The devices are taking away too much time from us and the kids. I have had this realization recently after nights of negotiation with my 14 years old on his device usage. Limiting screen time, cutting off Wi-Fi after 11 p.m., control mobile data usage. All these measures can only do so much.
They must be other activities which excite them beside the devices. Or we as parent ourselves are also glued to the screen so much that we have neglected their needs for attention. We need to find ways to re-engage them.
My friend, Ling, has an online store felicityfindings.com specializing in craft supplies. It has a amazing product call the shrink plastic which I blogged about a few months back. The shrink plastic comes in various colors. It has the printable type which you can use a inkjet printer to print out anything and shrink it down 1/3 of its size.
So I thought, some art and craft should let the boys have some hands on and get their hand off the devices. I invited Ling to our house one Sat morning. She accepted my invitation and was so kind to bring all her barang barang, including the antique oven featured in my last blog. And her 2 lovely girls too.
The session started off with the children tracing their favorite cartoon character on the shrink plastic.
Followed by coloring it using permanent color marker or color pencil. And most importantly, to sign off as their own creation.
Next up. Cutting it out and punched a hole for key chain to be inserted at a later stage.
This next step need to be shown using video as the shrinking process was the most exciting moment for the kids. Auntie Ling let the art work shrank till it has flatten out and used a flat piece of weight to press it a little as it cooled off.
And for the last touch: Attach a key chain to complete the art work.
So you see, some simple art and craft can definitely help parents to re-engage the children in fun way. Parents themselves, though, will need to sacrifice some of their own screen time.
The Auntie Ling Art Session ended off with some pizza and *sigh* an hour of gaming on the Nintendo Game Console. :-(