The Five Weirdest Things Your Kids Love to Watch on YouTube

5 of the weirdest things kids love to watch on youtube - #parenting #screentime

My daughters are obsessed with making videos, which made me take a closer look at the weird things kids watch on YouTube.

Kids are weird. But lately, the things they watch on YouTube strike me as really weird. Is this just me reaching old lady “in my day…” territory? Or are the things kids are watching (and emulating) on YouTube really freaking strange?

The other morning I woke up, groggy and still tired. When I grabbed my phone and unlocked my screen, I saw that my six-year-old had recorded a nine-minute video while I was sleeping.

It started off with my daughter’s grainy face in my almost-pitch black bedroom. It was near impossible to figure out what she was saying, as her whispers were drowned out by the white noise machine (which, it’s worth noting, is on for this very reason). Soon she gets up and wanders around the upstairs of our house, continuing to whisper some kind of song while staring intently into the screen. She eventually goes into the bathroom and turns on the light so that she can see herself more clearly and I see that, even though the sun hasn’t completely risen, she’s fully dressed.

She continues her song, which I can now identify as the line “We’ll do this togeeeeether,” over and over and over again, making different dramatic faces as she sings. The rest of the nine minutes is filled with her sitting on the toilet (while continuing to sing), a view of the ceiling of my bathroom when she (thankfully) puts my phone down to take care of business and wash her hands (popping her face into view every so often so that she can get really dramatic), and flicking the lights on and off. It culminates with her sitting on the floor of her room, applying lip gloss as theatrically as one could ever dream of applying it.

Why does she feel the need to document the seemingly mundane? YouTube.

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Your Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough

compassion without action is just observation

As soon as a tragedy hits and is smattered across the news and social media, I can hear it. Like a swarm of locusts, I can almost make out the individual tap tap tapping of keyboards and smartphones as people near and far offer their “thoughts and prayers.” I can almost see them too: sitting back in their chairs and feeling a small sense of accomplishment, smiling a little at their kindheartedness. They have proven they fall into the “good human” category. They have done something.

Except they haven’t.

I am all for sending positive vibes out into the universe, especially when negativity is so rampant. I believe that being kind and positive can make an actual difference. Spreading kindness makes people feel good. It has a contagious effect and spreads from person to person, brightening each link in the chain and creating a happier community.

But do you know what else is important? Action. And your thoughts and prayers? They don’t do much in terms of action.

compassion without action is just observation
via Awake Academy
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3 Back-to-School Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

This time of year can be tricky, but these simple back-to-school hacks will make the transition so much easier. This post is sponsored by TruMoo. All opinions are my own.

I stood in front of the receptionist, breathless and wild-eyed but still smiling. I had just successfully navigated the pickup line at my daughter’s middle school for the first time and managed to get to the pediatrician a little early for her physical. I felt like a champ. A flustered champ with at least six other essential things on my to-do list before bedtime, but a champ nonetheless.

After a few taps of the keyboard, my bright-eyed enthusiasm was dashed. Apparently, I got there really early. The receptionist looked up over the top of her glasses and informed me that our appointment wasn’t for another week.

Oops.

I wanted to sink into the industrial carpeting and slink back out the front door. Hi, I’m a hot mess. And yes, I’m this kid’s mother.

Is anyone else having a really hard time getting used to the back-to-school schedule? September is almost over and I’m still struggling. Transitioning from a laid-back summer to a stricter, more full back-to-school schedule is not easy.

Still, in the week or two since The Incident, I’ve found three completely key tips that have made our lives so much easier.

Three back-to-school hacks to make the transition easier

back-to-school hacks | how to make life easier as you transition into a new school year | parenting school kids

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How to Style Your Shelves Like an Interior Designer

shelf styling tips - don't always center objects

Shelf styling tips from an actual expert (as opposed to someone who just spent too much time browsing Pinterest. 😉 )

“Wait, what if I move this right here?” I tap my chin, unsatisfied with the newly decorated shelf that stares back at me. The house is empty, but I’m counting on the universe to answer my shelving questions. No matter what I do, it doesn’t look right.

Whenever I try my hand at shelf styling, it looks like I’m trying too hard. I become obsessive about spacing and symmetry and making everything just so, completely forgetting that I like things that are imperfect. They’re so much more interesting and a million times more real.

In the end, I usually throw my hands in the air and spend the next six hours browsing Pinterest for help (which sometimes results in shelf decorating ideas posts).

All of this is ridiculous considering the fact that my sister is an interior designer. She’s really, really good at this stuff. Yet here I am, talking to my shelf.

I decided to pick my sister’s brain a little to get some of her top shelf decorating tips and tricks so that next time maybe I won’t struggle so much. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a free printable shelf styling checklist.

how to style your shelves like an interior designer (with a free printable checklist) - shelf decor - shelf ideas - shelf decorating - shelf styling - shelfie

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A Hands-On Book That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Science

Getting kids excited about science - bath fizzies with DK's Maker Lab by Smithsonian

An award-winning kids science book that will foster a love for science while having hands-on fun.

Step into my house and you’ll find surfaces littered with Ziplock bags open just enough to let the day’s latest slime creation ooze out, bottles filled with unidentifiable concoctions that contain some kind of plant matter, and everyday objects “scented” with copious layers of lotion. My girls love science. They love to experiment with different ingredients to see how they react and to proudly create their own “essential” recipes.

Sometimes, I’m all for this scientific exploration.

Other times, I wonder how long I’m expected to let something sit (bacteria multiplying by the second) while we “wait” for the reaction.

When DK offered to send us a complimentary copy of Smithsonian’s Maker Lab, an award-winning book that encourages kids to build, invent, create and discover through 28 DIY science experiments, I jumped at the chance. Crafty science projects that will work and teach the girls a little bit about the science behind them? What could be cooler?

Getting kids excited about science - bath fizzies with DK's Maker Lab by Smithsonian - kids science book with cool projects and experiments

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