Techno-Breaks and After School Fun

September 2014 at 09:30

After-School…Not Just for Kids Anymore!

Take a Techno-Break…Your Kids Will Love It.

 

As a busy working mom I know, I just know, when my son or daughter expresses frustration about the amount of time I am spending on my computer or the phone that is almost like a third arm; they are right!

 

Parents express frustration with their kids and the time they spend on their electronic addictions {rule at my house: no electronics during dinner!}.However, do we think that perhaps we, as parents, need to stop and evaluate ourselves?

 

My good friend and creative partner at molly & drew The Beer Bread Company, Amanda, one day called me out on my phone usage. What, me? How could she? How dare she? I {NEED} {MUST HAVE} {DEPEND ON IT} {LIVE ON IT} …. For work!

 

I had one of those moments where you pause, step back and try hard to look at the situation objectively. I call it ‘tripping.’ You know what you need to do, but you are out of practice, and you keep tripping over yourself on your way to figuring it out.

 

Since that day, I have quit work one day a week at 3:00p.m. to be with my kids after school. I also started letting my youngest hide my phone from 6-8pm so I can’t find it! {she loves this of course}

 

That was last year. This year, I am adding something new to my kid-focused-put-down-the-gadget time on that one afternoon a week. Something they will like! I’m happy to share the activities we are enjoying together and would love to hear about yours!

 

  1. Frozen Yogurt! On these hot days my kids love to go to our favorite locally owned yogurt shop, Yogurt Rendezvous, to sample & select! She samples one thing {something tart} and usually chooses that. He samples everything under the sun and chooses something he didn’t even sample! We sit outside, talk about their day and all feels right with the world.
  2. Bookstore Dates! Yes, we love to go to the bookstore. Fostering a love of reading is my job, making it fun is my challenge! She goes right to the latest Disney movie themed book/activity items and him, well…he generally asks a question of every staffer working before we walk out with a few books from his favorite series, Percy Jackson or his new love, history. Oh, and of course, we have to pre-order the latest book in the Diary of A Wimpy Kid Series. Mom sneaks in a book for the month and everyone wins.
  3. Cardboard Creations! With many shipments coming to the house, this activity will be creating an apartment complex with all the boxes from the month. He can cut, and she can design – as I write this blog there is a second grader sitting in her box-made Homework Hut right next to my desk. Sami's creative space is adorned with a nametag, a ‘no brothers allowed’ sign, puppy wrapping paper walls and mom’s scarves hanging down to create a doorway. I’d share office space with this Homework Hut any day, for someday soon I know I will be begging for time with my kids who will be too cool to hang so close!
  4. Fitness Please! I have one kid who loves to play and workout and one who thinks Minecraft counts as building hand-eye coordination, this one is a challenge for me. Having kids with different ages and interests can be a good thing – they must learn to share, even in the chosen activity. Last week it was biking, this week might be soccer. I remember my dad playing catch with me in the yard as a kid or trying to crowd in on my brother Matt’s home-run derby outings or games of HORSE in the driveway. Let’s bring these moments back…I know I am trying!
  5. Dinner Prep! This one requires the most patience from me. Let your kids help plan, create, and serve a great meal. “Treat” them by saying you will do all the clean up! As the owner of a food company, I encourage my kids to take our great foods like Garlic Parmesan Beer Bread or Fiesta Dip Mix and create new recipes. I show them how a simple Beer Cake Mix or Beer Bread Mix can become whatever satisfies their hunger {except we have yet to perfect turning it into Goldfish crackers}. This activity allows me to sneak in healthy eating, lessons on math via measuring and the ability to celebrate their jobs well done!

 

So today, pause, put down YOUR beloved gadget and find an hour for your kids. Tell me what you like to do with your kids – I need all the ideas I can get!    ~be inspired! Molly

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