We just went an entire week with our kids screen-free.
So what is screen-free week? It's an international event that's put on by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. It's when families are encouraged to put away the screens, go outdoors, spend time together as a family, and only use screens if you have to for work or homework.
So our family tried it.
We didn't follow the rules exactly. We were off screens whenever the kids were around and awake.
The reason we did it is we wanted to see what kind of changes might happen after just turning off and not using screens for a week.
I've been reading that Silicon Valley executives who've created all these screens and apps and social media sites don't allow their kids to use screens, and its made me think maybe there's something to this. Maybe we can see some different personality traits, or differences in our own family if we try to go screen-free for a short time.
I've been doing lots of research and...
Last month the World Health Organization came out with screen time guidelines for our children. How much screen time is the right amount for our kids?
The World Health Organization says too much screen time is hurting our kids and their development. They came out with their first-ever recommendations last April of 2019. The screen time recommendations are no screen time under two years of age, one hour of screen time under five years, and three hours of active play for two to five-year-olds.
Do you think that's realistic?
At first, I thought no, but then I did some research, and I've realized that we've kind of fallen into some bad habits as a family. Have you, too?
I think we are tired.
I think we are bored with the slow pace of watching a little one all day.
I think we don't have other tools at our disposal that work as well as screens do.
I think we want our children to be comfortable with technology.
We think we're doing great, because the kids are doing something...
If you’re struggling to keep your little ones busy while you work, don’t worry, I have a way to keep them busy and challenged without handing over an iPad or turning on the TV. All three of our kids LOVE sensory bins!
A sensory bin is a Play Present that focuses on activating multiple senses at once. Most use seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling. You can even make edible sensory bins that use tasting! They’re important because kids learn through their senses and older kids destress with sensory activities.
Five easy steps to set one up:
1. Find A Location Sensory bins can be messy if you don’t prepare. Find a spot outdoors with a kid-sized table or soft space to sit. Grab towels and a bucket with water for easy cleanup. If you’re inside, lay down a sheet, oilcloth or tablecloth (we love the flannel backed vinyl ones). Afterward, you can gather up the sheet and pour any spills back into the bin or shake it out or wash it. Keep...
Do you know what invitations to play are?
If you're looking for ways to keep your kids happily playing on their own while you work near them, you need to know about invitations to play. They're used in a lot of preschools and early childhood classrooms to get the kids interested in activities. Why wouldn't we use them at home, too?
An invitation to play setup is arranging the environment so kids want to explore, discover, investigate, and play. It's designed to spark kids' curiosity to play. It's a way to get the play started.
By taking a few toys or materials and arranging them together in beautiful ways at home, I call these invitations Play Presents. We set them up because they help the long days pass more quickly, they ease transition time, and they allow us to keep the kids off the screens. They'll naturally play with their toys for a while, but by adding play presents, it allows them to play even longer, and more independently.
Here's how to get started using Play...
You just spent the last 45 minutes helping your son take a bath, brush his teeth, get his pajamas on, and read a bedtime story. You've done the whole dance of kiss and cuddle goodnight.
You head downstairs and get cozy on the sofa next to your husband and...
"Mom? I can't sleep."
Tell me you've been there.
Two-thirds of parents report some kind of sleep-related challenge with their kids at least a few times each week, according to Parents Magazine. When kids don't get enough sleep, they can't focus, get hyperactive, don't learn as well and they crave sugar.
If you have a preschooler, he should be getting 11-13 hours of sleep. Kids age 5 - 12 years should be getting 10-11 hours and teenagers need 9-10 hours of sleep.
Not getting enough sleep happens to us ALL the freakin' time. But. We are taking action. My husband just found this cool tool that has been helping the entire family wind down for the Sandman.
The Casper Glow Light is a soft light that won't emit any...
Last week, I spent the weekend with one of my mentors, Chalene Johnson, at her Marketing Impact Live conference. I’m giving you the inside scoop on what I thought her biggest messages were for online business owners.
I found Chalene Johnson a few years ago from her podcast “Build Your Tribe.” She makes talking about business super fun and entertaining, so I kept listening and started to love her.
My husband and I went through her program on creating a life you love, and I remember her live event was the first time my husband and I had spent the night away from the kids since our third was born. It was heaven!
So fast forward, I’ve been following her for a while, and have been learning a ton about marketing from her. I had no idea at first that she created Piyo, Turbokick and sold her programs to Beachbody and is an infomercial queen.
I love sharing screen-free, creative play ideas for your kids.
Today I want to share the backstory of WHY I’ve been doing this.
Because I think it can help you.
So - first off - let’s get your kids set up with a Play Present activity because I want to talk to you.
Let’s keep them busy with some Stained Glass Coloring.
Stained glass coloring books are different because they’re printed on this beautiful translucent paper with heavy black lines. When you hold them up to the light, the colors shine brilliantly and boldly. The lines are heavy, so it’s easier to stay in the lines. Kids love the different texture of coloring on something other than regular paper.
You can use paint, markers, felt-tip colored pens, crayons or all sorts of combinations of those to make it even more fun and exciting for your kids.
The pages tear out so you can tape them to a window or do other sorts of crafts with the finished...
Today I’m sharing how to make storytime more fun for you and your kids.
I’m guessing your bedtime routine with your kids involves storytime. Am I right?
If you’re saying no, maybe it’s because you think your kids are “too old” for bedtime stories, right? Wrong. Even when your child can read well, it’s important to still read together aloud. It helps with pronunciation and getting words into their brain, it also associates reading with pleasure and together-time, and allows you to talk about and analyze the story together.
You should be incorporating more stories into your child’s life, not less and not just at bedtime.
Here’s 3 reasons why:
1. You are literally teaching your child to THINK when you are telling stories.
All conceptual thought depends on us creating or remembering pictures in our head of what we are thinking of.
When you are thinking of a dog, you have in your...
Now that our youngest has turned five-years-old, I finally have time to read again! So many great books to choose from, here are my favorites from last year that have helped with my parenting:
When we dreamed of having kids and a family, most of us had visions and dreams of us all sitting around laughing and enjoying family time together. The reality is, our daily lives disconnect us from these moments because there’s too much of everything. Too much stuff, too much information, too much speed, too many activities scheduled, and too many choices. This book is a reminder of the importance of creating calm and rhythm into our children’s lives.
It actually became a goal of mine for 2019: to create a calm, soothing environment for our family.
I agreed with most of the reminders of this book, it’s basically stop...
One of the things I miss most about pre-kid, single life is the ability to spend a few hours window shopping at the mall and choosing just the right outfits that fit my personality and lifestyle.
I used to love wandering through and noticing all the seasonal themes and decorations, grabbing a snack at a kiosk and trying on fun new clothes.
The reality is to make time for this now means giving up precious morning alone time while all three kids are in school or calling in a favor to my husband and have him watch all three kids while I spend our money. Ha!
When the kids were really small, I decided to try a subscription box where they pick items out for me and send them to me based on a style profile questionnaire I fill out. While this doesn’t give me the satisfaction of physically going to the mall, spending time catching up on fashion in magazines or online and trying on outfits, it saves me a good three to four hours of time at least!