Here's what you might have missed in January 2012

It's been a while since we've done a Monthly Roundup, but we're bringing it back in 2012! Here's what's been going on around here in the last month: January Craft Carnival The craft carnival by Alicia married two of kids' favourite things - reading and crafts. Go on over and see what everyone else did! Perhaps you'd like to use some Melissa and Doug art supplies for your next craft project.

Activities for Kids As we all know, there is so much to do with children in Ottawa. We started out by sticking close to home with a little YouTube time. The best part was all the videos everyone posted in the comments! When you're done flipping through a few YouTube channels, it's time to get up and MOVE. So, how about doing some gymnastics? Or perhaps you'd prefer to go skating? But if you're already a skater, ringette or soccer might be just thing thing for you! The Ottawa Public Library (sponsor) gave us a number of timely book suggestions - all about hockey.

Parenting Tips We've had some great advice, from the birth of a second child to Kindergarten registration and even when to register a child who's birthday falls close to the cut-off.

Cooking Making healthy snacks for children can be challenging so Ezmy shared a few of her ideas with us. Of course, special days come along every once in a while and they call for colourful cupcakes!

Child Safety We shared a great video from Tail-Wags Helmets about bicycle safety and the need for helmets.

Speaking of Videos - and other technology Lara shared her thoughts about taking video of your children and how much they enjoy watching themselves.  It's pretty easy to see the benefits of having video of your kids, but the question of when to get cell phones is not nearly as straightforward.

Moving Abroad We've started a special series - written by contributor, Krista - about her family's adventures living in India where they moved last fall. Don't miss out on these posts - her pictures are stunning and gorgeous!

Kids in the Capital Finally, in this month's KIC Gives Back post, I shared about One Laptop Per Child. We got a response from the organization and they made sure we knew about their Canadian operations. This is a great program - if you missed it the first time, you can read all about OLPC here.

We did a lot of calling on contributors this month - for pictures and posts. Before you know it, we'll start to see the snow melt and the green will come back and we'll need more pictures to update our new banner - did you get a chance to see it yet? Here it is:

Keep coming back in February as we add new contributors and share more about what's going on in Ottawa as well as adding enhancements to the site to serve you even better!

KIC Gives Back: One Laptop Per Child

The KIC Gives Back series will typically highlight organizations in the Ottawa area, but this came to my attention this week and I thought it was a good exception to the rule, especially consider all of our techie posts of late. Have you heard of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)? If not, here's a little information from their Web site for you:

OLPC's mission is to empower the world's poorest children through education.

We aim to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. To this end, we have designed hardware, content and software for collaborative, joyful, and self-empowered learning. With access to this type of tool, children are engaged in their own education, and learn, share, and create together. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.

I think this is a wonderful initiative. It's been going on for several years - I think I first heard about it around five years ago - back when they were still doing the give one, get one program (it's now ended and is donations only). The latest news out of OLPC last week was the introduction of a tablet and I was so excited about that. Knowing how well my own son uses a tablet and how much he's learned from it, I am thrilled that OLPC is working to supply them to kids all over the world.

If you're interested in contributing to the OLPC cause, there are numerous ways to do so. From monetary donations, to time and expertise, to spreading the word.

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Next month's KIC Gives Back is going to be in conjunction with Kindness Week. We'll be highlighting a local program that is doing some great work! Check back in a few weeks to read all about it and learn how you can help.