Parenting is many things: it’s loud, chaotic, sleepless, joyful, fun, hard, exciting, painful, lonely, dirty, smelly, messy, I could go on forever with adjectives that describe parenthood. One that surprised me as a stay at home mom is boring. I have spent a lot of hours on Pinterest looking for ideas that other talented and fun moms do with their children. I have done the many activities from my experience in childcare, but somehow the day continued to be monotonous and dull.
On the other hand, the working parent feels like parenting is crazy, time consuming, and a long list of other adjectives. One that many of my working parent friends feel is that they don’t get enough time with their child.
When I was at CSU I wrote a grant proposal for a program to teach working parents about time. In my research, I was surprised to see that stay at home moms and working moms quality time they spend with their child is not much different. The reason why isn’t important right now, but it is true. The importance of time with your child is not how much, but what kind. Quality time is the best practice for connecting with children.
Phew, now that that’s out of the way (think of all the possibilities that now happen with just quality than quantity), cue the next blob of information.
My mother-in-law works for a non-profit company that helps parents become better parents. She’s got the inside scoop for a lot of the things going on in the parent/child networks and programs. We talk often about the trends in parenting.
There is this good program for parents called Bright by Three. It helps parents learn skills and methods to become better parents. However, they only contact once at the hospital. There are other programs where people come in regularly and do home visits, but those can feel really invasive.
One day, my fantastic mother-in-law texted me to try out this new program that was coming out soon and to review it. It’s called Daily Vroom. I looked at their website and liked what I was reading. I downloaded the app and fell in love.
When you open the app you get a screen that prompts you to create an account and add a child or children. You put in your child’s name and birth date. After that simple step, you’re ready to rock and roll! The app will give you daily activities (you can turn off notifications) that are age appropriate and can be done in a manner of thirty seconds. You can also drag the activities out throughout the day depending on your schedule.
I love this app because not only does it give me “hey try this awesome activity with Princess Pea” but it also tells be the science behind it. Yes, I already know the science behind the activities (pin a rose on my nose) but I like the reminder. I like that other parents that don’t know these things can learn it too.
The app uses a reward system for users. When you complete the days activity, you get a little reward. You can get a badge. Depending on how many badges you have, you go up in levels. It also has little videos celebrating your progress.
You can modify the tips that come up. You can choose ones that are more home based or out and about based. If you want more tips during the day, it can give you more than one. The categories are Home, On the Go, Out and About, and Up for Anything. You can also submit your own Daily Vrooms. You can share your vrooms with others through email, text, or Facebook.
Here is the next super awesome great thing about Daily Vroom. The Denver Children’s Museum is going to have some of their activities around the building. Activities such as count the stairs with your child, help parents see ways to spend quality time without clearing large chunks of the schedule. Daily Vroom is also trying to launch into grocery stores too. They hope to put up signs around the store of activities to do with your child as you shop. Stellar!! I know people dread going to the store or other places with their children, having this app gives parents a bag of tricks to use in potentially stressful situations.
One day, I got the tip to play a pretend game of pretending to sleep and waking up and dancing. After our fun game of pretend that lasted ten minutes, we started integrating pretend in other activities. We caught purple and green butterflies. We pretended to eat the traffic lights in the car. We pretended to be woodland creatures. We pretended all day long. What started out as a simple moment activity, spilled over into all other aspects of our day. We still ran errands and went about the things we needed to do, we just pretended along the way.
The only thing I didn’t like about the app, is if you don’t complete the day’s activity, then you can’t go back and look at it like you can if you do complete it. I find myself marking I did activities before we do them just so I know they’re saved.
Daily Vroom can change the entire tone for the day. One on one quality interactions reduce misbehavior and helps parents feel better about how they are doing as parents. Grandparents can use it too. These fun ideas can reduce screen time and increase family time and create a culture of quality time. This app is a game changer. I could go on forever about how it is the best, but see for your self.
What are some games and things you like to do with your kids?