November 11, 2020
Do you remember The Doodlebops? You know: “We promise to share, we promise to care...just stick to it, we can do it...we’re all together as a team: Deedee, Rooney, Moe!” Or something like that...Okay, so it’s been a few years, and I may not remember the Doodlebop Pledge, but even now, the lessons learned by those three friends continue to show up in our lives.
For instance, in the Season 2 episode “FLAT SITIS”, the typically energetic Rooney (the blue Doodlebop) was repeatedly warned that too much time on the couch or in front of a screen would give him “Flat-Sitis.” Flat-Sitis is the imaginary disease that a person catches when he or she gets too little movement or exercise. He ignored the warnings, thinking they were silly and, you guessed it, he eventually turned flat. No, really, ...as a pancake. The only cure was for his friends to help him start dancing and get enough movement to turn him back into fully-formed Rooney. It was a fun, but impactful way to show kids (and adults) that too much time on couches and in front of screens can actually zap the energy right out of them - leaving nothing behind but a flat shell of their true selves.
Lately, our homes have become screen-dependent with online schooling, working from home, virtual meetings, virtual doctor’s visits, virtual parties...virtual EVERYTHING! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing a LOT of FLAT folks out there these days!
The fall weather is the perfect time for walking, hiking, camping, and exploring. Bikes, scooters, skates, hoola-hoops, jump-ropes all help kids get the exercise they need. Even throwing or kicking a ball around is a nice break from the screen. Don’t let the wet or cold weather keep you inside, either! Bundle up and splash away! Even 15 minutes in the fresh air will keep flat-sitis away! (and if it’s truly nasty out - have a DANCE PARTY inside!)
Good toys are designed to spark imagination and creativity. They help develop motor skills and learning. Dolls, action figures, building sets, games and puzzles all provide children opportunities to do their most important job…play! Grownups, join in! I bet your imagination could use some dusting off, too!
Markers, crayons, moldable dough, paints and much more can help turn a boring afternoon into a delightful day. Let the creative juices flow and unlock the inner artist in each child. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it’s okay to get messy! (especially if you do it outside!) That’s part of the fun!
Whether it’s a beloved classic or a brand-new story, reading creates a place for us to escape, to feel connected to others, and to grow in empathy and understanding. Kids strengthen skills they need to engage the world around them when they read a book. Reading alone or together is always a great way to keep flat-sitis away!
Most smart phones, tablets, and video game systems allow grown-ups to set up screen time limits for either individual users or families. This often-overlooked option will give kids that extra nudge to choose another more active way to spend their time. Unplugging and getting up and active can be the smartest way to guard against flat-sitis!
We all know it’s important for EVERYONE to keep moving! So, do what Jazzmin, the Doodlebops’ manager, says, “Keep your body in an active way or you’ll feel tired and FLAT all day.”
Need some help stocking up to prevent Flat-Sitis in your home? Check out our inventory of toys, tales, and treats for even more ideas. Visit me and Bean at JugheadandBeans.com
Can’t wait to see you out there and remember to have fun!
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