I don’t let my kids use the computer. I know, I know, I’m so mean. I rarely let them watch TV at home too. Poor, poor kids. To me, there is just too much fun to be had in these fleeting years of childhood. When they’re older they can zone out and kill brain cells, just not on my watch.
My niece is here from Palestine this summer and I had a list of things I wanted to involve her in. Not on the list was having the girls crowd around the computer at my parents house playing mind-numbing computer games. My goal was not to be the boring aunt that doesn’t let anyone use the computer or the embarrassing mom that never lets them do anything. No, instead I wanted to be the one to introduce hands on fun. Something interesting and cool that they wouldn’t even notice that I unplugged the computer.
We started with a field trip. “Who wants to go to the dollar store?” They snapped out of their unblinking haze and slipped their shoes on quickly. We piled into the car and they were none the wiser that I had already succeeded in my plot.
We rounded up our supplies and headed home.
- t-shirts, blank canvas totes, or a pillowcase
- Using the crayons, have the child(ren) draw out their design onto the sand paper. Be sure to have them color firmly to really get the crayon on the sandpaper. This is a great time to use old crayons as drawing on the sandpaper will sand those abandoned little stubs right down. Remind the child that the image will be reversed, so avoid words or numbers.
- Place a sheet of cardboard inside of the t-shirt or tote to protect the back of the shirt or tote. Place the sandpaper, image side down, in the location you want the transfer to occur.
- With a light cloth over the sandpaper, use an iron set on the highest setting and iron over the sheet of sandpaper. Slowly move the iron around to distribute the heat and melt the crayon down onto the fabric.
- Slowly lift up the sandpaper and make sure your image has been set. If not, hold down the iron a little longer over the sandpaper and protective cloth. Remove the sandpaper sheet. Lift up the shirt for the kids to “ooh” and “aah” about.
- According to the original post: To set the color, place a couple of paper towels on top of the design and iron. This will remove some of the extra wax. Toss t-shirt in the dryer for about 20 minutes to set the color. Launder by itself the first time.
Computer? What computer?
What do you do to distract your children from screen time?
For the record: I don’t have anything against anyone that gives their children free reign over the computer or tv. I’m known to soak up 30 minutes to myself while they catch an episode of Curious George. Either way, it’s all good.