Cheo moms and dads

by Lara Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

As parents in Ottawa I don't think many of us don't have a lot appreciation for CHEO.  The staff is amazing, caring and the way they deal with my children when we have to go in always amazes me.


When CHEO approached me to be a contributor on their new parenting blog I was thrilled to be a part of it.  Creating community online is one of my passions.  Creating a space where parents can talk about parenting connected to our children's hospital - win!

My first post is up today.  Go and check it out and say hello to some of the other new bloggers.

And if you're visiting from the CHEO blog - welcome! Have a look around, we talk about everything from activities for kids, to food to crafts to parenting tips and we're happy to have you!



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Pinteresting my way through summer vacation

by Lara I'm not always the most creative when it comes to finding activities for the kids.  With them home with me full time this past week I have leaned heavily on Pinterest for indoor activities.

What I love about so many of the pins is that just a photo of an activity idea is often enough for me to run with it (psa: when pinning, remember to pin to the URL to the exact post you're referring too.  Too often I click through to a front page of a site and can't find anything about what I thought I was clicking through to see).

Here a couple of the crafts we tackled this week:

Ours may or may not have turned out as nicely as those photos ;)

This particular pin has me inspired to maybe tackle a bigger project next week:

And in case you didn't know, Kids in the Capital has it's own Pinterest account where we try to share all things kids.  Come on over and join us!


Leave a comment sharing what some of your favourite kid activity pins have been lately!


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Making fun and easy videos

by Lara I've been wanting to make fun little videos of the kids for awhile but I often get derailed when trying to figure out how I would do it: what software would I need? Where do I find copyright free music?

Then I remembered a program I've seen a lot of photographers use and decided to try it out : Animoto.

It was easy as anything.  Free if you're happy with videos that are 30 seconds or less or for $30 for the year, you get access to more themes and you can make your videos as long as you want.

It was super straightforward to figure out and within minutes I had made this video:

Then I saw they were advertising their iPhone app so I downloaded that and then created another video right from my phone (nothing could be more convenient since my phone and iPad are where I take all my videos of the kids)

Have you ever played around with making fun little videos of the kids? What do you use?

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by Lara A video went viral last week about a little boy in L.A. who built an arcade out of cardboard - have you seen it?

Caine, a 9-year-old boy, built an arcade out of cardboard in his father's auto parts shop. This kid is amazing - he replicated games he had played in a real arcade with cardboard... what an imagination, what a future engineer.

What I love about this video is seeing Caine create, and then seeing the celebration of what he created.  We need to celebrate these kinds of creations, to celebrate when our kids come up with the cleverest of ideas.

If you haven't seen the video - here it is.  Caine is amazing, @nirvan is fabulous from bringing Caine to light, and the best part of this is that Caine now has a college fund surpassing 100K.

Have your kids built anything amazing lately?

Lara is mom to five year old Kiernan and two and a half year old boy/girl twins Quinn and Juliette. Between the kids and her social media consulting business , she spends most of her time running frazzled.

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Social Media Mondays: 5 keys to parenting in a digital age

by Karen

Parents who are bringing up children right now - you, me and every other one out there - are living in a time where things change so fast that some barely even find out about one innovation before something new comes along to replace it.

So, how do we raise responsible children in this age of connectedness and sharing?

I have a few ideas:

  1. Moderation - I'm not a big fan of the word balance. I think it looks too different from one person to another, but moderation is easier to grasp. Having an active life online can be a hobby and/or a job and/or an obsession. Maintaining interests outside of the online world helps keep you grounded and prevents obsession. We need to teach our children how to use these tools in a healthy manner.
  2. Education - Parents need to learn what's happening online and know how to use the tools. It's not uncommon for parents to be uninterested but for their kids to be heavily active. That worries me. It leaves what can be (or become) a major facet of a child's life untouched by the guidance of a parent.
  3. Exposure - <rant>It bugs me that social sites have been forced by law to institute age limits - 13 and older only. As a parent, it is my job to decide what sites, when and how much my child is online.</rant> My point in that little rant is that early exposure is actually good. Let's teach children from a young age how to incorporate online tools into their lives safely and develop healthy use habits.
  4. Privacy - On this subject, I could go on and on and on. If you are typing words into a device that saves or transmits data in any way, you have no guarantee of privacy. Screen captures, hard drive recoveries, ISP data - these are just some of the places where that data can be obtained. Children need to understand that what they say on any device - connected or not - matters. Choose words wisely!
  5. Kindness - Also, empathy and compassion. It's far too easy to let loose online without regard for the person on the other end, but the point is that there is a person on the other end and words do hurt. The written word is a powerful thing. We need to teach our children that bullying, judgmental attitudes and meanness are not okay - online or off.

It blows my mind that my son will never know what it's like not to have some sort of computing device readily available in his life. I remember what those days were like. I remember going to the library to look up everything I needed to know to write a paper. The analog age was time-consuming, wasn't it? Personally, I don't have any desire to go back to that, though I understand why some do.

We need to embrace these changes that technology and the Internet have brought to our lives so that we can teach our kids to use the tools at their disposal properly.

What is your biggest concern for your children growing up during this time?


Karen Wilson is a wife to Matt and mom to Brandon (3), who blogs about her life at Karen’s Chronicles. Most recently, she can be found at Wellman Wilson, helping business use social media more effectively.