Fostering Family Connections
The following post was sponsored by Creatacard by American Greetings.
As a family, we’ve been slow adopters of personal electronics for the kid’s use. During the day and especially the school year, they are fairly strictly limited to a couple of shows or 20 minutes of iPad use. Zoe, generally speaking, is the least interested in screen time across the board while Jack is like a moth to flame when it comes to anything electronic and interactive. Beau is getting much more interested in using the iPad as well, which I sort of expected given Jack’s enthusiasm. If they can team up and interact with each other with a particular activity app, I feel e!ven the slightest bit better about allowing the usage.
It’s because of the lack of the presence of PDAs and gaming systems in our lives that I haven’t really talked about it, least of all sharing photos of them using those types of electronics. There is a degree that I want to integrate technology into their lives though, as I know and realize how very saturated our world is with it today. Schools use computers in all kinds of different ways in education, and I think that tech literacy is getting increasingly more important in how we communicate and advance as a society.
Given that, I’ve been diligent about which apps I allow them to use, as well as being involved and engaged in the ones that they tend to gravitate to the most. Jack learned how to play chess on one app, and Beau can build words on another successfully. Zoe generally only plays with the pet games, dressing all the kittens and puppies in princess gear-this is Zoe’s jam. She’d much rather be drawing and constructing handmade cards and pictures for all of her friends and family members, though, and that’s where Creatacard comes in brilliantly.
My father, Tim and Justin’s father, Hugh celebrate their birthdays on the 6th and 7th of July, respectively. Up until this year, the kids have celebrated all of Papa Tim’s birthdays virtually and several of Papa Hugh’s the same way due to long distance. I am generally scrambling to get homemade cards in the mail, and sadly many of those have been late at best. For perspective, I have two years and hundreds of dollars worth of personalized holiday photo greeting cards sitting in my desk unaddressed, unsent. I’m embarrassingly inept at buying stamps and hand delivering mail to our post office apparently, and the guilt has been consuming, to say the least.
This year, we were introduced to Creatacard by American Greetings, a new app for the iPad that allows children and adults to use various different “mediums” to make a “handmade” looking card and send the final product on gorgeous, high quality paper. No stamps or footwork involved on our part whatsoever. Papa Tim and Papa Hugh received their cards on time this year and I have three very happy little ones at home because of it. Not to mention, guilt free for me, win/win/win!
Jack, Zoe, and even Beau were able to choose a side of the card to design and create, using everything from stamps to paint brushes to markers and spray paint. Jack expressed his wish to play golf with Papa Tim while Zoe drew her very characteristic trees and animals.
There wasn’t any arguing, and I didn’t show them how to use any of the functions as I wanted to see how user-friendly the functions were for them. They made both cards completely on their own in about 20 minutes, and as a major perk especially for Jack, there’s a map that shows where the card is each day until it arrives at it’s destination. Not only are they being creative, but their screen time is also somewhat limited on it’s own-not a perk of many apps that only beg for add-ons and increased levels of play.
While of course the long distance relationship is hard on my heart, the art of making an effort to keep them in touch with my dad is something that I will always pursue.
Logistically for me, the functionality of this particular app is something that I very much appreciate in addition to texting and FaceTime, and I’m not only happy but relieved to have such easy access to technology that allows and fosters these types of connections.
I’m proud to announce that I am the new spokesperson for the American Greetings Creatacard app! As a part of that partnership, this post was sponsored by Creatacard by American Greetings. Find them in the app store here. All opinions are my own.