Guiding families to make better choices.
I point my kids to good online content, do you?
The world is changing and our kids are online all of the time. I know many people are against monitoring their children but I feel that it is our responsibility as parents to help point out to our young families what a good choice or bad choice is. For example, there are many websites that help young people learn skills in reading, writing, math, history, etc. I choose to direct my children to those sites rather than allow them to explore and find sites that are inappropriate for their ages. Consider checking the history and giving them constructive feedback on the content they have been viewing if your child seems to be getting off track often. Just remember not to attack your child but to give suggestions that may help them make a better decision on link clicking.
Image was found on Creative Commons and the link is http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/2516648940/lig...
Helping Our Kids to Make the Best Choices
My internet browsing suggestions for children ages six years through thirteen years.
I believe that education is the most important thing in a child's life. Therefore, I believe that encouraging our families to use the internet for educational and fun purposes is important. I have compiled a list of websites that are both fun and educational for young people that I have personally used, approved, and allowed my own kids to use. I encourage parents to do the same and create a list of approved websites for their young kids.
I decided on what sites my children use by browsing the internet and looking into websites that claimed to help young people to learn. I wrote down a list of features I would like the pages to have and what I thought would be beneficial to my own family. As humans, we are very emotional creatures in this world and tend to get bored more easily than other animals like dogs or cats. Therefore, I decided the number one feature of an educational website would be the ability to interact. The second, most important, feature would be true learning opportunities. For example, some of the sites that I allow my own son to go to allows for him to win points for each letter of the alphabet he correctly matches the animal that begins with it. I also make sure that the webpages do not have inappropriate material on it. Every family has their own ideas of what is appropriate or not so be your own judge.
I am not telling you that you must sit there eying everything your child does online if you are trying to get your chores done. I am simply suggesting setting guidelines for your children to use when going online and be sure to make them age appropriate so your child understands what you are telling them.
Putting Beauty Back Into Our Lives
Get Back to Nature
Many children today spend a majority of their time inside on video games, computers, or watching television. Let's try to remember to get our children outside so they can experience nature at it's most beautiful times. For example, have them help plant a flower garden on a weekend or go to the park after work/school, even take the time for a hike if you have time. Maybe encourage them to use their phones to take photos of the sunset or birds they see during their walks to school, etc. Give them something to think about that will encourage them to take the time to explore the world in a productive way.
Arts and Crafts Are Great Pass Times.
I hope this gets families interested in spending time together. Below I have written about some projects I have done with my children and the children at the daycare I work at. Now don't get me wrong I am in no way an artist but the fun thing about arts and crafts is that you get to use your imagination. Many children come home from school and complain they are bored. Maybe, the weather is bad or you aren't sure it's safe to send them outside in your neighborhood. Grab a tub and put together an arts and crafts center for them so that when they become bored they have more options that just watching television or playing video games. Give your children options please because if we don't technology just might dull our creativity. Give that a thought.
Making Memories Out of a Shopping Trip
Long Days? Send Stress Away!
Have you have a long day and you still have to go shopping before you can get your family fed, in bed, and do laundry? Well instead of stressing about the trip take out your phone with a camera and take some pictures of the sky. See interesting clouds, colors, birds, etc.? Use them to take your mind off of your busy day for a few minutes just so that you can remember that you do this for a reason. We don't go through life for no reason, we go through life so we can experience it!
Dr. Seuss Always Bringing Fun to the Little Ones
Love the interesting ideas. Dr, Seuss never goes wrong with the little ones. I work in a daycare and the kids love his books. Like the Foot Book and Green Eggs and Ham. We have a costume of Cat and the Hat and sometimes have someone wear it while reading his books to a class.
Making Your Own Projects After Looking at These.
My children absolutely loved this project! We watched this video and paused it at certain crafts and tried to mimic the product they came out with. It was so fun we even created some new ones of our own. I hope this will spark creativity for some of your families as well.
Last Easter we made bunnies similar to this only we painted the ears and the outcome was so cute that we put them on our doors for a week.
Tips for choosing the best activities for your families.
I make it a point to remind new parents that everyone has different ideas of good parenting. I thought since this topic comes up often I would share some advice for young families to consider when thinking of an activity. First, remember that everyone likes something different. Second, age appropriateness is important to creating fun. Third, choose three activities and take a vote so everyone agrees on what is fun. Finally, remember it is supposed to be fun not work so turn your phones off!
Be The Child
Now, don't get me wrong we all have responsibilities that must be taken seriously but I want everyone to remember that at one point we were children too. So in light of this I say we all take time to be children with our children rather than shutting them out because we are too worried about the responsibilities we have to take care of them. Take care of your children by showing them you know they are children and that you once were a child as well. Who knows? You just might get a great response from those amazing little humans you brought into this crazy old world.