Archives for June 2012

Connection In a Box. Is This BabbaBox Yours!?

Last week I received connection in a box. It came on a day life found me far too busy to slow down and be connected and yet there I was, home on a rainy day with four kids pulling for me to be just that.

This was one of the first few weeks of summer break after all, couldn’t I make a little bit of time for FUN before moving full speed ahead into my to-do list? BabbaBox to the rescue.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ask Webster what this means and you’ll find this:

con·nec·tion[kuh-nek-shuhn] verb (used with object)

1. to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind.
2. to establish communication between.

Multitasking. Busy-ness. Getting things done. It’s easy to pick these over connection with my kids. I know I’m disconnected when my lil guys go to tell or show me something and I give them only half my attention. Half my heart. It’s in these distracted moments of life, if I REALLY just stopped to listen to them fully, I would find the things they are telling and showing me are anything but little.

My two year old son finds an ant crawling up his arm. “He likes me!!! He likes me!!!” Sheer joy dripping from every word for his newest pet.

My two year old daughter telling me about her twin brother she calls Bubba. “Bubba’s my friend.” She says it with a smile, her head tilted shyly down and love for her womb-mate just oozing with this realization.

I received our first BabbaBox a few weeks ago and before my oldest two kids ripped into it, I tucked it away for the “perfect” moment. Last week brought that moment. I had a lot to get done around the house (laundry, shopping, dinner… you know the drill) and yet with it raining, I wanted to do something fun with my kids as well. BabbaBox to the rescue.

We opened the box BabbaCo sent me to review and it began. Kids crawling over one another to get to the next thing. Sock puppets? Cool!!! (Even my nine year old thought so.) The box brought giggles. The creative juices started pumping and we were off and on our way. Connection.

We read the book the box included about feelings. We used our Spy Glasses (what we began to call our “Feeling Finder Glasses”) and watched for the ways people around us were feeling, searching for emotions we’d been talking about through the various activities we’d done together. Mommy’s HAPPY!!! She’s sad. He’s funny. He’s silly. Ohhhh. Scary!!!

The box is actually intended for 3-6 year old kids and up but we had a blast just the same. Tailoring the activities included in the box for my youngest two was easy. Everything we needed was in there down to rounded nosed scissors.

In the end I found there was more to the BabbaBox than what came in it. The experience it inspired, one where I got to show up for my kids on this rainy day and be PRESENT, spontaneous and creative without having to do any work on the front end to make it happen was MY favorite part. Though I loved what came in the box, it was experiencing the box with my kids that I treasured the most.

I thought how much my parents would like this. What if I sent them the BabbaBox monthly to do with my kids? How fun would that be??? Thinking Christmas might be perfect to start that tradition.

Okay, enough about our box. Want to have a BabbaBox experience of your own? I was given a box to review and one to give away to you if I liked it. (And “liked it” I did.) Check the Rafflecopter entry above for the many ways you can enter. You can play everyday through the end of the giveaway, Friday, June 29th if you like! Here’s hoping you WIN connection in a box to call your own.

Maybe making time for the BabbaBox once in a while with my kids will help me remember the little moments of life are ANYTHING but small. And if we keep practicing, maybe, just maybe we can be present, playful and creative parents even while we are ticking away at our to-do lists.

Maybe. 😉

BabbaBox - Activity Box for Kids

 

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy hopes if you liked this article you will subscribe and/or join other mindful mamas here. To keep the lights on, Suzanne runs a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband Shawn. She is passionate about the connection we are and to that end offers Infant Massage, parent coaching and YogaParenting.

 

 

Summer FUN Takes Getting Organized

We’re in full on summer mode now in the Tucker household but this took some doing. School ending doesn’t automatically get us into summer mode. I don’t know about your household, but for us, there is a period of a couple weeks where we all “shift”. It seems we all need a week to just decompress, and then one to get more organized into our new routine. After a few days of chilling, my kids are that much more excited to start “planning” our summer together.

For me, a mom that does NOT come by organization easily, summer planning is important. Here are the things we do to make for a more fun (i.e. less stressful) summer. These depend largely on the ages of your kids:

For your school aged kids set up expectations around the follow (or anything you find yourself nagging them about on a near daily basis as you move into summer!) Do this WITH them so you have their buy in.

1) Wake up and bed times
2) Screen times
3) Chores if different than during the school year. Maybe they take on something extra like dog walking. Charts are key.
4) Activities. Ritual is the key. Have things you do daily. Weekly. One of our readers says, “Take a a trip everyday! And make it early. Even if its going to the grocery store or the park. Some days it will be the zoo or museum. We have a standing 11am departure time everyday. It eliminates the “lay around the house” effect summer always brings.” [Read more…]

Summer Fun Idea List

Play a prank on a friend

Go Bird Watching

Fishing – Whether it is deep sea, stream or fly – fish on!

Orienteering

Climb a Tree

Go Rock Climbing

Play Paintball

Geocaching GPS – Using a GPS you can search for treasure boxes that are hidden all over the world. Lots of fun and a great way to discover nooks and crannies of where you live.
GPS Adventuring – Go adventure somewhere with your GPS and mark your trail on your GPS as you go. No matter where you go you will find your way back.

Bike Around Your Local University Campus

Shoot Some Hoops – you know – basketball hoops

Ride a Tandem Bike

Go Mountain Biking

Go to a National Park and find a cool hiking trail

Street Hockey

In-line Skating

Jog at sunset with some really cool music on your Ipod

Have a Big Party

Learn to Juggle

Go Roller Skating

Enter a Running Race

Run a Mile

Steep Run – Run down the steepest hill you can find,

Go for a Look for Cool Rocks Hike

Play Ping Pong

Skateboarding

Snorkle in a pool and hunt for cool things you put there for each other.

Do a round of Speed Golf – That is golfing as fast as you can.

Play Soccer

Swim (in the tub if they are little enough and don’t have a pool!!!)

Play Tennis

Triathlon – Train and enter for a triathlon or create your own.

Play Baseball or throw the ball.

Go for a Bike Ride

Play Volleyball

Relax – Hammock Time

Read a book

Have your own Olympi Games – Set up a series of events or obstacles courses. Only limited by your ability and imagination. Take it the extra step and arrange some medals for the awards ceremony.

Bounce on a Trampoline

Have a Wheelbarrow Race

Blueberries up Your Nose – – Ok this one does sound weird but it is still pretty fun. This is a contest where you stick a blueberry up your nose and try to blast it the farthest. ( see other strange fun ideas)

Play Some Boccie Ball

Have a Bonfire and Roast Marshmallows

Deck Lounging

Have a Big Scavenger Hunt with your friends – post all your clues on Twitter

Get Some Firecrackers – Remember Safety First

Have a Fondue or Make a Banana Split (other food ideas here)

Musical Chairs

Take Photos of Pets in funny hats, or glasses

Start a Herb Garden

Have a Pillow Fight

Play Twister

Have a Water Fight with the Garden Hose, water balloons or water guns

Listen to Some Rock Music from a Totally Foreign Country

Have a Limbo Contest

Have a Paper Airplane Distance Contest

Photography – Get everyone to express the same emotion in a picture. Anger, confusion, glee, uneasiness, seduction etc..

Have a Talent Show – take some video with a digital camera and put it on Youtube

Plant a Time Capsule or something else creative

Pie Someone

Cloud Evaluation – Look for shapes in the clouds

Instead of spending money on airfare or a hotel room – have a backyard vacation

Slip and Slide

Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

Play Spin the Bottle

Have a Lemonade Stand

Favorite Tunes – Music Make a list of your favorite songs then make a CD

Badminton

Baseball or just play some catch

Have a Three-Legged Race – If you have a lot of people you can play three-legged soccer or three-legged baseball.

Build a Tree House

Tricycle Races – Kids or adults can have fun this one. Make sure everybody wears a helmet.

Draw with Chalk on the Sidewalk

Have an Egg Toss

Play Hackeysack

Do a Headstand

Play Fun Questions

Watch Fireflies

Messy fun thing to do – Food Fight

Do arts and crafts outside

Get up early and watch the sunrise

Have a cool picnic

Throw a Frisbee around