An Apple a Day

Little Man PlayingAs I mentioned in a previous post, media is limited in our home. Our children are only allowed TV and “free play” on devices from Friday evening until Sunday evening. Even then, they are limited to how much time they get. At times, it can become a little hard to uphold these rules; especially when we develop mobile apps.

My husband is part of Ayars Animation, a small company based in California that develops apps for Apple mobile devices. To date, they have completed four apps and are working on a fifth. Their first app was the classic story, Jack and the Beanstalk.iPod

Working with Ayars Animation has been loads of fun for him. He was mainly hired to handle the illustrations for the apps, but it has become much more. Now, he has become instrumental in helping to develop future apps and the fine tuning of details.

The Tree I SeeOne side effect of developing these apps has been that we are constantly testing them out. Our children are often called upon to check for “bugs” and crashes. While the kids have a blast with helping out their pop, they are taking in a little more media than we often would allow.

It also means that they are being exposed to the world of Apple. Our children know their way around any Apple device that is placed in their hands and can sync any handheld with a desktop. They know iTunes like the back of their hands and, unfortunately, are up to date on the latest and greatest kid apps available. Pirate Puzzles

We now have a large assortment of learning apps, strategy apps, game apps, and book apps; our collection growing larger every day. The minute their friends get a new app, the kids are anxious to try it out.

Cozmo's Day OffAs it is the school year, I still refrain from allowing them to play with media during the week. However, testing does need to be done. We are trying to find a balance between the two; helping out Pop and yet not have media overkill. It isn’t always easy, but we are learning as we go.

However… It is Sunday and the house is filled with the sound of technology. Now, can someone tell me how I am supposed to get the Angry Birds theme song out of my head?

Dioramas

Sunday is our family day. The day that we, usually, don’t have to rush around running errands or make sure school work gets done. My husband thought it would be fun to spend one Sunday making dioramas with the kids. We started the project a few weeks ago, but finally had an opportunity to finish them up today.

Dioramas are very simple to make. All you need is a box and some basic crafting materials. Of course you can always make things more detailed and complex, but the idea is to allow the kids to be creative and create an environment of their choosing.

My oldest daughter, Trinity, is very much into the arts. She chose to create this beautiful theatre diorama. Our plan is to create paper puppets that she can then use in plays, some of which she will write for herself. We used real fabric for the curtains (remnants of an earlier project) and theatrical stickers (also from an earlier scrap-booking project). She was very specific about her plans and I think the end product was simply wonderful.

My middle girlie, Noel, decided to create a fairy world. We created this miniature garden for her to put paper fairies in and play. We used mostly construction paper and flower stickers. We are now going to have to either photocopy or create some paper dolls fairies to play in their own little world.

My baby girl, Angelina, decided to go under the sea. My Aunt Margaret had stopped by for a visit and cleverly helped her to create this ocean scene. The whales were hand drawn and then cut out. We made them pop out a little by adding dimensional stickers. We used real sand, rocks, and shells. I happened to have some left-over ocean stickers and even some ocean beads! We hung the beads on clear string, from the roof of the box, making the diorama even more 3D. She is very pleased with her project.

My little man, JAG, decided that he wanted an Angry Birds box. So, my husband spent the better part of an hour drawing all of the individual birds that my boy thought he needed. (Man, it is nice being married to an artist!) My hubby then made a planet and used the dimensional stickers to pop that off of the background. He added trees, stars, and other details to make the box really come together.

Creating the dioramas was a blast! The kids had a fun time, we got to do something creative together, and now the kids have something to help keep them occupied for the rest of the summer. Sound like fun? Grab a box, some construction paper, and get busy! Let’s see what your kids come up with.