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The day has arrived, my kids have gone back to school. I know some parents relish the time being at home with their kids over the summer, but I find it very difficult. My kids are 8, 6 and almost two, so finding activities to keep them entertained at their varying ages and interests was a challenge!
One of my biggest challenges this summer was getting my kids to play outside. After a lot of coaxing to get them out the door, they often only stayed outside for 10 minutes before announcing ‘I’M BORED’ and heading back inside. They were happy to play with lego, games or other toys when I set limits on screen time, but they wanted to be inside. I found this extremely frustrating, but it also made me so sad. Sad that they preferred to play inside than to explore the neighbourhood and meet other kids. Sad that they weren’t experiencing nature, breathing fresh air and running freely. Sad that childhood isn’t what it used to be and that my kids are part of the statistics saying kids are leading more sedentary lives and engaging in active play less than ever before.
I decided I had had enough, and pulled the plug on screens. I announced we were having a screen-free-day. There would be no tv, iPod or iPad for the entire day. I hid the remotes, and the computer mouse, and I put away the ipad. They weren’t happy about it, and there were tears and lots of anger. But we quickly got out the door and headed to the park and screens were forgotten.
I made a few observations throughout the day:
-They didn’t ask for screens. When I told them it wasn’t going to be an option for the whole day, they stopped asking.
-They got along! My older two kids fight constantly, but they actually played together nicely!
-They were less moody! There were no blow ups, and no one snapped or got angry like they usually do when screen time was over.
-They played outside!
-They fell asleep fast and hard! My 8 year old, who usually takes a long time to fall asleep crashed the minute his head hit the pillow!
As a child, I do remember spending days in front of the TV, but I also remember days spent running around in my neighbourhood and at the park. I remember running through sprinklers, biking with friends and exploring the little wooded area behind our neighbourhood. Part of me feels like technology is getting in the way of these childhood experiences. I understand it has it’s benefits, and we can do so much more and connect in so many ways now than ever before. But this summer, I had many moments of wanting to throw out each screen in the house if it meant my kids would just play outside!
So where does that leave me… I don’t feel like I can completely deprive them of technology, it’s not going anywhere. There are opportunities to engage and be social, opportunities to learn and be creative. Not everything online is a time suck and not everything offline is engaging and amazing. But what I need to do, and believe me it’s a constant struggle, is to find the balance between the two so that their childhood is full of all that is out there to experience.
We will be having more screen-free-days in our house, and I am trying to engage them in activities that I like to do and hope they’ll follow my lead.
How do you balance technology use and outside play in your home?
I’m excited to invite you to this free event! Come check out Peekaboo Beans play wear (sizes 6 months to 14 years). This is a highly popular line from Vancouver, which is not only durable and comfortable, but has a very high resale value! We will have NEW and USED clothing available for trade or purchase (cash only).
Peekaboo Beans is an amazing childrenswear brand that is gaining momentum across Canada! Much like lululemon for kids, you will love the soft and stretchy fabrics, mix and match styles, and maximum comfort for your kids to play in!
Whether you are a loyal Peekaboo Beans fan, or new to the brand, this event is for you! If you have used beans to sell (we call them Vintage Beans), email me to ‘reserve’ a table.
Feel free to bring a friend, or two!
Hope to see you on January 18th at the Aquaview community Centre in Orleans!
Earlier this week, I read this article from the National Post: A guide to ethical shopping shopping. It included 5 tips for buying clothing more responsibly. One tip in particular was especially relevant when it comes to buying Peekaboo Beans:
Buy second hand or be prepared to spend a little more.
Investing in fewer items that are higher quality and more durable is environmentally responsible. You are not only helping the environment by keeping clothing out of landfills, but you are saving money in the long run by not having to re-invest in clothing as often. When your kids have outgrown their Beans, you pass them along to another family member, or re-sell them on our Vintage Beans page.
In light of the tragic events that took place in Bangledesh, I have been asked by many customers to share information about where Peekaboo Beans is made, and what conditions are like in our factory. I am also asked frequently ‘why are these clothes so expensive.’ There is a lot that goes behind a price tag, and when the entire process of manufacturing is handled responsibly, we can expect to pay more for a quality product.
Peekaboo Beans is manufactured in Dongguan, Southern China, which is a very developed district with many garment factories and the support of companies, like fabric and thread suppliers, dying mills and printers nearby. The buildings are built to be factories!
In Dongguan there is competition between factories to have and keep experienced workers. Workers have the option of finding alternative jobs elsewhere if they are not treated fairly. That alone is encouragement for factories to treat their people right, but on top of that, the regulations in Dongguan for working conditions, minimum wages, and over-time, are strictly controlled and monitored by the government. In fact a factory owner can go to jail if he requires too much over-time of his employees.
The pressure of overseas clients changed the industry in China to introduce safety standards and improve working conditions, which results in increased manufacturing costs substantially. Unfortunately what happens in many cases is buyers move to other “cheaper” and less developed countries to get their clothing manufactured. In addition to the low labor costs in Bangladesh and other developing countries, generally these imports are duty exempt. With the increasing demand of cheap product in the western world, the savings on import duties and low labor costs is not enough, therefore additional cost saving measures are required, combined with corruption, mainly the workers pay the price.
Peekaboo Beans founder Traci Costa, production manager Michaela and lead designer Calli visit the factories in China at least twice per year. They have developed a wonderful relationship with the factory ground floor team, communicating daily with them regularily.
Why not manufacture in Canada?
Many customers have asked me why Peekaboo Beans is no longer produced in Canada. Peekaboo Beans was produced in Vancouver from 2006-2009 and moved production offshore in 2010. The residing fact is Canada is not a manufacturing country. The conditions in Canada are often poorer than what you would see in other countries. We do not have skilled labour force to manage big productions and we do not have the support companies to work with (ie: screen printers, fabric mills etc).
In fact all the fabric, trims, notions – absolutely everything needed to make our garments was imported from China and the 5-10 sewers in the factory were landed immigrants from China. At the end of the day, if you take into consideration the import duties applied by the government on goods made in China, we are paying upwards of what local production would cost, however we are limiting the environmental impacts of the multiple shipments required to get raw goods here and we are creating efficiencies in the production process. Simply put, we are producing with people who know what they are doing and are good at it. We do still have factory partners in Vancouver for small production runs that are manageable.
Driven by abundance and generosity
Peekaboo Beans is fueling the economy in abundance, whether with the people working at the Playground, the courier services, lawyers, graphic designers, office supply companies, logistic companies, consultants, printers and our own Stylist entrepreneurial businesses, among others. Everyone who touches Peekaboo Beans at any point it its development is treated with fairness, equality, respect and generosity. Myself included.
I have aligned myself with Peekaboo Beans because I believe in the same values. I believe in quality, in creating abundance and living generously. I am proud to tell people that we are not expensive, but that we care about real value in the whole entire chain. Peekaboo Beans is a socially responsible company and we care deeply about the legacy we are leaving in the lives that we touch.
We all have a choice to make when it comes to buying clothing for our children. Consumers are educating themselves and making deliberate choices as to where to spend their money. Annie from Phd In Parenting wrote recently that boycotting made in Bangledesh is not the answer. What we need to do is support companies that function ethically and with social responsibility.
I may not have all the answers that consumers are looking for, but I can definitely find them. If you have unanswered questions about Peekaboo Beans manufacturing, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about our continued work with Playground Builders in Afghanistan (and the world).
There are lots of clothing options out there for us to choose from, and especially with girls it’s hard to resist some of the cute pieces! But with Peekaboo Beans, you really don’t need to look elsewhere for top quality, style and comfort all in one. It really is the trifecta of kids clothing! Here’ are 12 REASONS why we are different (and superior to other brands!)
1. Chin guards – never worry about pinching delicate skin when you zip up a zipper.
2. No small parts. Unlike some kids clothing that is full of embellishments, ours contains no small parts, so there’s no risk of choking. (Especially great for those sensory kids who put clothing in their mouths.)
3. Tangle free strings – our drawstrings are tacked down so they won’t come out. Another bonus, our hoodies do not have drawstrings.
4. Twill tape hem – to stabilize our garments. You’ll also notice that it keeps the ends of our shirts from curling up.
5. A-Line Shape – all of our tops have a great shape, with extra room for little bellies.
6. Flatlock stitching – no bumpy seams to irritate kids!
7. Easy zippers – we’ve found the best zippers for little hands, with flat round zipper pulls to make learning to dress easy.
8. Quality fabric – thick and durable to last! Our products are meant to be passed along to siblings or friends (or even sold on Vintage Beans).
9. Pre-shrunk – nothing like finding a great outfit only to have it shrink beyond use after you wash it. That will never happen with Peekaboo Beans. All of our fabrics are pre-shrunk to ensure perfect fit!
10. Thumb holes – find me a kid who doesn’t love them! Great for keeping sleeves down when layering.
11. Versatility – our collections are meant to mix and match. And now with our FUNdamentals basic collection, you can add pieces throughout the year!
12. Reversible styles! Every season we bring out pieces that are reversible, (like jackets and vests), or convertible (dresses that turn into skirts, or pants that zip off into shorts). It’s our way of making pieces more versatile and fun!
Do you know a child that would love Peekaboo Beans? Email me for more info, email@example.com or to place an order with your own personal shopping account.
Let me help you with your holiday shopping! There is still time to place an order and receive your Beans in time for Christmas. Order by December 14th and your Beans will arrive just in time! We have some great Play Promos on right now (email me for a list of the discounted items), as well as our new Playjamas available for boys or girls, which come with a handy little nylon bag (perfect for holiday sleepovers!)
Plus, we have FREE SHIPPING for the entire month. As a special gift to you, all local Ottawa shipments will come beautifully gift wrapped, free of charge (and stress free for you!) Send me your orders today: firstname.lastname@example.org