La Tela di Carlotta
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Two alternatives to screens that my kids love

Apr 8, 2020

🌸 This is not a sponsored post: I like to share our tricks with you. The link to the coloring tablets is an affiliated link and if I use it I earn a small commission. Thanks :-)


Since we left on our trip around the world 10 months ago, we have traveled a lot—sometimes we spent many hours on trains and buses—and two ways we have found that allow us NOT to use screens with kids are music and drawing tablets.

Music without screens

Screens are not healthy for a young mind under construction, which is why we wanted a music device without a screen that would also be small enough to not take much space in our luggages: we chose to buy two second-hand iPod Mini (5th generation) on eBay, and it was the best decision ever (it’s not very easy to put the music on them, but it’s a small price to pay 😅)!

They’re also great when Oliver and Emily don’t want to listen to the same music at home, or one of them wants to spend some time alone.

Drawing without wasting paper

These coloring tablets were revolutionary for us. Not only are they thin and light, perfect for traveling, and a lot more eco-friendly than using paper, but you can use them in so many ways.

There are many on the market, but unfortunately we couldn’t find them locally so we chose the best seller on Amazon: this is our drawing tablet and we like it, but I think they’re all the same, so if you find one locally, it’s better :-)

Game ideas:

  • Free drawing
  • Copy images from newspapers
  • Copy objects that we see around us
  • Tic-tac-toe
  • Practice the letters
  • Practice the numbers
  • Practice the shapes
  • One draws, the other guesses
  • One "commissions", the other draws
  • Make straight lines to fill the tablet
  • The parent draws/write, the child copies
  • Any game on paper, like the hangman

Other screenless devices that I like, but I haven't tried

I’m sure our drawing tablets are made in China, we couldn’t find a better alternative (if you have one, please send I try way and I’ll include it in the article).

When possible, buy from a local shop or choose products made in your country to avoid shipping and to reduce your carbon footprint; also avoid “made in China” as much as possible in order not to support the exploitation of labor (and to avoid health risks from low quality materials).

Ocarina - mp3 player for children, 100% made in Italy

Lunii - storyteller for children (I’m waiting to hear from the company where they produce it)

Hörbert - mp3 player for children, made in Germany

Jooki - mp3 player and storyteller for children (I’m waiting to hear from the company where they produce it)

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

Oct 16, 2020 • 19m
La nostra routine con i bimbi
Mi chiedete spessissimo quale sia la nostra routine a casa con i bimbi e in questo episodio vi svelo che noi, una routine vera e propria, non ce l'abbiamo. Abbiamo una routine minima e indispensabile, che è un concetto che mi sono totalmente inventata su due piedi mentre parlavo a briglia sciolta in questo episodio, ma che credo funzioni davvero. Almeno per noi. La routine minima e indispensabile, secondo me, risponde anche a un altro "problema": trovo che ci bombardino spesso con l'idea del...
11
Oct 9, 2020 • 24m
Sostenibilità: come sensibilizzare i bambini e i giovani adulti | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Oct 2, 2020 • 24m
Intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità | Con Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli
In questa puntata a due voci di Educare con Calma – divisa a metà perché amo gli episodi corti - parliamo di sostenibilità e per farlo ho invitato mia sorella, Cristiana Cerri Gambarelli, project manager della Federazione dei Giovani Verdi Europei e un esempio per chiunque voglia intraprendere un viaggio nella sostenibilità: negli ultimi ha cambiato tutta la sua vita per ridurre la sua impronta di carbonio e per prendere ogni giorno decisioni più sostenibili per il nostro pianeta e in questa ...
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Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.