Tag Archives: childcare

31 Days Unplugged – Day 15 – Unstructured Time

14 Mar

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A big part of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge has, for me, been about time management.  I have found that when I am unplugged, I have  a lot of time to do other things.  How do I spend that time for the glory of God and the good of my family? I have grown a lot this month in that area, and found that several new and exciting opportunities have arisen due to my new focus.  I hope that is true for you, too!

Recently, my husband and I had to decide whether or not to sign Charlie up to play T-Ball this Spring.  I really wanted him to start playing, but Jason wasn’t so sure.  I thought it would be good for Charlie to meet some more kids his own age and start getting some baseball skills.  Jason thought he was too young and unfocused, and he also knew that we would have to sacrifice a lot of our free time (which we really value) to take Charlie to practice and games.

In the end, we decided to wait a while longer to begin playing organized sports, and even though I was disappointed at the time, I am now relieved that we don’t have to spend our Saturdays this spring at the ballpark, especially after talking with some friends who are stressing out, trying to figure out how to add ball practice into their already busy schedules.

Having too little unstructured time is a problem for a lot of people, whether you have children or not.  We run from one activity to another, spending hours a day in our vehicles (with the kids watching movies or playing on the phone).  We spend our Saturdays rushing from one game to another, then from birthday party to birthday party.  What are we trying to accomplish, exactly?

According to the National Wildlife Federation, today’s children in America spend less than 30 minutes a day in unstructured play and 7 hours or more in front of some sort of electronic device!  That just sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? 

No wonder so many of our children are obese, diagnosed with ADHD and depression, and simply stressed-out!

Today’s post is an extension of yesterday’s challenge to cut down on your family’s time in front of the TV.

Challenge #12 – This weekend, structure at least one hour a day of unstructured time into your schedule. (That sounds ironic, doesn’t it?) In my opinion, that isn’t enough unstructured time, but that’s a good start.  Spend this time doing WHATEVER you want to do, and let your kids do WHATEVER they want to do (except watch TV, of course:)).  

I am a big believer in unstructured time, and a large portion of our days are spent with the kids simply playing.  I have always believed strongly that that is how kids learn and make memories, not by being shuttled from one activity to the next.  We’ve got to give ourselves and our families time to just be.

Spreading weeds

What They Said Wednesday!

25 Sep

Hi there! I hope you are all doing well.

We are enjoying the gorgeous fall weather.  Well, every one but Charlie, who threw a little tantrum this morning when I wouldn’t let him wear shorts to the park.

He began his tantrum on the stairs.

He began his tantrum on the stairs.

Maddie likes to do everything Charlie does, but with a little more drama.

Maddie likes to do everything Charlie does, but with a little more drama.

Maddie bringing me a leaf she found on our walk.

Maddie bringing me a leaf she found on our walk.

...while Charlie continues lamenting the end of summer.

…while Charlie continues lamenting the end of summer.

Maddie building a rock castle on the trail.

Maddie building a rock castle on the trail.

Charlie stops on the bench to whine a little more.

Charlie stops on the bench to whine a little more. He apparently REALLY hates his pants.

He finally snapped out of it and became his usual sweet Charlie self.  I guess we all need a little time to whine every once in a while, don’t we?!

 

Anyway, the real point of this post is to give you my second installment of What They Said Wednesday! So here goes…

I have been paying close attention to what the kids have been conversing about over the last couple of days so I could write this post, and I will say once again: the children are hilarious.  Absolutely hilarious.

Charlie (one afternoon as he played with his “doh-doh” and I worked around the kitchen): “What can make a house blow up?”

Me: “Lots of different things, I guess.”

Charlie: “Can fire make a house blow up?”

Me: “Yes.”

Charlie: “What about water?”

Me: “No, I don’t see how it could.”

Charlie: “What about shooey?  Could it make a house blow up?”

Me (at this point, I had all kinds of things I wanted to say, but I didn’t want him scared to use the bathroom): “No, I don’t think so.”

 

And one funny convo with Maddie as she ate breakfast:

Maddie: “I am a princess.”

Me: “You are a princess. What does a princess do?”

Maddie (flapping her arms like a bird flapping its wings): “Flaps her wings.”

Me: “Oh!  Why does she do that?”

Maddie: “To fly in the sky.”

We’ll have to let Princess Kate in on that one!  I don’t think she knows that she is supposed to be flapping her wings.

 

And just one more from Charlie.  He snuck this one in during lunch today:

Charlie: “Can God turn into a fridgerator?”

Me: “If He wanted to.”

Charlie: “Could God turn into a house?”

Me: “Uh-huh. Why do you think God would want to be a refrigerator?”

Charlie: “Maybe so he could get some food out of it.”

He has been really into conversations like this lately.  He asked me one day where he would use the bathroom in Heaven!  Now that’s a tough one to answer!

Hope you have gotten a few laughs out of today’s post!  Have a great day, everyone.:)

 

5 Signs That Trouble is Brewing….

29 May

5. I hear someone yell, “I’m okay!” from another room of the house.

4. Charlie says, “Stand back, Maddie!”

3. Maddie runs into the kitchen, grabs a dishtowel off the stove and runs off with it. She does this very quickly without looking me in the eye or saying a word.

2. Charlie says, “Sorry, Maddie!” or Maddie says, “Sorry, Bro Bro!” without being prompted.

1. There is peaceful silence for more than 5 seconds.

Dying Easter Eggs

28 Mar

We have had a lot of fun this week beginning our Easter traditions.  This is the first year that Charlie really understands what is going on, and of course if Charlie likes it Maddie is totally into it!  We have been learning a lot with our resurrection eggs and some library books about the whole point of Easter-that Jesus died and was resurrected.  We have also been doing the other Easter stuff, like Easter egg hunts and dying eggs.  We dyed our eggs on Monday, and I am just now getting around to posting about it!

I had aspirations to do lots of great, creative things with our Easter eggs, but ended up just buying the good ol’ Paas Easter egg kit and going for it.  We didn’t even write on them with crayons before we dyed them!  Maybe next year…

Both Maddie and Charlie got a big kick out of watching the color tablets dissolve in the vinegar.

Both Maddie and Charlie got a big kick out of watching the color tablets dissolve in the vinegar.

Working...

Working…

They immediately wanted to take the eggs out of the dye!  I had to make them leave them a little longer so the colors would be a little brighter.

They immediately wanted to take the eggs out of the dye! I had to make them leave them a little longer so the colors would be a little brighter.

Green hands!

Green hands!

Our eggs had a slightly more "natural" color since our eggs were blue and brown instead of white!  I like how they turned out.

Our eggs had a slightly more “natural” color since our eggs were blue and brown instead of white! I like how they turned out.

...and displayed on the table.

…and displayed on the table.

Now the kids can’t wait to destroy the eggs on Easter day!  They want to crack them open so badly.

I have seen some other really cool things with Easter eggs.  One of my favorite blogs is Glitter ‘N Glue, and she had a great post today featuring DIY Glittered Easter eggs.  I wish I had seen this before we dyed our eggs!  Click on the link to see her idea: http://glitternglue.com/2013/03/28/diy-decorative-glittered-easter-eggs/.

This site also has some really cool ideas: http://www.thegirlcreative.com/2013/03/24/creative-ways-to-decorate-easter-eggs.html.

Next year, I am definitely getting more creative with our eggs!  Or I may just stay up late one night and do it myself…