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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?
This month, my customers can save 50% off any of these green items with a purchase of $75 or more! Order online www.peekaboobeans.com/vicky
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).
Join the Ottawa Peekaboo Beans Team at Funatorium Explorium ~ an event where kids and parents PLAY together! This event is a perfect fit for us Play Stylists! We will be on site with loads of samples to browse through or buy items from our past collections (at a great price) check out our new collection catalogs, and take in some fun activities with the kids! Our Stylists will help answer any questions you have about Peekaboo Beans products or our Play philosophy.
Our Peekaboo Beans booth will be on display for two days:
Sunday February 17th from 9:00-5:00 pm
Monday February 18th from 9:00-5:00 pm
Stop by for some fun activities, see the FUNdamentals collection in person, and pick up some past seasons pieces at a great price!
WHEN: February 17-18, 2013
WHERE: Ernst & Young Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive
WHO: Families with children of all ages
PRICE: on-line prices $19.99/ticket or $75 for a family of 4 (+HST)
Here are some highlights from last year’s event!