Friday, 8 April 2016

Be Present: Unplugging From Your Devices

Be Present: Unplugging From Your Devices

We’re all guilty of being glued to our phones, tablets, or computer screens during some part of our day. Of course sometimes it’s necessary, during work hours, communicating with others, getting directions, etc. Even children come home from school and want nothing more than to sit in front of the television screen, and we know, they could do it for hours. Children see a phone and you immediately get asked the question, “Can I play a game on your phone?” Adults are just as guilty. It’s hard to go anywhere now without passing the majority of people staring down at some sort of screen.

Of course, electronics have so many amazing benefits (for crying out loud this is a blog post.. the irony), but there comes a time when we all need to unplug. Enjoy the present moment, take a break from the wifi, and give your scrolling thumbs a break.

Here are some seven occasions we advise not just turning your phone on silent, but turning it off!

 The Morning

Allow yourself time in the morning, before the chaos of your day, for some electronic-free time. Whether that entails sitting down for breakfast device-free or just giving yourself an hour before you start scrolling down the feed. You’ll have plenty of time during your day to be on your device. Devices can be more of a distraction than we generally think. IDC Research reports that nearly 80% of smartphone users are on their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning.  Unplugging in the morning gives you more time to get ready for your day, reboot, enjoy that cup of coffee, and allows you to be present in the now.

The Dinner Table

Real life conversation happens at the dinner table. Even just thirty minutes a day of conversation at dinner, without the distraction of electronics, allows you and your family to unwind from the day and enjoy the present moment. Unplug and enjoy each others company.

Right Before Bed

Being on your electronics right before bedtime isn’t a good a idea for a number of reasons. For one, the stimulation of electronics makes its more difficult for your brain to rest when it is time to go to sleep. Being on your smartphone, tv, or tablet right before bed can lead to unwanted stress and brain stimulation, interfering with your good night sleep. Allow yourself an hour before going to bed electronic-free.

Out to Eat

Ever been out to eat at a restaurant, looked to the table next to you and seen a family all staring down at some sort of device? We have too. It happens more often than not. When you go out to eat, whether its with a friend, family, or for business, turn off your device.

Walking

It’s dangerous! Staring down at your device while walking can lead to unwanted interactions (running into other people, literally) or objects. We advise avoiding looking at your phone while walking anywhere from inside the grocery store to down the hallway at your office building. This could avoid unwanted injuries, such as running into walls.

When You’re Ordering

When you are ordering food or perhaps even just paying for groceries at the store, avoid being on your smartphone. Often times it’s distracting not only to you, but to the employees helping you out.

Driving!

Texting while driving has become an epidemic. The National Safety Council has reported cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.  (according to this article:  https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html)

Looking down at your phone while driving could be compared to driving with a blindfold on. Your eyes are not on the road, and your attention is focused somewhere else. It’s dangerous and not worth the risk. Avoid using your smartphone while driving. If you need directions off your phone, plug them in before driving and use the verbal directions offered. If you have an iPhone, we suggest putting it on “Do Not Disturb” before you take off in your car, this will prevent you from being tempted to look down at those frequent buzzes. Don’t risk it, your smartphone will be there when you get out of the car.

Sources:

http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/smartphones/480485

http://www.postandcourier.com/storyimage/CP/20140225/PC1603/140229572/AR/0/AR-140229572.jpg&maxw=800&q=90?ver=201402251855

http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/mpora_new/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/jalanbahaya.jpg

http://actstheblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/unplug.jpg

Monday, 21 March 2016

The Babysitting Blog – Electronic Free Babysitting Activities

Electronic Free Babysitting Activities

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Babysitting, in fact, is a job, and it can be a fun one with the right activities. As a babysitter, sometimes the easiest thing to do is let the children you’re watching sit in front of the television screen or stare down at their iPad till bedtime or their parents return home. We know kids would have no complaints about this.

Oftentimes, I babysit children whose parents prefer a limited amount of electronic time (TV, computer, iPad, etc.), but getting the children away from the screens can be tough. While movies and computer games are fun, planning out electronic-free activities to do as you babysit will get the kids away from the screens, and make your job more fun.

Look as it more of a play-date than a job!

10 Electronic-free Babysitting Activities:

Play Outside

Playing outside is a great activity to do while babysitting in the morning or daytime. Pack a picnic, kick around the soccer ball, or take doggy for a walk. Everyone can benefit from a little sunshine and and it leaves the mess outside.

Arts & Crafts

Get your creativity on!  Arts and crafts are always a fun thing to do as a babysitter that kids enjoy, and the amount of crafts to make are really endless.

Browse pinterest for great arts & craft ideas for kids:

 Science Experiment

Avoid the “don’t try this at home” science experiments of course, but this activity can be a blast that kids will love. If you’re watching a children interested in sciences and learning more science experiments are perfect. Here is a list of easy science experiments for children:

Make sure to plan out which one you want to do before babysitting, to make sure you have the materials you’ll need and it will be an exciting surprise for whoever you’re babysitting!

Have A Dance Party

Make a playlist and show off those moves. You can even make it a competition, depending on how many are in your party. You could even create a choreographed dance, they can show off to their friends and family later on. This is one of my favorite activities as a babysitter, always leaving me laughing hysterically and the kids always get a kick out of it. Get groovin!

Make A Newspaper

Play journalist for the day. Make a newspaper, write stories, draw pictures to go along with your stories. This is a fun activity to feed the imagination and kids love to show the final project to their parents.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are so much fun. Whether you choose to do it around the house, in the backyard, or around the neighborhood (if the kids are old enough) scavenger hunts are a blast for kids. You can write up your own list or use ones from online like this:

Bake

Depending how skilled you are in the kitchen, baking is a great activity that leaves you having a blast and also with a tasty treat at the end of it. Make sure not to leave a mess and have whatever you are going to bake planned out so you know you can bring the right ingredients. Kids love making new things, check out this pinterest board for baking with children:

Build A Fort

Building a fort is a blast for children, and even for you. As a kid I can remember how magical forts seemed. You can play a game board inside, tell stories, and share laughs. The Foocot is great for fort fun! But don’t forget to clean up before mom and dad get home!

Make A Skit

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SNL for kids? I vote yet. Write a skit, dress up, and perform it. This activity is a blast for children with lots of energy and a great way to get creative. Instead of watching TV, make your own.

Play A Board Game

Keep it old school. Sometimes nothing is more fun than a classic board game. Board games are fun at any age and a perfect activity for babysitting. If the family you are babysitting for doesn’t have any at the house, bring your own to share with the kids.

Contributed by Emily-Jane Cosgrove, babysitter

 

Image sources:

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http://socialnewsdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Mothers-Day-Newspaper1-300×300.jpg

http://www.bettycrocker.com/~/media/Images/Bettys%20Dish/August/Baking-with-Kids/baking-with-kids_5.jpg

http://ecpblog.azurewebsites.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ThinkstockPhotos-482638814.jpg

https://www.care.com/img/cms/web/content/articlephotos/2013/10-oct/img-article-8-scavenger-hunt-ideas-for-kids.jpg

http://cdn2.yourmodernfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/best-songs-for-a-dance-party-with-your-kids.jpg

Monday, 8 February 2016

Blog Post: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

20 Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

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We live in a prevailing world of social-media. There are some wonderful benefits to social-media: keeping in touch with long-time friends, getting your brand out there, even just social-media intended for a good laugh. With the good, however, always comes the bad. There are some cringe-worthy posts out there that make you want to run and hide…far far away from the internet.

We’ve compiled a list of the Dos and the Don’ts for posting online and consider these best practices good advice for anyone on social media.

  1. Do post pictures regularly
  2. Don’t feel the need to post excessively throughout the day
  3. Do proofread before posting
  4. Don’t include profanity in your posts
  5. Do keep it classy
  6. Don’t post negative comments
  7. Do spread positivity and compliment others
  8. Don’t use social-media to insult others, if you have something bad to say keep it off the internet
  9. Do remember whatever you post will be on the internet for the long-run
  10. Don’t feel the need to prove you’re having a great life through social-media
  11. Do enjoy life, and post on social-media if you feel it’s beneficial
  12. Don’t post personal information
  13. Do use social-media to stay connected
  14. Don’t give into comparing yourself to others by followers and likes, that’s not what life is about
  15. Do post what makes you happy
  16. Don’t ever feel obligated to post anything
  17. Do take frequent breaks from social media. Nothing’s worse than trying to have a conversation with someone scrolling through their Instagram feed
  18. Don’t use social media to rant about personal problems, that’s what friends are for
  19. Do respond back to other people’s comments on your posts, it lets   them know you’ve seen and value what they have to say
  20. Don’t give into social media drama, if you see it stay clear, there is no need to get yourself involved

 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The 7 Best Reasons to Get Fresh Air with the Kids

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The birds are singing. A whiff of freshly applied sunscreen as kids run by tingles your nose. The sweet sound of laughter echoes from every angle. The prickly green grass encompasses your barefoot toes. It’s summertime.

Some of our fondest memories are being outside during the summer months. The long days seemed endless. Yes, it gets hot. Yes, we get sweaty, but there is a certain importance to allowing our kids to roam free in the summertime. The value of fresh air is something we hold important as adults, but may be even more important for our children. According to the National Wildlife Federation the average American child spends 30 minutes or less outside each day yet seven or more hours in front of an electronic screen.

The outdoors can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. It’s time to put down the electronics and bask in the beauty of mother nature. Here are seven reasons to value the fresh air with your children:

7 Reasons to Get Fresh Air with the Kids
  1. Imagination/Creativity

The outdoors caters to our imagination. You get to explore new ideas and places. Create inventive games. The outdoors provide endless opportunities that help to sculpt a child’s imagination.

       2. Health Benefits

IMG_8968Fresh air equals a fresh mind. Getting outside offers a variety of health benefits. For one the sunshine boosts Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is having healthy calcium and phosphorous levels which are essential in building and maintaining strong bones. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! Even just 20 minutes of fresh air a day can reduce stress and improve overall health. Fresh air is good for the body, and in particular the brain. NPR journalist Jon Hamilton discusses how child’s play outside can help build the brain and teach your children valuable lessons:

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2014/08/06/336361277/scientists-say-childs-play-helps-build-a-better-brain

 

 

 

 

 

  1. No Mess!

With lots of playtime indoors comes lots of clean up time as well. Time outside is good for the mind and also good for keeping mom’s living room clean. Enjoy some summer treats like watermelon or popsicles without the worry and frustration of making a mess that mom will have to clean up later.

 

  1. Change of Scenery

Yes we all love the time we get to spend relaxing on the couch and in the comfort of our homes, but there is beauty outside of our comfort zone as well. A change of scenery is good for the body and the mind. A nice hike or a quick dip in the pool can refresh the brain and release the stress we carry in our hectic world, plus your kid’s will love that valuable time spent with them in the fresh air.

  1. Fitness

IMG_4087With obesity rates increasing especially among our youth, fitness is something we should all ta

ke seriously. Like we mentioned before, even just 20 minutes a day can improve your overall health. Gyms get boring, especially with the same routine every day. Getting outside can provide a fun outlet to your static workout routines and also is a great way to keep your children healthy and active. Teaching your children the importance of a healthy lifestyle is a trait they can value and carry on into the rest of their lives. Jump rope, swim, gardening, walking, or kayaking – there is an endless amount of opportunity to keep you and your family fit while still having a lot of fun!

 

 

  1. Spirit & Soul

Have you ever walked outside after being cooped up on a long day, and felt immediately re-energize and overall better? It’s the magic of the outdoors. The sunshine can provide our bodies with energy and happiness. It actually releases endorphins that help to keep us happy and healthy. By incorporating the sunshine and fitness you’re participating in two activities that release endorphins. Good for the mind and body!

  1. Helps build a Strong Relationships

0vOyG1AsMs3VVMhcU1Dly-rwD1qD1xYAOLackuV8-Yk (1)Whether you’re camping deep in the forest or taking a stroll around your neighborhood park, fresh air with your children can help build an even stronger connection. Without the distraction of technology, being outside leads to stronger conversation and appreciation for the little things.

 

Contributed by Emily-Jane Cosgrove

Credit:

National Wildlife Foundation http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Why-Get-Kids-Outside/Health-Benefits.aspx

NPR – Jon Hamilton “Science Says Child’s Play Helps Build a Stronger Brain”

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2014/08/06/336361277/scientists-say-childs-play-helps-build-a-better-brain

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Million Mile Month

 

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This month, we’ve partnered with Million Mile Month in a challenge to get active and log one million miles as a community in the month of April.

The goal of this campaign is to promote a healthy lifestyle, get moving and help eradicate heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide. At Joovy, we feel it is also important to set good examples for our children. It’s a fact that one million people a year die from heart disease and introducing physical activity at an early age can make an impact.

This Million Mile Month initiative has a goal to combine healthy nutrition as well as physical fitness and has made it easy to help track your activity.

Million Mile Month has made it easy to:

  • Win awesome prizes (bikes, gift cards, fit trackers and more) just for logging miles.
  • Get recognized for your hard work on the MMM Leaderboards.
  • Stay Connected year-round to become a Fitness Millionaire.
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and increase your overall health and wellness.

So, let’s get out there and complete a mile for every life that is lost annually to heart disease one million miles to eliminate the loss of one million lives each year to heart disease.

Register here to get started! There’s half a month left!

 

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Pregnancy & Newborn: Road Test

Check out this month’s Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine and special feature on jogging strollers, Good Gear/Road Test, Running in the Family.

The Joovy Zoom 360 was picked as a top contender and “user-friendly design”

Read the article in its entirety. “Assembly was intuitive and easy. I like.”…(link to article)

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Start Early, Finish Strong

Joovy wishes you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We’re all about active families and dedicate this year to encouraging all to get active and stay active. The sooner youngsters are introduced to an active lifestyle, the more likely they’ll stay active and be active throughout their entire lives.

Let’s resolve to get active in 2015! Start early and finish strong!

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Friday, 22 August 2014

Interbike Preview Features Joovy as Newcomer

 

 

Just as we encourage our kids to try new things, Joovy has been encouraged to try out a new trade event (new for us) that is the largest annual gathering of biking industry gurus in the United States!  We’re excited to share our biking products with fans of biking as they celebrate and discover new trends, products and technology related to everything bikes!

Joovy is attending to showcase Bicycoo balance bikes, Tricycoo tricycles, Noodles helmets and Cocoons bike trailers. We’ll see you all in Las Vegas September 10 – 12!

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Joovy Roo in Gemany

Traveling with an infant? Whether here in the states or traveling abroad, there’s lots to consider. If you’ll be renting a car and driving, a car seat is an absolute necessity. In addition, you’ll need a stroller. But wait. Why not a frame stroller for your infant car seat instead? Compact, lightweight and easy for traveling.  The Joovy Roo is a great option and is compatible with Chicco, Peg Perego and Graco Classic Connect infant car seats.

Take a look at this family who recently traveled to Europe with the Roo.

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Monday, 24 February 2014

5 ways to get outside with Joovy!

It’s no secret, getting outside with your kids is much better for them than being inside – watching television or playing video games. Sometimes it’s hard to take the plunge and get outside, because you all know, the kids have way more energy than we do! I wanted to encourage you to do just that though. Here are a few fun ideas of items you can use to get outside and get the blood pumping in your body and your child’s.

If you have one child, put him/her in the Joovy Zoom ATS or Joovy Zoom 360 and get a walkin’! Or a runnin’! You aren’t a runner you say? I have heard of SO many people who didn’t really care for running at first. They ended up committing to a “Couch to 5K Training Program” (google that, you can totally find something) and feel so good after that accomplishment. After my first daughter, I signed up for my first 25K, and she trained with me the whole way, long and short runs in a jogger! What’s even better, you are setting a wonderful example for the child that’s riding along with you. They see what you are doing, and in turn, want to be like you…which makes it a win/win for all in the getting healthy department.

If you have more than one child, the CocoonX2 is your answer! Not only can this be used for walking or jogging, but it comes with an attachment for your bike. My husband and I are avid bikers, so we use this product as a permanent fixture to my bike during the warmer Michigan months. It’s totally easy to convert from walking to riding behind a bike too!

If your kids love to play outside with toys, Joovy has some phenomenal things they can sink they teeth right in to. If they like ride-ons, Joovy has 2 to choose from, the 4×4 ride-on or the Race Car ride-on. What kid wouldn’t love one of these!!??

If biking is their flavor, the Tricycoo or Bicycoo is right up their alley. The Bicycoo is one of my favorite Joovy products to be honest. Two of my kids have used this and never had to use training wheels on their big girl bikes. The Bicycoo gives them the confidence and coordination to take the plunge and move to their big kid bike. Combine any of these fine choices (listed in #3 and #4) with the Noodle helmet for a full package.

If you love to wear your babies, the BabaSling is your answer! You can get walking on your schedule even if your baby has to sleep!

While these are great examples for year round, why not keep this in mind for the as Spring approaches?!

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I encourage you. Just get outside – even if you will not be utilizing one of the Joovy items I mentioned in this post yet. You are making memories with these little people that will last forever. If you haven’t noticed, time is not slowing down and your kids keep growing – too fast most times! The technology can wait, the housework can wait, the laundry can SURE wait! 🙂 Your kids can’t.

Have fun! I’d love to hear what you do with your kids outside and if you have Joovy products, please tell me what you do with them. I’m always looking for more ideas!!

Guest post by Shannon McAvoy {Simple}

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