Kids and Screen Time

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I didn't think my kids watched a lot of TV, or spent much time on a mobile device (tablet, phone, etc). They would watch a show or two at breakfast, (sometimes) a show or game later in the morning, and a bit before dinner while I'm busy cooking. After a while, my husband and I added up the time our kids spent watching/playing on their device (or TV) and discovered that some days their screen time was about 2 hours.  Although two hours doesn't seem a lot, it was more than I had realized.

One day I read a quote that I often reference on our social media account. It said, 

"I think it's necessary to let kids get bored once in a while - that's how they learn to be creative."  -Kim Raver

We decided to limit their screen time. And when the day came to let our kids know, I was nervous. We had decided that they were allowed to watch a show during breakfast (mostly because we are not morning people and chatting during breakfast does not appealing to either of us). They were also allowed to watch a show or play a game while I made dinner (also for selfish reasons as I enjoy cooking alone). 

On the first day our kids asked for more shows a few times. At one point in the day my son said he was bored. I simply replied with 'bored people are boring'. 

It only took one day before I noticed my kids' creativity begin to take over. My two eldest made a slide out of cushions. My son started to play more imaginatively. Our daughter built her own doll house out of blankets and towels. She also started becoming much more interested in starting to write her own name. It didn't take me long to see the value of limiting screen time.

Here are some good screen time replacements: 

  • Tracing books (where they can trace objects, letters, numbers, etc..)
  • Markers or crayons and colouring sheets or books 
  • Play dough
  • Games such as Hungry Hippos, Memory or Go Fish 
  • Fort building 

Now let me just say, I like my kids having some screen/TV time. In fact, I know they've learned a lot from watching shows. Whether it was learning songs from the YouTube Kids app, or special apps helping them get active, or discovering a character they look up to, screen time isn't what is bad. It's simply learning when it's become "too much" screen time. And this will be different for everybody! Certain parents will have different opinions - and that's great. Do what feels best for you and your family! For us, it's also about monitoring what they're watching as sometimes, if you're not careful, there can be some pretty inappropriate things online.  

To conclude, if you are feeling like your kids are spending too much time on any device or in front of the TV, try to minimize their screen time this summer. Let this summer be about creativity and getting active! I know you can do it!  

 

Coach Erin 

How to Get Your Kids Off The Couch

Did you know that your kids need AT LEAST 60 minutes of physical activity a day? These 60 minutes do not have to be continuous but collectively throughout the day. Here are a few ideas to get your kids off the couch: 

1. Lead by example. Make physical activity a part of your everyday life to inspire your kids! 

2. Plan a family outing that revolves around physical activity such as tobogganing, going to the park, hiking through a Provincial Park, swimming, playing soccer, etc...  

3. Create a space in your house specifically for getting active. Have supplies in this area such as hula hoops, a basketball net, tennis rackets, balls, etc... 

4. Set limits to how much time your kids can spend on devices or in front of the TV. 

5. Teach your kids one of your favourite childhood games such as Kick the Can, Freeze Tag, etc... 

6. Have a dance party! Who doesn't feel like moving when fun music is playing?! 

7. Have a family contest to see who can get the most steps in one day. You can do this by wearing a step counter such as a FitBit or with a step counter on your phone. 

Let's all get more active together! 

Thanks for reading. 

Coach Erin 

Go Noodle!

If you haven't heard about the app called Go Noodle you should check it out! It is all kinds of wonderful! It includes videos to dance to, videos to laugh to, educational videos and best of all videos that will get your kids moving! And one of the best parts - it's free! 

This app is perfect for days that may be too chilly to get outside or for those days where your kids seem to need more activity! 

Here is an example of one of our family's favourite Go Noodle videos: 

To download the Go Noodle app go to the app store or check it out at https://www.gonoodle.com/!

 

Have a great week! 

The Staff at Activate Sports  

Winter Activities

 

Happy first day of winter!

 

This holiday weekend the weather (in Winnipeg) is suppose to be quite mild. So get outside and enjoy the nice weather with some of these activities: 

1. Snowman Building

Who doesn't love to build a snowman? It's a great family activity. So grab your snow pants, a carrot, a hat, some coal, and sticks and start building! 

2. Tobogganing 

Winnipeg has some great toboggan slides to enjoy. Here are some of our family's favourites:

- St Vital Park 

- Kildonan Park 

- Bunn's Creek Park 

- Fraser' Grove Park 

- Whittier Park 

3. Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is a great activity for all ages. It may not expend a lot of physical energy but it sure is fun! 

4. A Winter Walk 

By now I think we could all use some more vitamin D! Taking a walk in the winter sun is a great way to get out and enjoy the sun. 

5. Cross country skiing

Every.Single.Year I say I am going to use my cross country skis and I will say it again - I will cross country ski this winter! I think it would be a great family activity! Here is a link to the trails around the City of Winnipeg: http://www.ccsam.ca/where-to-ski/winnipeg/

6. Snow fort building 

Our family's goal this year is to build our first snow cave. Feel free to join us in this challenge! 

7. Skating

Winnipeg has some great (indoor and outdoor) rinks to enjoy. Outdoor rinks are generally just a short walk from your house. Check your local community centre for indoor open skate times. Most, if not all will also have free skate times. 

Happy winter activity-ing! 

Coach Erin 

 

 

 

Snack Ideas!

I think the best snacks for kids are the simplest ones! Simple meaning as natural as possible. These include fruits and vegetables. When these snacks can get mundane try:

- adding a side of peanut butter with your apple

- making a fruit salad

- adding a side of hummus with your veggies

- putting your grapes on a stick and freezing them
 

And then there are days when we need something else. Maybe it's because we don't want fresh strawberries squished into our vehicles carpet or that we're going on a 2 day road trip where the fruit or veggies won't be so appetizing after being shuffled around in the cooler for hours. So if need be, here a few healthy-ish grab and go snack ideas: 

- popcorn with light butter and salt or dried dill

- Veggie Straws

- nuts (our kids love unsalted peanuts and cashews) 

- cheese Strings

- Beef Jerky

- pretzels

- yogurt tubes (I like to freeze them so they are less messy) 

- nacho chips and homemade guacamole

- apple sauce

 

Thanks for reading and happy snacking!

Coach Erin

A Winters Day Itinerary

A Winters Day Itinerary

 

I must say, I had a hard time letting go of summer. With winter being delayed I took ever opportunity to be outside until sunset, to wear slip on shoes (don't judge - Crocs are comfy and easy to run in and out of the house with!) and have the windows open! 

And now...we must embrace winter. This season brings about new activities, more clothing and humidifiers! If you're like me, it takes more planning to keep the kids entertained during winter. So here is an example of what a December's day looks like in our house: 

Breakfast 

Lego Advent Calendar + Building 

Christmas Craft (https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/christmas-star-decoration

Show - "Bo On the Go" is great show to get the kids moving (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79C8tbAU9zY&app=desktop

Hide and Seek 

Game - Most likely Hungry Hippos (http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/elefun-friends-hungry-hungry-hippos-game/6000056193549)

Colouring - Christmas Themed ((http://www.freefunchristmas.com/christmas-coloring-pages/)

Lunch 

Quiet Time (everyone must find their own quiet activity) 

Family Work Out (my kids LOVE dance work outs) 

Snowman Building or Walk 

Show

Supper 

Playtime in the Playroom 

Bath 

Snack 

Bedtime 

*Optional: Getting dressed!  Because some days are better in your pyjamas!