Our Media diet- Part 2

Here we are back in front of our screens.

I started writing about our family media diet and mentioned the 6 elements to our family media diet.

Do you have a media diet of things you will do or won’t in your family?

How do you moderate your media at home?

Most of us don’t have much of a plan. Ours isn’t written down- well apart from here.:)

Starting with the right intentions

Before launching into our schedules there is time to make decisions about what we’re going to do for our family and the media we consume. I really don’t suggest cold turkey. It’s hard on everyone but you will need to fill that time and change pace.

Today I’ll continue with the four last elements that make up our media diet.

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Our media diet- Part One

Screens are here to stay and how we manage them will impact our children both now and in their future.

The American Academy of Pediatrics produced a landmark publication about television. We all know of families who monitor screen use and those who don’t.. We probably all hold definite views of when to introduce TV, the computer ipads, handheld devices and how long our children should or shouldn’t use them. When was the last time you revised these?

This blog started in the climate of electronic excitement around Baby Einstein. There just wasn’t many people in my sphere of friends and where I lived who valued all different types of play. Of course there were people around, we just hadn’t found each other. I wanted to share the not plugged in ideas. It seemed that genuine preschool, toddler and baby play activities like play dough, bubbles , blocks were ‘old school’ and electronics was what all self-respecting 21st Century mums should be doing.


Developing our media diet

Over the last ten years we’ve developed a media diet of how we use screens and media with our family. I would encourage you to do the same. It’s not a prescriptive list of do this and everything will be fine. Instead, we use this as a guidance  for how we do things in our family.

We’ve been influenced by lots of things including many books but these probably stand out the most. If you’re looking for some clarity I would recommend these to push you off the fence and with a solution for your family.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Unplug Your Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, Active and Well-Adjusted Children in the Digital Age

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

Image Credit

Our media diet is roughly made up of 6 elements. I’ll talk about the first two here and continue with the rest in the next post about our media diet. I’m really interested in what you do in your home. Don’t forget to comment at the end of the post with what you do.


  • We’ve made it standard from the beginning to keep the TV in an armoire with doors. We then invite the TV into the room by opening the doors.
  • Reduced the TVs in the home. Living overseas this happened with no cable installed around the house and needed different televisions in each country. Having one TV was fine.
  • Keep games, dvds etc out of eyeshot. Keeping them in a draw still allows for lining them up and emptying the draw but it removed the temptation of DVD picture being ever-present “Play me! Play me!”
  • The room is tidy even if there are books piled high on the table or littered on the couch.
  • Timers are your friends Being able to set things to turn off, even if you are in the room is really helpful. Wind up timers are great loud interrupters and signal the end, wrap up and you will be plugging out or turning off.
  • Establishing habits early ensures this is just the way we do things. Establishing afterwards is harder.


  • Establish a read aloud time where we connect with a family book. Depending upon the layout of our current home, we’ve gone from one washing up and the other reading in earshot to audio stories exclusively in the car or in a bedroom. We’re listening to Eldest.
  • As adults, we read our magazines and books in the family room and encourage the boys to do the same. We’re a family of readers, I’m sure because they’ve seen that we do.
  • The boys always buy each other  a book for their birthday. So each boys knows they will get at least 2 books each birthday.
  • We’ve subscribed to puzzle books like Puzzlemania and have many of the 1001 things to spot by Usborne. We buy pocket books of puzzles and spot the difference books along with comics and some children’s magazines. All material is welcome when we are reading.

 What’s your media diet? Do you have a list of ideas, rules or principles?

Homemade rattles

I found a homemade rattle I had made for my oldest son whilst we were packing up to move.The pasta, rice and pulses looked a bit sorry for themselves now after a few years but it didn’t stop my youngest from shaking and rolling the baby bottle around.

The rattle was an Avent baby bottle I had bought filled with twisted pasta, rice, split peas and a feather. Things I had found around the house at the time.

He would peer inside and drop it like he was trying out experiments.

He’s always liked packets of things and since my larder shelf was at his level he would empty, shake and squeeze everything. It caused a lot of chaos but he loved all the textures and sounds.
Although I must admit the clean up drove me potty sometimes, it was lovely to see him so absorbed.

Victoria Purdie had some interesting ideas with rice rattles Homemade toys for babies .

Both my boys love rattling things. So time for a new one perhaps.

What things do you put in your homemade kid’s rattles?

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