will. That said, I have a challenge for you! Rummage through your house or have some fun and create a scavenger hunt list for you and the kids, and find as many old electronics as you can. Then head to RecycleYourElectronics.ca and drop them off at your nearest Drop-Off location. It’s as easy as that! I leave you with the new campaign video from the Ontario Electronic Stewardship.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the #WhereAreYoursHiding campaign. The message is important and you should all get off your butts and into action!

Learn How To Read

How I’m Helping My Children Learn To Read

Just when you think this parenting is getting a little easier, you hit another road block. That was the case for us recently as we embarked on the wonderful journey that is teaching our kids how to read. My first mistake was assuming that reading to the kids every night before bed was enough to make it happen. I was incorrect.

Now that I am all grown up, I tend to take a lot of things for granted. I seem to forget that there was once a time where I didn’t know how to tie my shoe, or play hockey, or read a book, and that those things didn’t just happen miraculously overnight. When my son recently struggled with his reading progression, I blamed myself for not pushing him hard enough. The reality of it, however, was that it wasn’t the level of effort that was holding him back, but it was a combination of a few different things.

First, all children learn differently and at different paces. That is probably the hardest thing to grasp as a parent because there is a secret voice inside all of us that pits us against other parents. Just admit it, it’s okay. Second, the method I was using was not effective. I was getting him to try to read his easy reader bedtime books to me, not realizing that he was exhausted from a long day and had little to no interest in trying to get the words right.

I decided to take to the trusty internet to look for some resources to help us with our reading adventure and came across a site called Reading Eggs. It offered online lessons for reading and math that were full of interactive animations, fun games, great songs and lots of rewards, so we signed up for the free trial and got to work. We usually give our son a little bit of screen time for video games but once he started working on the Reading Eggs activities, he began choosing that over his video game time, which, PS, is totally amazing!

Once our trial was done, we noticed a big improvement in both our children’s abilities and decided to sign them both up for the 6 month subscription package, which we are about half way through. Because the kids love it so much, this was one of the few times I have reached out to a company to see if they wanted to partner together to offer something for my readers and they love they idea!

How about you? What has been your biggest struggle or success with helping teach your children to read?

Extended Free Trial Of Reading Eggs!

4 Week Trial - Reading Eggs

From now until Nov 30th, if you Visit This Link, you will be able to sign up for an extended 4 week free trial to Reading Eggs! If you do sign up, make sure to let me know how you like it. You can also follow the folks at Reading Eggs on Facebook and Twitter.

Sid Science Kid Centrepointe Ottawa

Win 4 Tickets To See Sid The Science Kid LIVE At The Centrepointe Theatre

I’m just going to say it. Watching children’s television can get boring for parents at times. It always feels like the same episode is on repeat for days even if the kids don’t notice. It wasn’t until we starting getting out to some of the TV shows Live performances that I developed an appreciation for what the kids were seeing in them.

It will be no different when Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid LIVE! show comes to Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa on Nov 15th! My kids have been watching Sid for a long time now and I love how it mixes education and music together. Here is a brief overview of the show, followed by a great giveaway from Centrepointe Theatre!

Sid the Science Kid comes to life in this incredible live stage experience! Kids and parents alike will be thrilled as Sid, May, Gabriela and Gerald come to town to discover the excitement and curiosities of the world around them. With wonders to discover, Sid and his friends set off on a day of excitement and adventure, as they explore their five senses through fun games and experiments and by asking curious questions and finding fascinating answers. Teacher Susie is also along to keep the music flowing as the kids explore the world around them with audience interactive activities, cooperative problem solving and plenty of laughs to go around. There is even a surprise sixth sense revealed by Teacher Susie.

Win Tickets To The Show!

If you would like to win 4 tickets to see the Sid the Science Kid LIVE show, leave a comment below and let me know what your child’s favourite TV show is. I’ll pick a winner on October 29th. Good Luck!

Quaker Chewy for Charity

I Cannot Be Trusted Around Children’s Snacks

“Did you seriously eat all of the granola bars?”, my wife asked the question even though she already knew the answer.
“Pffwhuuht?”, I replied, mouth full of granola.

This is a regular conversation in our house and while I know that I am not supposed to eat the kid’s school snacks, I just can’t help myself. One turns into three and the next thing I know the whole package is gone. I mean, sure, my new #DadFit routine has helped me curb my appetite a bit but I still get that itch from time to time and when it happens, you can kiss the snacks goodbye!

Just when I thought I was starting to shake this habit, I found out about the Quaker “Chewy for Charity” initiative and got sucked right back in! Quaker is asking families across Canada to get creative for charity. Parents and children can get involved by creating a Canadian-inspired artwork, take a picture and turn it into a unique and personal lunch bag design at ChewyForCharity.ca.

For every lunch bag design submitted and approved, Quaker Canada will donate the equivalent of 10 pounds of food to Food Banks Canada. Food Banks Canada reports that 36 per cent of the estimated 1.7 million Canadians who turned to food banks in 2013 were children and youth.

Quaker Chewy for Charity Art Party Kit Giveaway!

While my kids and I create our submissions for charity, here is a fun giveaway for some great art supplies from Quaker Chewy! The winner will receive: Chewy Product – 2x Chocolate Chip, 2x Yogurt, Markers, Paints and brushes, Pipe Cleaners, Pencil crayons, Glue, 5 Canvases, Popsicle Sticks, Basket for storage. There is also a picture of the kit below. Good Luck and don’t forget to send in a drawing to help Food Banks Canada!

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Quaker Chewy for Charity Art Kit

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign.

#KinderDad

What Exactly Does It Mean To Be A Kinder Dad?

Hi, my name is Chris, and I am a Kinder Dad. What is a Kinder Dad, you ask? Well you see, as a Kinder Dad it is my responsibility to make sure that my kids enjoy their Kinder Surprise Egg experience to the fullest. As part of that job, I am required to wear a number of different hats. Here are a few of the duties that my kids count on me to complete.

1. Quality Assurance Tester:

Sure, it’s easy to just give your kids a pile of chocolate and allow them to eat it without a second thought. I, however, believe that it is important to make sure that they don’t eat anything that I would eat myself, so I take my role as quality assurance tester very seriously.

Kinder Eggs QA
2. Toy Assembly Technician:

As I assembled an IKEA dresser, my daughter once said to me, “Daddy, you are the best builder ever!”. I took that title to heart and make it a top priority to assemble all Kinder Surprise toys for my children. They are always so appreciative!
Kinder Dad Toy Assembly

3. CRA (Chocolate Revenue Agency):

Much like paychecks at work, eating chocolate does come at a small cost. I made sure to teach my children about chocolate tax early so that they understand why they only receive 3/4’s of every Kinder Egg they open. I highly encourage all parents to do the same.

As you can clearly see, this is one of the toughest jobs on the planet but I do it because I love my children that much. For more information on how you can become a Kinder Mom or Dad, check out #KinderMom or #KinderDad on twitter. You should also visit the KINDER® Smile Booth on Facebook to create your very own photo strip!

Also, keep your eyes peeled as Transformers and Disney Fairies are coming soon to KINDER® SURPRISE® eggs near you!

Kinder Kids

Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in the Kinder Dad program. I get to eat chocolate and play with toys, so it’s basically my dream job.

P90X3

Project #DadFit – Week 5: A P90X3 For Me, A P90X3 For You!

This has been an interesting week. I was flying high after running the Army Run 5K last weekend and was looking forward to carrying that forward into this week’s workouts. As fate would have it, I came down with something and was unable to do too much exercising. I still managed to skate with my son’s hockey team and squeeze in a visit to the gym but overall I was pretty laid out with the sickness and didn’t eat well at all because of it.

That said, I still feel motivated and hope to get back on track starting today! Before the sickness last week, I had been trying out the new P90X3 program from Beachbody Canada. I had tried the original P90X program last year but found it way too difficult for someone with my build and lack of flexibility and endurance. The P90X3 program is much easier for me and at only 30 minutes each, the disks are more than manageable. That’s not to say I don’t struggle at times but I have been going at my own pace and have really enjoyed the results so far.

After talking to the people at Beachbody Canada, they have agreed to let me give away one of their P90X3 programs to one of you! I’m telling you, no matter what you think about your abilities, you CAN do this program. Warning: There will be times that you swear at Tony Horton during the workout, so you’ll want to make sure the kids are out of earshot. Good Luck!

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Fellowes Canada AeraMax 300

Fellowes Canada AeraMax 300 Air Purifier {Review & Giveaway}

This week I had the opportunity to try out the Fellowes Canada AeraMax 300 Air Purifier and wanted to share a few thoughts about my experience with it. If I’m being perfectly honest, I had never considered purchasing an air purifier in the past, mostly due to the fact that I didn’t really know what the benefits were.

That said, it was definitely encouraging to read this statement from the President & CEO of the Asthma Society of Canada, Robert Oliphant, who said, “The new AeraMax air purifiers are the only such devices in Canada which have been scientifically tested and proven to be Asthma & Allergy Friendly. Investing in a quality air purifier is an essential tool for reducing allergens in your home, helping to minimize asthma and allergy symptoms.

My wife has a pretty bad hay fever allergy that affects her quality of sleep (which in turn affects my sleep), so we were excited to get the AeraMax 300 hooked up and running. Having never used an air purifier before, I was skeptical about whether it would do anything to help, but after only a couple nights we both noticed a dramatic decrease in the amount of times we were woken due to coughing. In fact, when we put the AeraMax 300 on our main floor, the one that houses our guinea pigs, we noticed not only that our family’s noses were less stuffy but also that those dust particles you see floating around were almost completely gone. I’m no air purifier expert, but I do know change when I see it and there has been a clear improvement in the air quality in our house.

I just wanted to share a couple more quick notes about the AeraMax 300. Much like Baby, air purifiers do not like to be put in the corner, so make sure you find a fairly open space, in the room that needs it most, so that it can do its job. Also, although the AeraMax 300 looks a lot like a slim R2D2, it will not interact with you no matter how many Star Wars reference you make to it. On the other hand, its Four-Stage Purification System captures 99.7% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, which is way more useful to your family. Without trying it out for myself, I had no idea that there were so many benefits to purifying my air and now I don’t know how we managed without it!

Now, who wants to win one of these amazing Fellowes Canada AeraMax 300 Air Purifiers?! Check out the form below to enter!

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PurifyYourAir Twitter Party Graphic

RSVP & Win Big At The @FellowesCanada #PurifyYourAir Twitter Party – Sept 15th!

Did you know that September is Asthma Awareness Month? As someone living in a house with a wife and child who suffer from varying degrees of asthma/allergies, I am happy to be teaming up with Fellowes Canada to help spread the word about their line of AeraMax air purifiers.

The new Fellowes Canada AeraMax air purifiers are the only such devices in Canada which have been scientifically tested and proven to be Asthma and Allergy friendly. That said, I will be trying out the Fellowes Canada AeraMax 300 Air Purifier over the next couple weeks and will tell you all about it very soon.

In the meantime, I will be helping out with the Fellowes Canada #PurifyYourAir Twitter Party on September 15th at 8pm EST and here are some of the amazing prizes that you can win by attending:

2 x $100 Staples Gift Cards
2 x AeraMax 100 Air Purifier (value $189.99)
2 x AeraMax 200 Air Purifier (value $290.99)
1 x AeraMax 300 Air Purifier (value $349.99)

Don’t forget to RSVP below and then join us on September 15th at 8:00pm EST for the Fellowes Canada #PurifyYourAir Twitter Party! Oh, and also make sure to follow:

Sponsor: @FellowesCanada

Host: @Listen2Lena

Moderators: @MommyOutside, @Kidsumers, @CanadianDadBlog

RSVP BELOW!



2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Dad Kids

Our 5 Favourite Things About The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

My family was recently invited by Chevrolet Canada to go on a weekend getaway to Severn Lodge in order to try out the all-new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe. We had an amazing weekend and afterward I asked my wife and children to tell me what their favourite things about the Tahoe were. Here are their answers, along with mine, of our 5 favourite things about the vehicle.

5. Magic Steps! –  Okay, so maybe they aren’t entirely “magic” but to my daughter, the fact that a step drops down when you open the doors was a magical experience. No, seriously, the loudest giggles I have ever heard, every, single, time! On top of her love for the drop down steps, they are actually quite practical for people with small children who don’t want to have to lift them into the vehicle every time you want to leave the house.

4. Back Seat 3-Prong Outlet – Seeing as how we were embarking on a long journey, my son’s favourite feature in the 2015 Chevy Tahoe was the 3-prong outlet in the back seat, because it meant he could plug in his Nintendo DS charger.  This may seem trivial to some but any gamer who has lost a game due to a low battery will tell you how devastating that experience is!

3. Size and Space – This was my wife’s choice, for obvious reasons. The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe is a 7 passenger vehicle and with a growing family, that has multiple advantages, with more leg room for everyone, the ability to let the kids bring a friend on excursions and extra storage space rating near the top of that list. Unfortunately it also means that my wife and daughter can pack more things, which means that my son and I have to carry more things from the car to our destination…

2. Forward Collision Alert – Driving with kids can be…let’s say, challenging at times. I want to tell you that I have my eyes on the road at all times but the truth is that distractions happen to the best of us. Kids cry, deer run out in the road, things fall on the ground. You never know what is going to happen and I am thankful that Chevrolet has included the forward collision alert feature to give me that extra notice that something’s about to go down.

1. Vibrating Seats! – From the moment my tire hit the yellow lane marker and I felt the seat gently massage my gluteus maximus, I knew that this was going to be my favourite thing about the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe. In all seriousness, the Lane Departure Warning is a very cool feature that sends a small vibration to your seat cushion if you start to veer off the road or into a different lane without signalling. The best part is that it only vibrates on the side of the seat of the lane you are encroaching on.

That’ll do it for our family review of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe. I was sad to have to give it back but as a family who will soon be in the market for a new vehicle (4 more months, baby!), this one will definitely be at the top of my wish list. To stay connected with everything that is going on with Chevrolet Canada, you can follow them on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Best Buy Preschool Back to School

Celebrate Back To School At Best Buy {And Win A $250 Gift Card!}

Let’s get this out of the way right away. This post is sponsored by Best Buy but the words come from me, a father who will be watching both of his children attend full time school for the first time this year! Needless to say, I am slightly emotional about seeing them both off on their first days but know that they are going to do great! I am made slightly less stressed out in knowing that we have equipped them with all the gear they are going to need in order to succeed in their new adventure.

When Best Buy contacted me, I actually had no idea that they carried so many back to school supplies for kids from preschool to high school. I am also happy to note that they are fully stocked for all your child’s Frozen needs as well, something that was much appreciated by my daughter… For my son, I managed to get all of his pencils, scissors, glue and even some Home Presence Bento Lunch Boxes for both kids! Oh, and I did all of this online where you can choose to have it shipped or reserve it and then pick it up in store.

On top of all that, the Best Buy Mobile selection is huge and also helped me find some really cool Back to School apps, such as:

Hurray For Pre-K: This a book app that introduces preschoolers to an exciting peek at a Pre-K day and is a great way for parents to help reduce child anxiety about preschool.

Cozi Family Organizer: I’ve actually been using this one for a couple years and love it. Cozi helps to manage the chaos of back-to-school and everyday life with the Cozi scheduling app that allows you to keep track of all family-members’ schedules, share grocery, chore and to-do lists in real time and access, view and update from any mobile device or computer.

myHomework: This will be the first year for homework in our house and myHomework claims to keep your child on track in school by helping to organize classes, assignments, projects, and tests by tracking what’s due and when. A color coding system organizes homework by class. I’m in already!

LunchBag: LunchBag is an app that helps you plan lunches for you and your family, whether at school or at the office. It also has a database of more than 100 lunch items, and you can check each off as they’re made.

With these tools at my disposal, all I have to worry about is my own emotional state as I wave goodbye to my kids this week, and not even Best Buy can fix that! Now that you know where to go for all your Back to School needs, Best Buy wanted to get you started on the right foot by providing you, my loyal readers, with a $250 Best Buy gift card to help with all your mobile needs! To enter, just head to the Rafflecopter form below and complete the appropriate task! Good Luck!

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