Making New Year's Resolutions with Kids

We're twelve days into the new year - how are your resolutions going? I actually didn't do any formal resolutions this year. Some years I've chosen a "word" (or more than one word) that will help to define my path for the year, but this year I'm just going with the flow.

What I have taken time to do is sit down with my family and map out some resolutions for all of us. I thought I'd share some ideas related to kids' resolutions, and the ways we can support our kids and guide them through the process.

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Let your child guide YOU

Sure, you're there to point out resolutions that may not be realistic or attainable. But if your child is old enough (7+ is probably a good age) then they can ultimately decide their own resolutions with a little bit of input from you.

Don't make any resolutions you know you can't keep

Keep things down to earth and simple. For instance, if you are a family that allows a healthy amount of screen time, resolving to cut out all screen time with your child will probably fail. Instead, why not chat about "no screen weeks" and schedule several over the entire year?

Making family resolutions

Your child may express a desire for an individual resolution, but it's also fun to do resolutions as an entire family. Sit down to a family meeting, and map out your life - what seems to be working? What's not working? What kind of resolutions may help to solve the problems you are facing?

For example, mornings are always tough here in our house, as I'm alone with both my kids. We've made a resolution to help each other out more - my girls are pitching in with lunches at nighttime, and I'm setting aside time in the morning to have 5-10 minutes of snuggles before we all face the day.

Avoid resolutions that have to do with food

You may have your own healthy resolutions that you want to make, and that's great. It's super important that we chat with our children about healthy food choices and what nourishes our body. But avoid making any restrictive types of food resolutions with your child - this is especially important for girls ages 8-12 years. Those pre-pubescent years are a tricky time for girls (and boys) and dieting or cutting out certain foods (a.k.a "junk food") may be setting your child up for some challenges.

If you're really keen on working with food and resolutions, consider something fun. For example, make a resolution that the whole family has to try ONE new food each week. Make a list of possibilities and have your child visit the grocery store with you to purchase the new food. Or make a resolution that you will have a super fancy homemade dessert one day each week - cook or bake together in the kitchen and teach your child that ALL foods have a place in our lives!

Use a visual representation for your resolutions

Grab all those old magazines, and have your kids make a collage  - ask them to cut out images that really speak to them and help them think about the things they want to accomplish. 

Follow-up on your goals

As with our own personal resolutions, it's good to continue to check in on your kids' or family's resolutions and:

1) see what we have accomplished; and/or

2) where we need to keep working

Regular family meetings a great way to check-in. You could do this weekly, monthly or even quarterly! Having a meeting that coincides with the changing of the seasons is also a great way to create meaningful ritual in your family life.

Does your child have any resolutions? Share what has worked for them in the comments!

The New Canada Science and Technology Museum

After three years the Canada Science and Technology Museum reopened its doors in November offering new exhibits and an updated look. If you’re wondering what you can expect from the newly built museum and how to make the most out of your visit there, here’s what we noticed on our recent visit:

What’s familiar

The Crazy Kitchen

The Crazy Kitchen is back and looks just like it did prior to the museum having to shut its doors. It’s located toward the back of the museum and still has a computer screen where you can watch visitors challenged by the entertaining illusion that is the Crazy Kitchen. The kids still love it as much as they always did too!

The Trains

Trains - Canada Science and Technology Museum

The steam locomotives are back in the museum’s new “Steam: A World in Motion” gallery. Visitors can still walk through them and sit in one of them. The sheer massive sizes of the locomotives will make young children stare in awe, and will be difficult to keep the older kids from climbing on.

The layout

If you recall how the original museum was laid out, the new Canada Science and Technology Museum is laid out in a similar manner with the admission desk at the very front, bathrooms to the left and the gift shop to the right – with a wide open entrance to the museum exhibits. There is also a café, but there is ample seating around the museum, which makes snack time with little ones easy.

Canada Science and Technology Museum

What’s new

The new LED canopy entrance to the museum is eye-catching and is a great way to get ready for the museum’s many new science and technology exhibits. Parking is in the same location as it always was, but there is also a secondary parking lot up by the lighthouse (and the museum was busy enough on the day we were there that both lots were very full!) These are just a few of the highlights:

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Zooom: Zooom is a hands-on area where children, ages 0-8, can create, imagine, test and play with technology. It’s an immersive space that is a popular spot for kids! They can put together puzzles, climb the rock wall, or build a race car and then test it out on different tracks. This is a great place to sit and let the kids explore and play once they've gotten tired (just my kids?) of the more traditional exhibits.

Wearable Tech: This area reminds me of just how much technology has changed, even in the three years since the museum was last opened. The Wearable Tech gallery displays innovative technologies for the body – and not just for human beings!

Sound by Design at the Canada Science and Technology Museum

Sound by Design: This is an interactive experience that invites visitors to take a spin as DJ on an oversized turntable and dance to motion-activated sound. It’s a fun hands-on area visitors of any age will enjoy! There is also a Quiet Cube, which explores the sound of silence – a great place to visit on busy days at the museum ;)

Artifacts: Everywhere you look (up, down and all around) you will find historical artefacts. From bicycles to telephones, to printing presses and more; you may find yourself asking, “What is that?” more than once during your visit to the museum. You may also find yourself pointing out all the things in the museum your kids have never seen, but that you had when you were young. Thanks for dating us museum!

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Video game special exhibit: This is one of the reasons we need to make it back to the museum SOON - it was so busy that the kids weren't able to play all the of the "old-timey" video games (the lines were SO long to try Space Invaders and the original Donkey Kong, and no amount of promises that they could play them at home would convince them they weren't worth waiting in line for ;) 

What’s gone

We noticed that the fibre optic tunnel with slides is gone, as is the space exhibit with the Canada Arm. The museum is more focused on science and technology now than it previously was – as evident by the large displays of how appliances, gadgets, and technology have changed, developed and improved over the years.

What you need to know

Artefacts - Canada Science and Technology Museum

Admission is $17 per adult and $11 a child BUT it’s $43 for family admission – and that covers two adults and 4 kids – handy if you’re two friends visiting with your kids.

Parking is now $3 an hour or $8 for the day, but there is a flat rate $5 parking lot next to the lighthouse.

There is a coat room, which is handy for those bulky winter coats as well as a cafe and lounge area.

There are many new hands-on activities, interactive experiences and interesting facts at the new Canada Science and Technology Museum. The museum is a great place to educate kids on how far technology has come and how modern gadgets and technologies shape many aspects of our lives – including in the great outdoors! There is so much for visitors (of all ages) to see and do that you will need more than just a couple of hours to do it all!

We've definitely missed having this museum open and are excited to have it back - we're probably going to be buying a membership this year in fact.

Have you been to the newly reopened Canada Science and Technology Museum? If so, leave us a comment with your favourite exhibits and must-do activities!

Canada Science and Technology Museum

Our favourite Netflix shows for kids (because it's too cold to go outside!)

There's something decadent about lying on the couch watching tv, snuggled up in a cozy blanket while it's freezing outside.

This holiday season it has been especially freezing here in Ottawa (thanks Polar Vortex!) and I've been happy to intersperse some Netflix between the lego building and all the socializing (seriously, the Holidays can be a bit overwhelming for an introvert, especially if you have a lot of family in town.)

So we've been especially thankful for Netflix and I thought I'd share some favourite shows from our household. But, because my kids are a bit older, I also asked our community to share some of their favourite shows.

I struggled to categorize these so know that my 8 year olds watch shows from all these categories so I'm just generalizing and guessing here ;) Happy watching!

Younger Kids (3-7 ish)

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Full House / Fuller House - ( Editor's note: my kids have watched ALL of the old show and love the new show just as much. There's a lot of nostalgia when they're watching this (though I can't handle more than an episode or two at a time ;

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Annie (the new one, though the classic movie is there too :) )

Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn

The Croods

Troll Hunters

Teen Titans Go

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King Julien

Larva

Spirit

Skylanders Academy

 

Tweens (9/10-14ish)

Naruto

Cheer Squad

Project Mc2

Lost and Found Music Studios - (Editor's note: now that we're getting into these types of shows I find them harder to just tune out like the little kid shows and find myself watching these even though I also think they're a total waste of my time. Just a bit of a warning ;)

Victorious

Would you add any others to the list? Leave a comment and let us know!

disclosure: We are part of the Netflix Stream team and receive perks (like Netflix giveaways!), all opinions are our own.

Looking Back: Our Most Popular Posts from 2017

What a year it's been for Kids in the Capital! 2017 was #Canada150 which meant posts about all the fabulous activities there were to see and do in the National Capital Region. We had a lot of great posts this past year and we're sharing our most popular of 2017 - surprisingly, not all of them were written this year! Remember to bookmark your favourite posts - especially for summer when you're looking for fun outdoor activities!

Most popular posts of 2017

10) High Tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier: Every afternoon, High Tea is served in Zoe’s Lounge at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa. The decor in both the Chateau Laurier and Zoe’s is beautiful and posh. Scones, sandwiches, fruit salad and desserts served on fancy tiered dishes make eating fun! This activity runs all year long and is ideal for guests of all ages, just remember to book your spot in advance.

9) Ottawa's Best Splash Pads: There seems to be more and more splash pads popping up all over Ottawa every summer. They're a great way to cool down and enjoy the warm summer weather. If your kids love splash pads, bookmark this list  for next summer!

8) The New Millennium Park: The City of Ottawa has made major upgrades to the Millennium park in Ottawa's East end, including an awesome new splash pad. The two main play structures are still a big hit, and the trees are slowly growing to create some shade. A brand new shelter helps, as well as the ability to run to the water for a cool down - perfect for scorching summer days. 

7) Exploring the Outaouais with kids: Eco Odysee: Ottawa loves to explore the greater Ottawa area in the summer, and Eco-Odysée is a gem! Beautiful scenery, boats, maps, clues, and puzzle solving! It can't get much better for kids who love outdoor adventure and mystery! 

6) The Children's Museum: The Children's Museum at The Museum of History is a favourite indoor spot for children any time of year. The museum is great because there is a lot of hands-on stuff for kids to do, and they can enjoy it at so many ages.

5) 150 things to do and see in the Ottawa region for Canada's 150th Birthday: As the NY Times mentioned, there's always something to see, do or explore in Canada's Capital and 2017 was no exception! Between La Machine, MosaïCanada and Canada Day there were many exciting things to see and do this past year (and next year too!)

4) Ottawa's Top 10 Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods: Every year one of our most popular searches is on popular neighbourhoods in Ottawa. So this year, with the help of some of our readers, we wrote a post on Ottawa's top 10 family-friendly-neighbourhoods. Parks, amenities, schools and more - read what makes an Ottawa neighbourhood family-friendly.

3) The Holidays in Ottawa: 25 things to do under $25: If you're off during the holidays it can be a challenge to find activities for the family that don't cost a lot of money. Misty compiled a great list based on families of four, but of course many of the activities will accommodate larger families without too much of an additional cost! 

2) Giver’s 150 Canada-themed playground at Mooney’s Bay: This past spring TVO aired episodes of Giver about building one of the largest playgrounds in Canada located at Mooney’s Bay in Ottawa. Among many other things, Canada’s playground at Mooney's Bay features a lighthouse slide, orca shaped monkey bars, a ship that rocks back and forth as you move, a log cabin, a canoe-shaped teeter totter as well as a multitude of play structures, each symbolizing something that kids can identify with for each area of Canada.

1) 50 things to do with kids in Ottawa:  Our readers love this post! As parents, we know how important it is to find things kids will love to do - regardless of the time of year. So, we put together the ultimate list with loads of ideas! From museums, indoor activities, outdoor activities and parks - there's always something to do in Ottawa, no matter the season!

Our readers love posts about things to do in Ottawa! Let us know what you want to read on KITC in 2018! Leave a comment and let us know!

Last minute stocking stuffer ideas from ME to WE

I tend to leave all my stocking stuffer shopping until the last minute, as I focus on bigger gifts first (knowing that fun little items are usually always available!)

But this year with the help of Me to We, I've already found the perfect stocking stuffer ideas for everyone in the family. Me to We is a social enterprise - meaning it's a business that sells products, but your purchases will have a positive impact in communities around the world. Your shopping could provide access to education, clean water, fair wages and more!

As well, much of the income generated through Me to We is funneled back into the WE Charity, a non-profit that partners with communities to alleviate poverty.

(and side note - if you're still looking for that perfect gift, check out WE Charity, and make a donation in someone's name - a great idea for your child's teacher!!)

Here are just a few of the sweet little stocking stuffers I've found:

Teal Colour Pop Bracelet - $12

This bracelet comes in all different colours, but I LOVE the teal!!

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Plaid Rafiki Bracelet: Merry Everything - $10

Kids absolutely adore these Rafiki bracelets, and I love how you can "track your impact" to see how your bracelet is making a difference.

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Hakuna Matata Bracelet - $15

I really loved seeing the Kenyan Boys Choir sing Hakuna Matata at last year's WE day here in Ottawa, and kids will get a kick out of this Hakuma Matata bracelet!

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Me to We Coffee (that gives clean water) - $12.99

For the coffee lover in your house - I've had a chance to sample this Ecuadorian coffee and it has such a rich and smooth taste!!

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Me to We Chocolate - $4.99

There's gotta be a little something sweet in your child's stocking, and the dark or milk chocolate bars (made from chocolate grown in Ecuador) are fantastic!! If you don't want to shop online, check your local Mastermind Toys store - I spotted them at the cash the other day!

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Disclaimer: Kids in the Capital is a WE Family Ambassador, and we were provided several products to sample from the gift catalogue. All opinions are our own.