Friday Favorites 8

1. Despite the alarmist title, the article Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? has some really interesting insights into the effects of smartphone use on youth, using generational statistics. There’s a lot of things to consider in there for my fellow tween (and teen) parents.

2. Jake and I went to see The Greatest Showman last weekend and now I can’t stop listening to the soundtrack. It’s so good. Also, the movie is in the #2 spot behind “Up” for movie that made me cry the fastest. And even though I needed a little feminist rant on the ride home afterwords, I loved it. I love musicals. Can my life just be a musical? Can someone trade vocal chords with me?

3. We stopped our subscription for a year because the boxes were taking over our house, but we started up a Tinker Crate subscription again for Eliza and Jonas last Christmas. They are loving it. Building things + crafts + learning about science is the perfect combination of things for them. I also love that getting to mess around with things like circuits and motors in these kits will help these concepts seem less scary to them if they want to pursue their own projects using them later.

4. As for a thing that everyone in the family enjoys, we’re really into this Pattern Play wood puzzle. The kids’ dance studio has one in the waiting room, so we picked one up because they love it so much. There are lots of cards with different configurations on them, so you can make a lot of different patterns on the wood blocks. And Ava just likes playing with them: talking about the colors, stacking them, pretending they are people. So there’s something for all ages.

5. My tiny baker is really into The Cupcake Deck. It’s a cookbook that’s not a book: it’s a box full of cards with cupcake recipes. Ava loves shifting through to pick ones to make. We’ve made two so far and they were delicious. I’m excited to make more! I’m definitely more of a cook than a baker, but baking with small children is an awesome time waster / introduction to fractions / fun way to make a mess and pour things / good way to practice instructions (with a delicious reward at the end), so I put it down as a fun activity even if things don’t always turn out well.

6. My mom took Jake, Eliza, and I to the Harry Potter Film Concert Series with the Kansas City Symphony and it was phenomenal. It’s so fantastic to see all of the hard work and talent that goes into making movie magic with a score! The movie plays behind the symphony. See if there’s something similar in your area–they do it with all different movies!

What are your favorites right now?