The boys don't have phones yet even though a lot (A LOT) of kids their same ages do. I understand the reason for it however. Kids are at the age where they are home by themselves or going over to friends place and it's handy to have a phone.
The thing is, I do not trust Zach to have a phone. He forgets things everywhere. His ipod, backpack, homework, socks... When he is able to convince me that he won't lose it we will consider getting him one, but regardless, it won't be for a few years. Logan is way too young in my opinion, even though I know if I gave him a phone he would be responsible with it.
Between the ipods, ipods, netflix, wii and youtube, it's hard to keep them off screens. I have always seen the commercials for Family Game Night. At the time ( a few years ago), I remember thinking that it was kind of cheesy. Fast forward a couple of years and I am looking for some alternative to get them off screens.
We had them playing outside as much as we could, hockey kept them busy, Zach liked to read and play chess and Logan was always heading outside with friends.
However, in the evenings they would retreat to the basement for the Xbox, youtube extravaganza. I realize that it isn't realistic to say that we will cut of screen entirely. But we can make small steps. We have made Sunday night, our family night. We make a big "Sunday night dinner" all sit around the table and talk. It isn't rushed like weeknights when we are usually grabbing a few bites before having to rush out the door for hockey or basketball. After dinner and dishes, the boys pick a game.
We made a trip to the store awhile back and bought a slew of games. We already had a few, Uno and Chess, but if we expected them to play games every Sunday, we needed to have more options. We bought a Monopoly card game (which is just like the board game, but faster in the you can play a couple games within 30 minutes rather than a 4 hr marathon), Apples to Apples and Clue.
Apples to Apples is the kids version of cards against humanity. It's really funny. Again the games go quickly so the kids don't get super bored. We usually play a few different games in one sitting.
I am really surprised at how much the kids get into it. It has gotten to the point where they are asking what games we should play immediately after we finish dinner. Woot!
The other thing I have trying to get the boys involved in is cooking. I will not raise two sons that do not know how to cook anything other than ramen. Logan now makes his own basted eggs, protein smoothies (this is too funny, but he loves it) and guacamole. Zach's culinary skills aren't as developed mostly because he has not interest too, but he's is learning. He helped me make a chocolate spider man cake. Well it was supposed to look like spiderman, but we ended up just making it a web. We used one of those Wilton cake pans, but unless you are a icing goddess, it frankly isn't going to happen.
Today, we made candy apples. I had made caramel apples before, but had never attempted red candy apples before. They are ridiculously easy:
Two cups sugar
One cup light corn syrup
One and a half cups of water
Dissolve all three in a pot over med high heat. Once boiling, do not stir! Let it just simmer there until is hits 300F. Take off heat, a 18 drops of red food coloring, stir and coat apples. Easy Peasy.
The only trouble I ran into was that I hadn't bought sticks before hand. It was just as the sugar was boiling did I realize that. Whoops. I needed to improvise. I looked around for popsicle sticks, but there was none to be found. I did find some lollipop sticks, but they weren't strong enough to support the big granny smith apples.
In the end, I opted for forks. Made the candy apples look ever so slightly barbaric, but the kids liked them none the less.
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