Hey lovely. It's Thursday!
Let me tell you. This episode couldn't have come at a better time. I had to test my own methods over the past few days since we had a holiday, then a snow day, then a short day... like... are... you... serious....?
I love my kids. I am obsessed with their littles lives and snuggles and cuddles, and teaching them, and playing with them, and... you get it.
But here is the truth: I am also obsessed with empowering women, achieving my greatest calling, having a tidy home, being healthy, having me time. I am a woman of many colors, ya feel me?
It's flipping HARD to 'do it all' when you have young children. My boys are 5 and 2 so they need (or want) a lot of attention. They get bored. They make messes. They fight. They are growing and experimenting and pushing boundaries and let's face it -- that pulls a lot of energy from mama. Amiiright?
Confession: I found myself handing them the iPad and turning on the TV a little too often. Okay, way too often. My guilt was legit and I knew I needed another way to keep them busy so I could work, clean... even pee in peace.
I polled a lot (and I mean A LOT) of mompreneurs in our community and there were SO many amazing ideas! I put a massive list together and tested these theories. Amazingly, I was able to reduce their screen time while noticing a big improvement in their behavior over the course of a week!
Happy mama dance! I knew that if I was dealing with this, you probably were too, so I packaged it up and recorded this episode for you. xoxo.
Here are the top 20 ways to keep your kids occupied and happy while you do whatever ya need to do. Ready to win the mama of the year award?
Spring break is fast approaching... do you struggle with keepings your kids occupied while you try and work, clean, pee... in peace? Feel guilty for handing them the iPads or turning on the TV a little too often?
I decided that too much screen time was happening at my house, and it was my fault. I also decided that there had to be another way to keep my littles busy and having fun while I got in my focus time. I polled all of the mompreneurs in our community and here were the top 20 ways to keep your kiddos busy...
Without using technology! Huge win. Check it out and share it with another mama that needs her sanity back.
I hope you enjoy.
Love and light,
Full transcription available at the bottom of this blog post.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
What's up. Mama boss. Welcome back to The Mompreneur Mastermind Show. I'm Stefanie Gass, success strategist, and passive income queen creator. If you're ready to step into your God led potential, create profit from your passions and capture the success that is already yours. This podcast was made for you as always. You can find out more and connect with me over at stefaniegass.com. So grab that cup of coffee or fill up that glass of wine and let's dig in to today's show. Hey there, Mama.
I am so thrilled to be back with you. Here we go on episode number 39 and this episode is super cool. And I'm so excited about it. This is 20 ways to keep your kids occupied and focused while you work or clean, and all of them are not using technology. So before we dig into today's show, I just want to remind you that if you head over to Stephanie gas.com, I have got some free gifts for you. If you opt into my insider list, you will receive 30 ways to grow your following. In 30 days, I also send you three of my training webinars, and you're the first to know when a new episode drops. So don't forget to head over there and snag all of your free gifts. This episode, y'all, it's totally inspired by episode 36, where I was talking to you guys about my personal screen addiction and all of the ways that I've been able to reduce and honestly break that screen addiction and take back control of my intentionality when it comes to using my phone and reducing the time that I'm staring at it, clicking it, swiping it, and actually don't need to hide it for myself anymore.
I feel like I have full control of the time that I'm spending on technology and it feels freaking good. And that brought me to another, I feel struggle that we, as you know, moms and dads that work from home are facing, and that is the power time that we are setting to work on social media or to record content or to meet with clients. What the heck do we do with our littles? The ones that aren't yet full-time in school or that are offered the summers and how can we keep them focused and occupied without handing them a tablet or our phone? Because here's my experience. It's that when I just let them have free reign, I'm like, Hey, I'm going to go meet with a client for an hour. And for whatever reason, my kids are home or my other, one's not napping. It's like crazy town.
They're going wild. They are either face deep in their phone, which we are trying to eliminate this. At least I am. And I hope that you are after listening to episode 36 or they're going buck wild, they are yelling and fighting and just making a massive mess. And then I get overwhelmed and frustrated and angry and sometimes mean, and I put the phone back in their face. I don't know if you guys can relate. So that has really been my struggle with being a full-time online entrepreneur and working really focused intentionally three to four hours a day from home. And maybe two of those hours, my kids are here. So I was really struggling with how to not just hand them a tablet or a phone, but still be able to accomplish the work that I have to accomplish. Can any of you or any of you like nodding your head, like yes.
Tell me. And so here's why I realized that this was a problem is because guys 47% of parents think their kids use their phones too much. And 90% of parents blame themselves. And I totally blamed myself because I knew I was handing them this mind numbing solution, just so that they would be quiet. And I know that sounds so horrible, but it's not just me. And if it's a problem that I was facing, I know that it's a problem that so many of you are facing too. Here's some other crazy stats, 25% of kids under the age of six, have their own smartphone. And I have to tell you, I have smartphones for my kids. They're mine. I paid for them, but I have extra smart phones in my house. So I don't know if technically I fall under that number, but it's definitely not something that I want to, you know, continue in our lives.
Here's, what's worse. Eight out of 10 parents don't monitor the amount of time that their child is using a screen. And this is really where I think we have to take our control back as parents, but also know that we are responsible for these perfect, amazing littles and the development of their mind and their brains and their stimulation and the amounts of chemicals we want their brain to be reacting to. And the types of reactions we want them to have the stimulation and recognizing that there is a better way to keep our kids super focused, quiet, and actually feed them in a more productive, present way. So here's what I've come up with. And I believe that we are solution creators. So I knew this was a problem. And I said, okay, self, what can we do here? I actually asked my five-year-old for his ideas and he had some great ideas.
And then we came up together with some solutions that I started to play with and practice and toy with to see what was really working and what wasn't working. And then I also put this out there into the mompreneur community on different Facebook groups. I asked some of my other podcasting mamas and I got back over 100 ideas. So I've paired it down to the top 20 ways that we can keep our kids occupied while we work, while we clean. And while we do the mama and daddy stuff that we need to do without using technology as our bandaid. So I hope you're so excited about this episode because I am so excited to share it with you. Okay. Number one. And before we get into this, let me disclaimer something, okay. My children are two and five. So most of these ideas really work for me for that preschool aged demographic, Nick of kiddos.
However, I do believe that these ideas can be modified for elementary aged kids when they're off for the summer or when they're out of school. But those of you with teenagers, you know, this may not help you, but I would say to realize that you still do have control and you still do set boundaries, and there still are ways that you can get your teenager to get off of their phones. I would head to Pinterest. I would talk to other parents with, with that age children in that age demographic to see what you can do, but you can still listen because you probably know somebody with younger kiddos and those of you that have a younger kiddos. I hope I really truly hope that you take the time to implement these because they've been life-changing for our family. I've been able to reduce my kid's screen, not only my own screen time, which you heard from episode 36, but I've also been able to reduce my children's screen time by 50%, they are spending no more than roughly an hour, maybe an hour and a half max using screen time.
But I've also shifted the way that they're using screen time into, you know, educational apps and things that are really going to be stimulating for them and deleted those apps that are not really adding value in their lives. And I've also shifted up the way that we work our days. So that screen time is something to be earned after we've accomplished all of the amazing, fun things that we want to accomplish first. And that even includes helping mama with lemme see, what did I call it? It wasn't chores because I wanted to use a really positive reinforcing phrase. It was something like help mama items. I don't know, I'll think of what it was, but anyways, it also includes that. And if, and when we finish all of the fun things on our list, then we get to have some screen time. Or I saved that screen time for when I have an important client or when I have to get something done and I need one hour.
So hopefully this will help you guys get there too. Number one is to create a playlist, not a musical playlist, but an actual playlist. So what we love to do is in the morning when I'm planning my day and I'm using my paper planner, I give my five-year-old a piece of paper as well. And I just say, Hey miles, you know, give me ideas. What are the funnest things that we could do today? And let's create a playlist, for example, he may say, okay, well today I want to build a Fort and I want to do Legos. And I want to create a picture for my teacher and I want to jump on the trampoline. So we make a list of all of the fun things he wants to do that day. And then he gets to check the boxes, just like mama checks the boxes on her planner.
And I think that the reason this really works for our family is because he loves to achieve and set a goal for himself. So instead of being like, okay, well I'll just go build a Fort. He goes, okay, what's next on my list. What can I do now? And he almost has like this excitement about going through the list and doing a list of fun things. And it keeps them focused on the next thing that he wants to go and do. So creating a playlist has actually been so successful for us, especially for my five-year-old my two year old, just kind of chases him around and does what he's doing, but that's worked beautifully. And typically where I'm able to get all the way through. And these are the days that my kids are off, right. Because my five-year-old's in a full-time pre-K, it's a full day.
So thank goodness for that. But when they're home, this is what I'll use and this strategy will get us through lunchtime. Okay. So that's something that's worked great for me. Number two, use photography and videography. This one's so much fun. So if I need to, usually it's cleaner work. Those are the two things I really need to like focus on. And it's hard for them to like stay out of my hair and not be screaming in the background. I will give them, you know, my phone or a camera and I, they have a goal, right? Like I want you to take 10, really cool pictures for me, and then come and show me, or I would love for you to make a video of your favorite toys. Now, I don't know if this one falls under screen time because they're using a phone, but it's more about their creativity and getting them to think outside the box.
Number three is called rotating toys. This one's awesome. So what I like to do, what our family does is I don't know about y'all, but for Christmas we get so many toys. We've got lots of grandparents and my kiddos are very blessed and we end up with so many toys and I know that if they open them all, they're just going to have an attention span of five seconds. Toss it to the side. They're all going to get miss mishmash together, which is my literal worst nightmare. Like toys can sometimes absolutely drive me crazy because they just end up everywhere. There's no rhyme or reason to it. They don't stay together, especially with young kids. So what we do is set the toys all in the laundry room. There are big stack there in two or three of the cupboards, and we do this for birthdays too.
And the kids get to pick one toy from that pile each week that keeps it fresh, new and exciting. And the other thing you can do here with rotating toys is get together with other mamas and do a toy, swamp, keeping their attention and keeping their focus is really, I think what keeps them quiet and excited is having something new to play with all the time. And even if you're rotating their own toys, guys, our kids forget what they have in there. So for example, if I need to work, what I might do is make some toys stations out in the living room and say, Hey, this is station one. You know, when the timer goes off, go to station two, go to station three. So if you can keep them focused on something for a limited time and then move them to the next toy spot or the newest toy, I think that's really where you get the longest playtime out of them.
And they're excited because it's something new and stimulating. That's what the problem for me that comes in is they get bored. So if we can keep the toys fresh and new by rotating, by swapping and by doing toy stations, I think we have more success. Number four is, Hey, work with mama. This one they love to do. And this would be something like setting up a little art station within the office with me. And if I'm working and obviously not recording a podcast or something that needs 100% quiet time, focus time, maybe I'm doing social media scheduling or something like that. I can set the kids up with their own desk or their own area and they can work quote unquote. And this means I give them a little mini checklist. Maybe they have a phone and they're making phone calls or they're writing out their, their letters, maybe doing homework, practicing letters and numbers.
My little one is probably maybe putting colors, sorting colors, things like that. How can you give them some homework or something that they can do, but set them up so that they feel like they're working with you? I think inclusion is big for children and we make them feel excluded, like leave me alone. I have to work or get out. And I always think that that backfires for me, especially, but I don't know about y'all. They're like, Oh yeah, like watch me. Then they go ape. But if I include them, I tend to have a lot more success. This also works for number five, which is clean with mama. Getting your kids involved in the actual cleaning process is I think so amazing on so many levels. We're teaching them that it's okay to clean with mama, that we should help mama and daddy clean.
That it's not one person's job to clean or to do yard work or to work, but everybody does it. It's everybody in the family is going to pitch in. So for my two year old, I like to have him help sort. For example, he might just find all the socks out of all of the laundry baskets and my five-year-old. He can actually help at this stage. So he cleans his room every day. We're working on making his bed. He puts away his toys. After each time that we play with one toy, we put it away before we get out a new toy. And that's something that my five-year-old can absolutely do. We also have a cleaning party and what works best for us is setting a timer. If you are looking around and it is just a disaster, try this, set a timer for five minutes and say, okay, guys, let's have a race.
And maybe you turn on a super fun song while you're cleaning up for five minutes and have everybody race and help each other. And my kids love it. They think it's so much fun. And also I have a little reward chart. So whenever somebody helps me with a cleaning item without being asked, it's like a good deed chart. They get a sticker or they can have an M and M or a Skittle or whatnot. So that's something that works really great for us. And I think the older your children get the more important it is to give them responsibility. And I know some people are like, okay, child laborers, but let's just get real. I think that's absolutely ridiculous. I think that children from a young age are very, not only able to help clean, but they want to, my two year favorite thing probably in the entire world right now is sweeping.
I'm like, hello, new best friend who wants to sweep all day. Like they love it. Y'all so if you haven't tried having them actually help you do it. And yes, it takes more time and yes, maybe they make a little bit more of a mess than if you did it yourself. But I want you to think about the lessons you're instilling in your kids, rather than saying, I have to clean all by myself. Here's your iPad so that you can let me do it alone, you know, and leave me alone. I think we're sending the wrong message to our kids. And we are also setting ourselves up for failure later in so many ways by using the phone as the babysitter, as the band-aid, and also taking everything upon ourselves. Because as the kiddos get older and more able, the more help that we will start getting.
And I think it just frees everybody up for more success. Number six, go outside or go to the park. This one works. Obviously when the weather is nice, I love to go to the backyard and I will give the kids another playlist, so to speak. So it's a checklist of all the fun things there are to do in the backyard. Maybe number one is jump on the trampoline for 10 minutes. Number two, go down the slides. Number three, find a treasure. Number four, find a super cool rock. Number five, you know, feed the horses. Like what are all the really cool things that your backyard has to offer? And if you don't have a cool backyard, or maybe you don't have a backyard at all, go to the park and create a similar playlist because you can still get a lot of work done. When your kids are preoccupied at the park, like take your laptop or schedule that time to work from your phone, get back to emails.
You can schedule social media posts. You can even meet with a client over the phone and put on a headset and kind of just watch your children while talk. I've done it so many times. I've done it too. Team calls. I've done training calls while my kids they're playing in the backyard and I'm out there with them. So I know that this one works really super well, who doesn't love a little fresh air, by the way, like I'm obsessed with working outside. I love to sit under my patio, put my feet up, some ice coffee or some lemonade and just work with the fresh air all around me and my kids are having fun. And if you haven't child invite, Oh, ask one of your friends, if you can borrow their kiddo, right? And, and that way your kiddo has someone to play with. I think that really helps keep, especially my older son's attention is having some buddy to play with when we're outside or when we're at the park.
Number seven, a trampoline. Wow. One of the best investments that I think we've ever made is getting I'm like this super baller trampoline. I don't even know how big that monster is. It's like 15 feet or more. It's got a zipper and Velcro. I love to work outside for my patio and my kids will go in and trampoline. I can zip them up and Velcro them and they will jump in there for, or at least 30 minutes. And there, I am able to get some stuff done. Even if I'm planning, even if I'm journaling, what reading, I mean anything. So having a trampoline has been awesome. And they're not that expensive. Also one tip I have, if you can't afford to have place that's in your backyard or trampolines, but you have room for it. Maybe ask if your whole family wants to go in with you one Christmas or one birthday.
And everybody pitches in 50 bucks instead of buying kids gifts, like get them something Epic that they can help you with your day and your productivity. But also it's so much more fun for the kids than just getting a bunch of random stuff is going in and collaborating on something. That's going to be a staple piece for your backyard. We love asking for things that are really gonna help us as parents be more successful as far as keeping our kids occupied. And this is something that our family does really often. It's like, Hey guys, we would really like to get this like a Seesaw for the backyard. Does anybody want to pitch in? And we'll just do a group gift number eight, this one might be controversial. But as I was thinking through this and brainstorming this one, and then I had somebody else validate it because they gave me the same idea.
I'm like, okay, okay, okay. I'm going to include it. And I do this one person. It's the gym daycare. How many of you go work out at a gym? And it's like a really nice, like my gym has a coffee shop in it. It's got this most amazing daycare. My son loves the daycare. They teach him Spanish in there, like it's legit. So they offer two hours of childcare every day. And that's included in my membership. So I work out for one hour, every single weekday, Monday through Friday. And I work for one hour. So my two-year-old is in there for two hours. He loves it. He's playing with friends, he's socializing, he's coloring, he's building, he's outside in the sandbox. And I'm able to get one more hour of work done while I'm already at the gym. So if you have that capacity, if your gym allows you to do that, I would say, take advantage of it.
It's so good for your kids to play with other kids. I may think an extra hour is so beneficial to you because think of all the things you can get done in one hour of super focused work, time, number nine, implement music or a dance party. This one is great for that time. You're trying to clean, or you're trying to put away laundry, or you're trying to do something that you don't need quiet for. Put on an awesome kids, jam on Pandora or turn on some dance music and let your kids have a dance party for 30 minutes while you clean the kitchen. And maybe you're dancing to like who doesn't like a little fun pop music. It keeps everybody light and happy. And I think some music just brightens every single person's day and they should, everybody should have a dance party. Like how many dance parties are you having?
If you are not having at least one dance party a day, I want you to stop this podcast right now and have a dance party because it is just so liberating and so much fun. And your kids now think we're cool and they'll dance with us. And a couple more years, they're going to be like, are you kidding me? So we have to take advantage of these memories right now, parents, number 10, this is a cool idea. And it's to swap play dates, granted. Okay. We don't know every single parent super well. So this would be for the friends, you know, really well. Maybe you have sisters, brothers, nieces, really close friends that you know, their kids ask. If maybe once a week, you guys can do a swap play date instead of all getting together. And then, you know, you've got to visit. The kids are going crazy.
It's just for me, it's really draining, but I'm an ambivert. And I'm like, ah, I have to be alone all the time. But for when you swap a play date, you just take their kids for two hours a week and then they take your kids for two hours a week. So the beauty of it is when you take their kids, your children have someone to play with and you can play outside. You can give them a toy swap task. You can set them up with whatever XYZ that we've already talked about. But the beauty is when you swap your kids, then you have two hours with no one in your home and your kids are having a lot of fun. They're socializing, but it's also freeing you up. So swap play dates is a cool strategy. Number 11, take a bath, a bubble bath with a glass of wine.
No, not you because I know that's where my mind went. I'm like, Ooh, I think I have a bath bomb that I haven't used, but put your kids in the bath. My kids love to take baths. They, I have color the color droplets from Amazon. They have paints that they paint on the walls of the tub. They have all the different cups. They have all the different things. They have a bath puzzle, they have all this cool stuff. So when I set them in the bathtub and I have this big jacuzzi tub, I put them in there and I will come sit in the bathroom with them and get some work done, or I'll fold laundry, or maybe, you know, I'm meal prepping like I'm coming up with ideas for what we're going to cook or creating my grocery list. There are so many productive things I can get done while sitting in there because they are so happy and they're having fun and they're playing and I get at least 30 minutes of focus time while the kiddos are in the bathroom, obviously, disclaimer, watch your children.
Don't leave them in there to go do stuff, but you can bring your phone in there with you and get some work done. Number 12, get or create or make. You can do a lot of this stuff. Super cheap from Pinterest, make a water table. One that we have as a Lego table. My husband made it and we have a whole bunch of Legos. I'll pull out the Lego table and just let him go to town. Building Lego towers and Lego cities. And even my two year old, his favorite thing is to put helmets on the little Lego dudes and then put them in their cars and drive him around. They will play with that for a long time. So Lego tables are a plus in my book, you can also do a sand table. And a lot of the ladies that gave me feedbacks that kinetic sand I have yet to get that.
But apparently that's like such a big thing. So I need to invest in some kinetic sand. So those are some ideas for you. Number 13, a puzzle, especially those of you with older kids, you could set them up with a puzzle while you go and do something like really intentional. So if I need quiet time for whatever reason, and I'm really needing to focus, I can set up my five-year-old with a puzzle. And he has a goal of, if you can really work hard and get this whole puzzle done, we can earn five more minutes of screen time, or, you know, we can earn something new from a dollar store next week. Ooh, that's something else I forgot to put on the list. I'll give you a bonus tip at the end. So the puzzles are a great one. Number 14, a scavenger hunt guys.
Here's the secret. I wasn't taking the time to set my kids up for success. I would wait until I needed to work. And I had no time to set them up with awesome ideas like this. And so I'd hand them the phone in the morning or whenever, take 10 minutes and say, what's my strategy for keeping my kids focused and occupied for the next few hours without phones. And one of the ideas could be a scavenger hunt. Maybe you have plastic eggs and you hide them with some healthy treats or some organic gummies or whatever. And you hide them around the house. Or maybe you give your older children an actual scavenger hunt list if they can read and let them go and be like, Hey, you know, you got a scavenger hunt. Why don't you go work on that for a little bit? That's something super fun, but it's setting up your children for success.
Because if you don't take the time to come up with these ideas and to kind of set them up for success, they're going to reach for their phone and you're going to reach for their phone because you're going to need to get stuff done. That is something that doesn't change every day is that we have a household to manage. We have businesses to run. We have things to do, but the way that we create the environment for everyone to have fun and be successful is fully up to us. And one of the strategies is for me, that works beautifully is creating that playlist for my kiddos. But then also they have to pick up each toy before we get the new activity out. That might help you guys. If we do this, then we have a mess at the end of the day. No, you don't let chaos, you know, takeover.
You still have order and an orderly fashion to this method. And that is getting out one activity. Let me know when we're done. And then we put another activity away. So back to the list, number 15, paint and color. I mean, yes. Paint by number. If your kids are older finger painting with the younger ones coloring, I always give them like a task. For example, daddy was just hunting. So they had a task of painting and coloring a welcome home sign for daddy. So it gave them not just here's paper in a color, have fun. Cause then it's boring. But if I can give them a goal, just like us guys, we want goals. We want something to strive for. We want to have, you know, create something for a purpose. So I'll say, Hey, can you guys decorate this for me? Cause I need it for this.
Or, Hey, we haven't made naughty a birthday card and Hey, daddy needs a welcome home sign. Can you make sure you use all his favorite colors? And so if you can give them a task or a reason to why they're creating artwork and painting and all of those things, I think that you have more success with the outcome of the activity and they're focused on it longer. And for my children, they tend to work harder at it. Number 16, beading making jewelry and stringing popcorn because hello, like so much fun. Number 17 stamp kits. This is cool. My five-year-old loves this. So over the years we've collected different stamps. We have ABCs and numbers and flowers and superheroes and vendors, and he can create a whole story using stamps and he'll do different colors and he's learned how to make rainbow stamps. So stamp kits are awesome.
Number 18 sorting projects. This one works great for my two year old for the younger kiddos we actually buy pillboxes like from the dollar store and then I'll use Def like a paperclip or, and be careful with the choking hazards. Okay. Y'all like age appropriate stuff here, but we'll use whatever, maybe a little color beads or different serials and say, Hey Landon, you know, can you sort the different colors or can you sort the different things into different boxes for me, my two year old loves this he'll diligently sort. And I mean, gosh, even if I get 10 minutes out of that, but think about the development for his brain. Think about the actual, like your, every one of these items is enhancing your children's, you know, cognitive function. It's helping our children recognize color and shape and they're having fun and they're growing, but at the same time, they're actually learning.
I think that's so wonderful, but they're having fun at the same time. So sorting is a great one for little kiddos, two more. And then a bonus tip. Number 19 is build a Fort. This came from lots of the mamas when I asked the community. And I think this is a great idea. You know, especially if you take five minutes and build the Fort with the kiddos, blankets pillows, make a super cool for it. And then maybe you can put books in the Fort and have them do a reading party, or they can even play a game of pretend, you know, Hey, let's make a Fort and you guys can be bearers and whatever, right? Like kids love to imagine. And kids love to self play, but we just have to set them up for success. It's almost like we're the narrator and we kind of create the storyline for them.
And then we can let them go and just craft this own story of what they want to do. Building a Fort, I think is so beautiful and use books in the Fort. We haven't talked about books, but that's a big one. Lastly, number 20 Plato, Plato. And I know a lot of mamas have a version to Play-Doh because it makes a mess and it gets crumbly, but here's the deal Play-Doh will save your sanity. And we all own a vacuum. So let's just get over it and know that messes are inevitable with young children and we shouldn't keep them from experiencing super fun things. And also like, let's get a little productivity done with Play-Doh and all we have to do is vacuum up after my kiddos love, you know, I don't know if y'all have like a big warehouse type store, like a Costco or a Sam's, but they have these huge Plato kits that have numbers and letters and kitchen stuff and, and different, cool, like the little stencils or the little pressable things that you can do with Plato.
My kids will play with that for like an hour. And when it's nice outside, I haven't played with it on the patio. So I don't even worry about the mess. Play-Doh is an awesome one for your kiddos really? Regardless of age, I think, I mean, I love Play-Doh and you guys remember Play-Doh ice cream has no calories, so don't forget to stop working once in a while and get your hands dirty and play with your kids. It's just liberating and fun. Yesterday took my kiddos to the park and yeah, I could have sat there and worked the whole time, but instead I decided to go on a treasure hunt with my five-year-old and we looked under the trees and we went in the corners and we found all kinds of cool stuff. And if I hadn't done that with them, he wouldn't have thought of it.
He wouldn't have thought of, well, I'm going to go on a treasure hunt right now, but instead was able to help him create the narrative of, Hey, you know, let's be pirates and go on a treasure hunt and what are all the cool things we can find? And I took 15 minutes out of my day to be intentional with my kids and to have fun. It was so much fun. Now, here is your bonus tip it's to go to the dollar store. The dollar store is Epic. And what I love to do is tell my kids. They both have $5 and they can pick five things from the dollar store. And throughout the week we can pick one thing from our dollar store loot each day. And the dollar store has such cool stuff. You guys, for a dollar, they have bubbles, they have puzzles.
They have Play-Doh, they have balls, walls and costumes, and they have colors and books. It's like the dollar store is awesome. So I love to create a, the fun of gold with my kids and letting them pick their own activities for the week. But secondly, the fact that it's fresh and yeah, new, and if I'm spending five bucks a week on fresh and new experiences that keep my kids occupied without technology, I think that's a real big win. Okay. Here are three last notes I want to leave you with. If you can give your kids incentives or contests related to all of these activities, you're going to have a higher success rate. So for me, like I mentioned, maybe if my son is doing a puzzle, I give him a small incentive, Hey buddy. You know, if you can finish this puzzle, do this because I think when you just hand them something and there's no end goal, it's a lot less interesting than if you say, Hey, you know, if you do this, do X, Y, Z together, or I'll read this book with you, or, you know, if you all week long, if you complete this massive playlist I created with like 27 things on it, we'll go to a movie this weekend.
Think about how can you incentivize your kids to do more self play. The second one, one little comment I want to leave is it's about balance. I am not saying that my kids never use technology and that's not my goal either because that's okay. Realistic it's to reduce the technology to a bare minimum. It's what do I have? I have to use technology for, like, for example, if I have a private one hour session with a class, that's paying me a premium, I'm going to go ahead and let my children play on their phone. And that's okay. Because I feel really good about the other eight hours that we've spent on focused non technology related fun stuff. And most of it's self play. So it's about balance as the bottom line there. Here's another note I want to leave you with is that my five-year-old's behavior has drastically improved since we've reduced the screen time.
I mean, the attitude is gone. He's joyful and pleasant. He's listening better. His reactions are so much better. And I also noticed for me when I'm trying to use my phone and I'm trying to be I'm in my face and my phone and my kids are talking to me. I'm like, what? You know, I'm doing something I'm on, but when I'm not even on my phone at all, I'm like, yeah, like Mary Poppins is here. You know, I think we just are happier in general without screens. And I don't know why, but I don't care why, because it feels right. And it feels great. And I'm so happy that there are other ways that I can still get done. All of the things I need to get done and feel good about the methods I'm using to keep my kids in line. Don't forget to stop and play either.
My goal is to stop and play for 30 minutes to an hour a day where I sit down, build the train tracks, color, the pictures, do the treasure hunt, cook with my kids. They love to cook with me and help them create the narrative for this awesome self play that I want them to develop. All right, my beautiful friends. If you loved this episode and I so hope that you did, please pause this episode right now, really quick, go to iTunes, go to the mompreneur mastermind show and quickly leave me a review. The chances are crazy high. I will choose your review to be read live on the show because quite frankly, not that many people leave reviews. And that makes me so sad because the time and energy that it takes to create an entirely free show is kind of unbelievable. So the biggest thank you that you could leave me in the entire world is to take a minute and just tell me how much this content has helped you, what your favorite topics are, what you would love to hear more of and any other feedback that you can think of.
I appreciate you so much. And I know that I know that I know that this content is helping you guys. So thank you so much for taking the time to subscribe to the show and leave that review. All right, beautiful. I am signing off, but before I do, I am sending you mama patients love and kindness. I also want you to remember that that beautiful soul that you have created is looking to you for guidance, mentorship, and everything. We do sets the intention for their entire life. We are literally shaping their future with our words, our actions, and our decisions every minute of every day. And I pray that we can be the best, most incredible parents that God intended to us to be. And I pray that we can be intentional about the way that we are raising our children and break the technology and phone addictions that this society is taking lightly and know that our children have the right to find other ways to inspire, motivate, and cultivate their little perfect minds, sending you love and light as always, Stef.
Lots of fancy unused education. Podcast Coach, Clarity Coach, & Top #25 Ranked Podcast Host for Christian Entrepreneurs.