You may wonder what in the world am I talking about? I'm telling you to unplug your kids, folks! Turn off the TV, the computer, the iPods, the Play Stations and even the phones. Unplug them and plug into what your kids need: You. Creativity. Imaginative Play. Fun. I know this is difficult. Especially now in a day and age when it's sometimes easier to have the TV babysit the kids and you escape into Facebooking or just browsing the web. I'm guilty of this, too. But now that I'm more aware of how much Pyper needs ME and creative outlets, I have forced myself to unplug her and ME. This is an ongoing transformation, I won't lie. Just last night, she wanted to watch TV in our bed while I cleaned up the house from a fun weekend. She's recovering from a cold and ear infection, and is feeling a bit under the weather. So, I didn't feel TOO guilty for letting her get some TV in and have some quiet time. I can also get my housework done a lot faster without her underfoot asking for me to hold her or just whining that I'm ignoring her. Sometimes, TV is necessary. But not all the time. I've stopped Facebooking at home. I limit my internet and computer use while in our home. I try everyday to do fun, creative things with Pyper and just enjoy my girls being little and inquisitive.
Bake cookies with your kids. Pyper has really developed her love of anything to do with baking and cooking. She loves to whisk eggs, stir soup, and push the buttons on the food processor. Let them help you cook--they will more likely eat what they helped prepare!
Play with boxes. I picked up 4 huge boxes at work that held car seats. They were going to throw them out, and I stepped in and saved them. One thing I've learned--kids will play with the box before the toy. Jenn, our nanny, made this creative playhouse for the kids, cutting out shapes of different colors and sizes for the kids to learn from while playing. It is now covered in shapes that Pyper and I cut out last Sunday. Pyper loves to use the glue stick and "decorate" her house.
She will disappear for long periods of time and when I go looking for her, she's in her playhouse playing with her stuffed animals.
Shannon told her to get her markers and "paint" the inside walls. She loved this, and had a ball decorating her house...
These kinds of crafts are great when it's too cold outside or rainy to venture out and play.
But when it's nice out, take the kids out! Two weeks ago, we walked in our first family 5K. It was in honor of Thomas Musser, a little boy in our small community that lost his battle to cancer last year. Our tiny town and surrounding communities raised almost $20K!!! All proceeds went to St. Jude's, where Thomas received his treatments.
It was participating in this 5K that made me really re-evaluate the time spent with my little ones. How would I be remembered spending time with them? Them watching TV while I was engrossed with something silly on the Internet? I didn't want this to be my legacy with my kids. We, as parents are our children's first teachers. Start teaching them to use their imaginations, and creativity. You'll be amazed at how much better everyone will feel.