Living in a small space with little ones is quite often doable, but once those toddlers start shooting up into teens and tweens, things can get a little claustrophobic. Try involving tech into their lives to help keep things streamlined and as paired down as possible. Here's a few of our favorite suggestions for teen and tween tech!
Teens and Tweens create their identity based on stuff and things. It's what defines their space and makes it personal, allowing them to gain identity within the family and within the home. In this day and age, most of those items have at least one moving part (thank you technology) and require a battery of some kind. Even though investing in tech for your kids seems like a pricey option, they carry with them many space saving ideas to help around the home!
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• MP3 Player: When you're younger, it seems as though you live and die by the sounds and lyrics you hear. Even if you don't have room for a large collection of cds, try letting your kids have a personal mp3 player. They're small and then you can keep all your music on your computer, keeping the empty case clutter out of their bedroom or off your living room floor!
• An Apple iPad: We know they're new and although it's not our intention to push overpriced new gadgets on you, being an iPad owner, the first thing we thought of was how great they would have been when we were in High School and Junior High! They can be set with all sorts of parental controls, it's almost impossible to get to porn onto and they come with built in messaging services, email, games and more. They can chat with their friends from the couch, saving you on your phone bill and not tie up the family computer when you have work that needs to be done. Although writing a full MLA style paper on one might be a little exhausting, it can be done! As an added bonus, you can download their required reading material for school to it and do away with any ideas of an e-reader!
• Netflix & Roku: Many households use Netflix services and in a small space it can be super helpful! You simply order what you want and it comes right to your mailbox, but for a group of teenagers having a sleepover, you might want more than just a few movies at a time. Try using a Roku box (although tvs are starting to come standard with the service) or your Wii (you can order a disc from Netflix to run the service) to bring live movies into your living room. Anything that's available to "Watch Now" on Netflix can be viewed from your tv. Movies, TV shows, sports and more, it can mean no more cable and doing away with the giant movie collection. A Roku box will also stream Facebook, Pandora and more, so maybe you won't need a Facebook account to keep an eye on what your kids are LOLing at these days.
• A Shower Timer: In a small space, sometimes the only peace and quiet you get is when you're in the bathroom. Even if that's the case, you still don't want energy bills that are sky high from hour long showers. Try using a timer to help install good water conservation habits, even if it's just one from your kitchen.
• Interactive Game Console: Although we're big fans of going outside and playing, nothing brings a family together faster than skateboarding in the living room. Check out Janel's post about how much fun her family had here. No matter how small your space is when you start playing a game that involves the whole family, it doesn't matter if you're stepping on each others toes, all that matters is that you're having fun. Although we're partial to the Wii, there are plenty of other options out there.
Does your house hold have an essential piece of teen or tween tech in it? Share your ideas in the comments below!
(Images: As Linked Above)