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!

Chris Blissdom Canada Ward Al

Almost Famous

Almost Famous. This is what I think of when I look back at my Blissdom Canada experience, and really, my blogging journey as a whole. And it’s not that I am chasing fame in any way or think that I am, in fact, famous, but more that I feel like William Miller, the main character in the movie of the same title. In the movie, Miller spends his time chasing his dream of being a music reporter but always seems to be two steps behind.

When I started blogging, I really had no writing skills to speak of. I had never written anything, anywhere, but thought the prospect of it was interesting. I had no hobbies, unless being depressed about my father’s death and playing video games until three o’clock in the morning counts as a hobby. Blogging has been my escape from all of the anxiety I had built up inside my brain.

In the two and a half years that I have been doing this, I have had my share of ups and downs. I have done things I am proud of and some other things that I am not so proud of, but have continued to grow as a writer, father and human every day. Lately, however, I have been feeling like I am chasing my own tail. It feels like great things are happening but I’m struggling to figure out what they all mean and why it hasn’t translated into something bigger. I share this with you because after talking to a bunch of the attendees at Blissdom Canada, I know that I am not alone in this struggle.

The question is, what do we do about this? When you have that feeling that your big break is just around the corner, even if you don’t know what it is, what do you do to reach for it? For me, the answer became a little clearer after Blissdom Canada. In speaking to people like Ward and Al, Drew Dudley, Derreck Kayongo and Neil Hedley, I realized that in order to achieve the type of success I want, I need to put my head down and continue to explore and create the things that I find most interesting. Who knew that the answer would be that passion and hard work pay off?

Things don’t just happen because you’ve written a few blog posts or recorded a podcast or two. They happen when you make the decision to take chances, dedicate yourself to your craft and put in the hours in order to make it a success. If you had asked me a couple weeks ago, I would have told you that I was slightly disappointed with the direction I was headed, but now I realize that I need to spend more time celebrating and building on all the small victories. Get out there and create, people, and good things will happen!

Canadian Dad Podcast - Mike Reynolds

Canadian Dad Podcast – Ep. 5 – Children’s Author, Mike Reynolds

This week I spoke to father, children’s book author, podcaster and writer, Mike Reynolds from PuzzlingPosts.com. We discuss Mike’s weekend at Beau’s Oktoberfest and I give plenty of love to the organizers of the Blissdom Canada conference, where I was a panellist during a podcasting session this past weekend.

Mike talks about his children’s books, “Daddy, Fly” and “The One Green Dinosaur”, that he co-wrote with his young daughter. He also talks about other ways to be creative with your kids and how great their little minds truly can be.

Don’t forget to say hi to Mike on Twitter,@PuzzlingPostDad

Enjoy the Show!

1st Day of School

School Life is Much Easier When You Have Great Teachers

My daughter started in school for the first time this year and my wife and I weren’t sure how she was going to do with the transition from home life to full day Kindergarten. The playground is a busy place with a lot of kids and it can be an intimidating sight for a newcomer. We were pleasantly surprised when on her first day, she strode into the playground, head high and confident, and never looked back.

The sigh of relief was short lived, however, as the next day’s drop off didn’t go exactly according to plan. The day after that was no better as I was forced to walk away while my daughter clenched the fence, crying and screaming, “No, Daddy! Don’t go!!!” It took every ounce of strength I had to not turn around and go back to her but I managed to make it out of the schoolyard. Unfortunately, against all conventional wisdom, I decided to hide behind a plant to make sure she was alright before I left. In my tunnel visioned state, I didn’t notice that I had been spotted by one of my daughter’s teachers, who calmly smiled at me and assured me that she was in good hands.

Later that day, we got an email from her main teacher, letting us know that she was doing really well and that she was smiling and playing with all her new friends. These are just two examples of the amazing teachers we have had the pleasure of dealing with since our children have been in school and we feel very lucky to have them. Something as simple as an email or a letter home to relay how things are going goes a long way towards putting us at ease as parents.

On top of having great teachers, my wife and I like to stay up to date on what’s going on in the world of education by hanging out on the Ontario College of Teachers website. I realize that this may not sound like your idea of a rockin’ good time but their newsletter, The Standard, is an amazing resource that talks about everything from special programs to trends in education.

The College’s website itself is a great resource as well that has things such as a Find a Teacher, the College’s Public Register, that allows you to search for your child’s teacher to see their schooling and previous experience, including certification as all teachers must be certified to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded primary and secondary schools. The website also has a Public Awareness Initiative to raise awareness of the free resources the College provides to parents.

At minimum, I would recommend subscribing to College’s ‘The Standard’ newsletter and then taking it from there. I have always believed in “The More You Know” philosophy and there is a ton of very practical information on the Ontario College of Teachers website. You can also catch up with them on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Stay knowledgeable, my friends!

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

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.

Ontario Electronic Stewardship

No, YOU Are Hoarding Electronics!

We live in an interesting time right now. I can remember growing up in a house that a TV in the living room and that was it. Our phone hung from the wall with a long spindly cord attached to it and that was about the extent of the electronics in our possession.

Currently in my home I have 4 laptops, 5 TV’s, 3 iPhones, 2 VCR’s, 3 printers and a slew of other misfit electronics. Most of these items have been replaced but we’ve kept them lying around as if we are hosting a museum or hoping they will turn into a Transformer… I noticed the electronic heap while I was in my storage room, digging out the Christmas Halloween decorations, and decided to finally rid myself of the mess.

In the past I would have just thrown them all in the garbage but if blogging has taught me anything, it’s that someone has always come up with a creative way to deal with things. Sure enough, I found the Ontario Electronic Stewardship, who have developed a way for you to recycle your old electronics so that materials such as gold, copper and other rare metals can be reused and kept out of a landfill.

The cool part is that you can punch in your postal code on their Recycle Your Electronics page and it’ll give you a list of the registered drop off locations. Places like Best Buy, Staples and Future Shop are on board and have bins right inside their front doors to make the drop offs very easy.

I’m also going to use this as an opportunity to teach my kids more about recycling by having them search the house for more electronics and bringing them to the drop off with me to explain what it is that will happen to all our old devices. I think they’ll appreciate knowing that some of this stuff will be going to help families and kids who otherwise wouldn’t afford it. I’ll just have to explain why daddy is keeping the old looking original NES system.

Because I am curious, I’ll leave you with this question. How many unused electronics do you have hanging around in your house right now?

Here is a fun video from the Ontario Electronic Stewardship!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the #WhatsInYours campaign. The message is important and it actually got me off my butt and into action!

#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.

Canadian Dad Podcast - Jeff Bogle

Canadian Dad Podcast – Ep. 4 – Writer & Kindie Music Expert, Jeff Bogle

Jeff Bogle from OWTK.com joins me on th podcast to talk about the importance of giving our children a taste of a variety of different art forms, especially when it comes to the type of music we listen to. 

There is a while kindie music scene outside of the Frozen soundtrack and the Wheel on the Bus and Jeff takes us through some of the best in the business. He also offers his services in helping you find a kindie band that blends your genre of music with topics that kids can really understand. 

I also strongly enoucrage you to check out Jeff’s podcast on iTunes, The OWTK Kid’s Music Monthly Podcast.

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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Boston Pizza Kids Card

Boston Pizza Kids Cards Available Now For a Limited Time!

Being a single income family, we don’t get a chance to go out to eat at restaurants too often. When we do go out as a family, the kids choose Boston Pizza 100% of the time. This has been going on ever since they got the mini pizza boxes as their “keep the kids occupied so mommy and daddy can have a conversation” toy about two years ago. The prices have always been reasonable and it is the only restaurant in the universe where the kids will finish their plates.

But before we get to the point of this post, which is all about the children, I would like to selfishly add that the first time I had the bacon wrapped steak skewers from Boston Pizza, I melted into my seat and then couldn’t think of anything else until the next time I had them, which was only a few days later… I am so weak.

Back to the children! There is nothing I love more than the ability to save some money, so I am excited to announce that from now until November 2nd, you can purchase a $5 Boston Pizza Kids Card in store or by visiting BostonPizza.com. Your $5 donation gets you 5 FREE Kids Meals ($35 Value), with all proceeds going to Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects, a program that works in partnership with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, JDRF, Kids Help Phone, Live Different and the Rick Hansen Foundation to mentor kids and help them reach their full potential.

Psst, if you register your Kids Card with your MyBP account, you’ll get a 6th free kids meal ;)

About the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects

Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects
Boston Pizza believes that strong role models inspire kids to be great. That’s why in 2014 Boston Pizza Foundation created Future Prospects to focus our efforts and help support youth in our communities and across the country in partnership with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kids Help Phone, JDRF, Live Different and other programs that mentor kids to reach their full potential.

Every child has the ability to make a difference in the world, and at Boston Pizza we value how important positive role models and mentors are in a young person’s ability to reach their dreams. Through Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects and our partnering organizations, we will work together to ensure ALL kids have the opportunity to have a positive mentor or role model to help support, guide and empower them to become all that they can be.

BPF Future Prospects is proud to support four charities on a national level: JDRF, Kids Help Phone, Live Different and Big Brothers Big Sisters. We also support a host of other deserving charities throughout Canada and abroad.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in spreading the word about these awesome kids cards. I used th money to purchase kids cards…and bacon wrapped steak skewers!