Rebecca Green is the author of the new book Banish Boredom: Activities to Do with Kids That You'll Actually Enjoy. She is the creator of the blog Not-So-SAHM, and her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Huffington Post and Parenting Magazine. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Q: How did you end up creating your blog, and did it lead directly to this book?
A: I had been practicing law for about seven years when I decided to take a break and stay home with our kids. I realized very quickly that while I had spent a lot of time closing up my legal career, I hadn’t really planned very well for being home with our kids full time. I was taking them to do all the typical toddler activities around town, but didn’t find them very engaging.
The kids were happy just to spend time with me, but I knew that I needed to change something to make it a workable situation for everyone. So I started researching other activities I could do with our kids and happened upon a whole slate of really fabulous parenting blogs.
People were sharing all kinds of art, science, and outing activities—all of which looked much more interesting to me than what we’d been doing. So I started my own blog and began exploring what kind of activities I liked to do with our kids.
It turned into a great outlet for me. I found blogging to be a wonderful way to create engaging time with our kids while also connecting with other parents, exploring creativity, and developing new skills.
A few years into blogging, I was approached by a publisher interested in having me write a book. I thought about it a lot, took a crack at developing an outline, and it all just grew from there. I spent about a year writing the text and taking the photographs. And the book came out this past summer.
Q: You stress the importance of coming up with ideas that the adult will enjoy too, writing, "I've had the best success by starting with myself." What are some of the activities that you and your kids all particularly like?
A: I think one of the things I love most about our children is their never-ending willingness to try new things. They’ve really become able to find something about everything that they like—even if it’s not the same aspect as everyone else. So, it’s hard to pick just a few activities that we all like.
But, I would say that art is an area that we most enjoy exploring all together. We love to visit new art museums and exhibits, and try out new art projects together too.
I think we’re all happiest when we have a weekend day with little to do, I put on some music or an audiobook, and we spend the day each undertaking our own variety of art and crafts projects in the kitchen together.
Q: How involved were your kids in this book project, and what do they think of it?
A: Our kids were incredibly involved in the project—there would be no book without them! Much of the book is about how I found my own parenting style while helping our kids become independent, confident, creative thinkers.
The projects that made it into the book are their favorite projects and you see my photos of the kids doing each one. They are proud of the book and love to sign it for people!
Q: How old are the kids who might benefit the most from the book?
A: I think children between the ages of 3 and 8 will probably benefit most from the book. However, I’ve been doing all of the activities with our kids since they were just about 1 year old.
I also gave a lot of thought and direction to how each activity in the book could be expanded and adapted to every child’s age and ability level. So I would consider all the projects great for kids of any age.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I always like to dabble in a lot of things so I still have my own blog plus a wide variety of freelance writing and content creating I’m doing at the moment.
Some days I work on a lifestyle piece for a client, some days I do legal research and writing, and others I spend photographing fun projects with my kids. And I’m always looking for new creative projects. Never a dull moment!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I have several “maker events” in the works for spring, including one at a D.C. public library branch. We did a few of these when we launched the book last summer and they are a blast!
I develop an activity, provide all the supplies, and parents bring their children to make something fun. My kids get a big kick out of helping me run the activity and sign books too. So keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb