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You are what you post

There is an old ad age that says: “you are what you eat”.

In our house, my husband I and I work to make good dietary choices, eat whole foods and avoid processed products. We are pretty good at staying on track. Until we’re not :) But as the mother of two (almost) teen girls, it’s not their food diet that has me wrapped in worry: it’s their steady diet of social media and technology.

I’ve quoted them before (but I’ll say it again) According to Rawhide.com, American teens are now spending more time in front of screens that ANY other activity. We can only assume the trend is similar for Canadian teens. That scary stat means that teens are consuming more digital media than ANY other activity including: sleeping (with an average 7 hrs/night), school (average 6 hours/day) or exercising (average .7 hours per day)*.

In today’s digital age, there is no faster way to access a teen’s group of friends than through social media. I use the term “friends” loosely because many social media “friends” bestowed with such a title hardly even know your teen at all. No. Through hours of scrolling, clicking, liking and commenting she has been credited those names… a following…. a group…a vacant community of faces in the latest teen commodity: social media followers.

The currency of followers has become so valuable today that teens (specifically young girls) are pushing themselves and their images into over glamorized (and over sexualized) situations in order to fill their feeds with photos worthy of exceptional online attention. I could show you samples but if you’re a Mom of young teen girls I know that you have seen them: hair, makeup, pursed lips, cleavage, innocent eyes….from 14 & 15 year old girls! What’s uber sad about this is not just that young girls have learned to ask their peers to value them as sexual objects but that they blend into a sea of online 14 year old sexual objects.

How does this happen? Did our mothers not begin this battle decades ago? How are we letting our teens demean the fight through social photo sharing?

I’ve heard parents defend this behaviour with “it’s what they ALL do” or It’s just the “norm”. I’m sorry, Wha??

In our house we have a few guidelines:

If you don’t know them, they are not to be followed (if you’re struggling with this one think – have they been to my house?) This means that my daughters have a measly 34 followers but guess what? Don’t care. These are your FRIENDS. You don’t need followers.

Photos are to include something (not just your figure). Validation does not come from people liking your body. It comes from the unique perspective you provide from your photos and comments.

No comments on others’ physical appearance and keep all comments positive. I swear if I had a dollar for every time I read one teen girl refer to another as OMG HOT AF (hot as fuck) or “You’re SO HOT” or “Body GOALS”. Really? We want this exchange?? Nope. No thanks.

 

Now,  I know it’s unrealistic to expect teens to scrub their accounts from the 2000 followers (really? 2000?) they have and re-instate only true friends but can we not unite together to ban inappropriate content (see rule number 2 above)? Should we not encourage our girls to do the same?

We’ve worked so hard to move society beyond dated stereotypes we owe our teens equal access to a community based on personality and wit – not appearance.

The value of being followed leaves teens living to please others instead of pursuing what could make them happy long term: real interests, unique perspectives and intellectual leadership.

Remind your kids that  they are the sum of the choices they make and the images that they broadcast online.

In truth: you are not just what you eat….you are what you post.

The Best Bunny Masks

It’s finally spring! For those of you who celebrate Easter, we’ve researched some of the cutest Bunny Masks to sit at your table.

Having a craft on hand when you’re entertaining a large group can calm kids and help them focus. It can also be a great “ice breaker” for cousins or relatives who are shy. For your reference, here are our faves:

1. Playful Learning’s Printable Bunny Mask

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We loved this because it came with a printable and was super easy to make. We added a few more details (a paper nose, white whiskers with white crayon or chalk) to make the craft last a bit longer. Kids really loved wearing these.

2. Mer Mag’s DIY Bunny Mask via Petite Magazine

If you follow her you know Mer Mag is the coolest crafter there is. Her super hip designs always make me swoon and these were ideal for kids who didn’t want to “wear” a mask.

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3. Homelife’s How to make a Bunny Mask

I loved the “outdoor component” to this craft. Anything that involves everyone going outside on a hunt is my BAG. In this case, it was to find the leaves. We ended up using magnolia leaves from my planter but hey…we were outside :)

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Happy crafting and happy Easter everyone! Don’t forget to tag your crafts #thedoodlepost. You could win a free craft kit subscription!

Erin

 

 

 

Top 12 Basic Art Supplies

Running a craft business exposes me to a lot of art supplies. And I mean AH-LOT. I have sources all over the country but these are the top 12 materials I would really recommend for your home. They are great quality, very affordable and produce great work. They also make great stocking stuffers!

1. Coloured card stock. Great for cards, mixed media projects and paper punches, these papers are 65lb weight (that’s the thickness) and come in a variety of bright colours. Personally, I like a few packs of white and colour 3 for $15 at Michaels. 2. Elmer’s White School Glue. I find this glue is the best. It does not drip – thick enough to bond quickly for impatient hands $5.49 at Michaels. 3. Prang watercolour paint tray. These semi-moist paints provide brilliant, bold colour in the convenience of a tray. They last a long time and are very affordable at $4.20 each. The tray even comes with a very high quality brush. Yes please! At Spectrum Educational Supplies & Michaels. 4. Washi Tape. This super trendy tape comes in every pattern imaginable. It’s popular because it adds a brilliant pop of colour but it’s also super easy to tear and removes without ruining walls/work. Available for $2-3 a roll at Omiyage.ca. 5. Crayola Oil Pastels. This super set of 16 rings in at about $4. The best part? They are sharpened! Thank you brave genius who realized a flat top to a pastel is not helpful! These pastels provide bold colour and act as a great resist for mixed media projects. At craft stores everywhere. 6. Very Best Mechanical Pencil. I’m not a huge fan of mechanical pencils for kids but when you try this baby you’ll want to convert. It’s wider and easier to hold. The eraser is soft and erases easily. Happiness by International Arrivals. 7. Permanent Sharpie Markers. Okay, admittedly, this is for the slightly older kid. However they made my list because they make an excellent partner for watercolours as they don’t bleed and spread when you paint over top. Available at Staples.ca. 8. Alphabet stamps. Perfect for card making, working with clay or ink these find a million uses around our home – $1.50-$12 (size depending) at Michaels. 9. Waxed string. Super strong and easy to thread. These balls of string run about $7 a ball but last a long time. Available at Michaels. 10. Crayola Markers. A “tried and true” entry. These markers are good quality, wash well and don’t fade. What’s more, their water solubility makes them a great medium for blending with water. At Michaels. 11. Googly Eye Stickers. Turn any sketch into a hilarious character – or use them as an invitation for students to create a portrait. They come in 10 styles on a large roll of 2000. $6.15 at Spectrum Education Supplies. 12. Color-a-peel crayons. These large, sturdy crayons have a finer point – perfect for precision. When they get dull, simply peel away the wrapper to reveal more crayon wax. $14 at International Arrivals.

Happy creating!!

To Market, to market…

I cannot wait for summer. Not just for the warmer temps (it has been freezing here in Ontario) but for all that summer has to offer: freedom from schedules, longer days and our wonderful farmers markets. This project was build on a brief to “promote local produce”. I enjoyed it so much I made an partner piece “eat real food”. Just looking at them makes me want summer. See you (and maybe these designs) at the market!

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Card stock collage on board

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015 from the Doodle Post!!

January 1 marks the start of a new year: 2015!

Around the world, many countries celebrate the new year with parties and fireworks. Countries under monarch rule (that have a King and/or Queen) traditionally await a speech from their leaders to hear of plans in the new year ahead.

The tradition of this speech came many years ago when countries in Europe were at War and needed to come together to pray for a safe resolution.

This month’s Doodle Post celebrates peace and brings wishes of a peaceful year ahead: Peg People for a Peaceful Year.

Once made, these people are meant to be a symbol of good leadership and peace for you, your family and friends in 2015.

Put them somewhere to remind you how lucky we are to live at a time where peace and safety are available to us. Peace be with you!

Happy creating.

Erin

Instagram

Halloween Craft

If you live in Ontario, Canada and your kids attend Public school you’re bracing for yet another PA day. Here are some adorable activities from our talented peers to keep you and the little ones busy.

1. Pumpkin Garland
As you know from The Doodle Post’s October craft mailing we LOVE garlands. But this one from ArtBar seemed so simple and yet so pretty. Best of all, it’s made from materials you probably already have on hand.

2.Batty Peg Dolls
We love these little guys. Combined with some outdoor time hunting for that perfect branch this makes for the perfect afternoon activity.

We hope you have a wonderful PA day and hope you get some time to be your awesome creative selves.