Today I’m introducing a new series called Childhood Unplugged. I know I am not alone in the constant battle that is media consumption! My kids spend too much time on Netflix, not enough time creating. Too many minutes playing computer games (we refuse to buy actual video game consoles, but who are we kidding? Most children’s websites are full of video games) and not enough minutes exploring outside. And, quite frankly, the adults in this home spend more time on their phones than they should (it seems to help me feel slightly less guilty referring to myself in the third person here). I’m not perfect, nor am I an extremist. I love media. I love escaping in a favorite show or movie or indulging for a few minutes in social media. So I don’t expect my kids to not love watching My Little Pony and playing games on PBS Kids. But without moderation it becomes so mind-numbing, addictive, and honestly just makes us grouchy. So I’m on a mission to focus more on adventure, creativity, and good old fashioned play. I’m going to share some of the things helping us here on the blog.
I always enjoyed art as a child, but I never valued my work as any good. I compared myself with the kids who had their artwork hung up at the top of the bulletin board, the ones who could really draw or paint. It wasn’t until college, when enrolled in an art education class, that I began to believe I actually was creative and decently artistic. And really all it took was some good technical instruction and practice. To be clear, I still can’t draw AT ALL, but I’ve discovered aptitude in understanding color, working with other media like paper and fabric, and actually, I’m most passionate about interior design and event design, two areas that never occurred to me as ‘art,’ but the most interesting to me creatively. The point is, I want to expose my children to a variety of artistic avenues. I want to help them find their niche. And I want them to grow up believing that their creative work has value.Do you ever suggest to your ‘bored’ (that is a serious four letter word, am I right?!) child that he could draw and he says “I don’t know what to draw?” These Start Creative doodle books have blown me away with their ability to spark ideas. When I got them I figured the kids would think they were fun, but I was completely astonished by the drawings my kids came up with while using them. There are three types of books- lines, swirls, and scribbles, and each one has a little drawing prompt on each page. The prompts are genius. Structured enough for the kids to say “oh this could be a car,” but vague enough that that same prompt could be a boat or robot or house.Another thing we are loving about these doodle books is their size. They are amazing for the car and PERFECT for a quiet activity to help the kids get through church! The kids have had them for weeks and have yet to tire of them like they do so many other toys and coloring books. I think they really love the open-ended nature of them and that they each have their very own set. I love these little doodle books so much and think they are perfect for all of my kids, regardless of age. I was thinking it would be genius to keep a stash of them for birthday party gifts. A set of doodle books and a box of colored pencils? So perfect! AND! I think they would be a smash hit in Easter baskets! Start Creative is offering a 10% discount through March 8th. Just enter code ANNE10 at checkout. Cheers to being unplugged! Thanks so much to Start Creative!