You Can Protect Kids from Child Abuse - Learn the Statistics At Cybertip.ca #Cybertip2016

As a Canadian parent it is so important to be aware of the facts surrounding child sexual abuse and how to keep our children safe. I'll admit that I haven't given this topic much thought, but as my kids are now school age and not always with me, their safety and the safety of their peers is becoming increasingly important to me. The world has changed since I was a kid, and unfortunately sexual offenders are using the online space to both target and exploit their victims who are all too often children. It's so important for the public to be aware of this, to educate ourselves and know how to report a problem and protect these kids. 

Cybertip.ca, operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, is part of the Government of Canada’s National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet. Some surprising facts to be aware of: 
  • To date, Cybertip.ca has responded to 200,000+ child sexual exploitation reports from the public.
  • Cybertip.ca receives an average of 3,300 reports per month. 
  • 95 per cent of reports submitted to Cybertip.ca deal with concerns over child sexual abuse images/videos. 
  • To date, reports to Cybertip.ca have resulted in at least 514 individuals being arrested and the identification and rescue of 490 children.  

I was blown away by these statistics. As a Mom it's concerning and I want to help. I would encourage everyone to visit this website, share their videos, follow them on social media - search out the hashtag #Cybertip2016 to engage in the conversation - and make sure you are aware of what to do if you see a problem concerning the welfare of a child. It is my hope that the number of victims reported over the coming years decreases and more children are protected before anything happens to them.



Save Handwriting and Support a Cause with BIC Fight For Your Write #BICFFYW

I have always had a passion for writing. I remember keeping a diary as young as 7 years old, and in all honesty since then I've never not used writing in one way or another as an outlet for creativity. Technology has really made a difference in the way most people choose to put words to paper (or screens.)  I still love to collect pens and notebooks and personally use them almost daily - Sometimes creatively, and sometimes for more practical reasons.  However, my handwriting has never been visually "pretty" and I chalk this up to my heavy reliance on the keyboard.  I worry for my kids' generation as technology advances and less focus is placed on handwriting in the classroom.  I believe in the necessity to learn handwriting at a young age.  I see my daughter practicing often.  She, too, loves to use writing as an creative outlet. The more she does the more confidence she builds and the more she's able to express herself.  She has great success in school, because her wonderful teachers have taken the initiative to ensure handwriting has been taught in a way that is fun, inviting but also given great significance. These teachers have given her and her peers a skill that is of lifelong importance. 

BIC is encouraging Canadians to join the BIC Fight For Your Write movement. The campaign includes weekly handwriting challenges on www.BICFightForYourWrite.ca  to help prepare children for the upcoming school year and spark their creativity. For every challenge submission, BIC will donate $10 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to help ensure Canadian children and youth have access to the best possible tools for success. You'll also be entered into a weekly draw for a chance to win amazing BIC® Stationery prizes and will earn one entry into the grand prize draw, to win $5,000 towards your child’s education. 

What better way to encourage something so integral to a well rounded education, while also supporting a cause that matters nation wide? 

Do check out www.BICFightForYourWrite.ca with your kids, for more information and to join in the fun!



5 Amazing (Budget!) Kids Playroom Design Ideas

When you're trying to design a kids' playroom for your little ones on a budget there's surely a lot going on in your head. But what happens when you've stretched your ideas to their logical breaking point and you are unable to complete the project as planned? By consulting this helpful guide to budget kids' playroom design choicecs, you can finish the job, while keeping costs to an absolute minimum! 

1. Cube Storage
Between the presents they receive from their parents, grandparents and other extended family members, children often end up with more toys, games and random knickknacks than they know what to do with. Especially with the great discounts on Build-A-Bear toys available with Discountrue.com coupons, it's not difficult to succumb to the temptation to gift your kids with something special. To create additional storage space in your kids' playroom and keep costs down, utilize cube storage for the walls. This provides a great place to stash extra books and toys, without laying waste to your original budget! 

2. Wall Stickers
One of the most costly additions that you will have to make to your children's playroom is the wallpaper. But did you know that there is a very easy workaround that can be implemented for a fraction of the cost, without making any design sacrifices? When you need to break up a blank space, let your children choose their own wall stickers. This also gives them the chance to switch things up as they get older and their taste changes (which it surely will). 

3. Add a Canopy
For those of us out there with little girls who want their playroom to resemble the sleeping quarters of a fairy princess, adding a canopy is a wonderful way to dress up the room a bit, without having to break the bank. Draping a pink canopy over the bed or another common area is a nice touch, as it adds a little bit of magic and gives the room a unifying theme. 

4. Showing Some Patriotic Pride
It is never too early to teach your child how to have pride in their heritage and covering one of their walls with a crisp national flag is a wonderful way to decorate their playroom, while saving money. These flags look especially nice with a neutral backdrop and you can also purchase matching lamps and furniture to complete the look. 

5. Reusing Older Picture Frames Reusing
old picture frames gives the kids' playroom a more personal touch, as they can be used to create displays in the play area that trumpet past accomplishments or simply serve as a place to keep those adorable old photographs from when they were even smaller. If you have some favorite keepsakes or old pictures that you'd like to put in the playroom, you can't go wrong with using older picture frames.