Eat. Play. Read. 15 Minutes With Your Child

By | Blog, Child Development, Parenting Advice, Quality Time, Videos, Youth Babysitter Tips | No Comments

Eat. Play. Read.  15 Minutes With Your Child

For the 16 years I’ve been teaching Babysitting CPR classes for youth age 11+, I have always strongly urged the importance of quality time with the children.    I tell these young babysitters it will 1) make the children like you – and thus behave better for you and 2) will make you the preferred babysitter – and thus you make more money.

More money.  That’s when they giggle and squirm a bit that I’ve identified their “secret” about babysitting – that they want to babysit to make money.  It’s rather sweet that they think they should be altruistic about babysitting versus pragmatic.  I assure them it’s both.   Parents are looking for two things, I tell them:  1) someone kind and 2) trained.   Yes, they deserve to be paid for doing the vital thing of keeping dearly loved children safe!

I urge them to PLAY with the children; ask them questions to get conversations going, teach them a song or a dance, make up things to do – be creative.    I also urge them to READ to the children and I list for them all the benefits – brain and vocabulary development, emotional soothing, imagination as the plot and characters unfold, and more.

Eat. Play. Read.

So, that’s advice for babysitters, right?

Well, I have come upon a very nice organization that gives similar, gentle information for PARENTS.    The site The Family Tree suggests small changes that families might make that can make a big impact.

Eat. Play. Read.

One of their programs is Eat. Play. Read.  Just 15 Minutes a Day.   

“The time investment is small, but the benefits of spending as little as 15 minutes a day eating, playing and reading with your family are enormous – starting with more focused, creative and sociable kids.”

Eat. Play. Read.

Eat together – it’s strong family time

You might like to print out this one-page list of suggestions for your refrigerator:

Eat. Play. Read.  

The Family Tree also has You Tube short videos explaining why each area has great benefits – Eat.  Play.  Read

Click above on each each short clip – it’s a boost of inspiration and motivation!


Eat. Play. Read.  Print-out examples.

For instance, a one-page sheet gives great suggestions on using “positive discipline”.  It’s a helpful nudge, reminder, deep-breath list of information when times get tough.

Eat. Play. Read.

Play together. Let your kids know you.

Eat. Play. Read.

Quality time. It’s BEST.


But wait!   Parents do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with “advice” about parenting and “vital information” about parenting?

Gotcha.   It can rather make you feel like you “need to do even more” or that you are “falling short” since you don’t do that particular, specific advice in your household…


I recommend reading this article from the Washington Post, “Quality Trumps Quantity”.    It addresses the issue of parents feeling they should “spend more time” with their kids.   The article asserts that the quality of the time is far, far more important.   And to stop feeling guilty!

A hefty chunk of time to be with your children can be very hard to achieve.   The article asserts that parents should not expect it – or even try to think in terms of quantity.   Rather, quality.

The article is clear support to continue to do, as always, “the best you can”.    That’s wonderful right there!   It’s the best you can!

reading together

Read together.

=====================     visit my site for the list of upcoming classes

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Jean Lesmeister, 16 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor

American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI)

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Best Best Best Toys Ever — Kids 2-8

By | Blog, Child Development, Just for Joy, Parenting Advice, Quality Time, Videos, Youth Babysitter Tips | No Comments

Best Best Best Toys Ever

This company in Switzerland makes the best best best toys ever!

Check out the BILIBO!   Check out the OOGI!   Check out the Plui Rain Cloud!

The BEST toys ever.   Really.

Enjoy watching the Bilibo video  of these little kids having a fun, fun time.    Even better than that, this toy nudges them to creativity, it nudges them to explore, it nudges them to develop their ideas.    That is absolutely priceless as they grow.

Enter… BILIBO!


BILIBO – a best best best toys

Here’s the OOGI!    The video that will make you laugh with joy


OOGI – a best best best toys

Explore further what this excellent company has continually been developing!    The Bilibo has been such a success that they just keep creating, making and doing.   More toys.   More fun.   Wonderful.

Here’s the PLUI!    Enjoy


PLUI – a best best best toys

I commend all parentsand babysitters – who keep the TV, computer, video games OFF and stay active with the kids – play, run, jump.

Youth babysitters – use the best toy ever!

I have been teaching young people how to be safe Babysitters for over 16 years in my classes in Denver, Colorado.    My class covers preventing injuries, diapering/burping, first aid, the choking skills, full CPR and, so importantly, QUALITY TIME!     Studies have shown that busy parents, perhaps both employed, often enjoy too little one-to-one time with their children.   It’s part of why I’m so passionate about babysitters engaging in quality time while babysitting; little kids flourish with attention.     I urge that these young babysitters read to them, read to them, read to them, as well as play with them, play with them, play with them.   I ask them:  Have you ever taught the little child to “bicycle” with their legs in the air?    Have you taught them to balance something on their head or hand and talk across the room?   Have you taught them to balance on one foot while you both count as high as you can go?

Here’s my video urging Babysitters to read to children – please view!

Best wishes – stay safe!


Please connect with me on my Facebook page to keep receiving my tips!

Jean Lesmeister, 16 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor

American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI)

Please SHARE this information with your network – THANK YOU!