Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-13Last Tuesday marked the first official day of summer, and the signs are all around, especially in my household. My big kids have left to visit their dad in Florida until August, and my littlest ones have begun their summer school program after two weeks of vacation. For me, the summertime is always a bittersweet season. On one hand, our house grows especially quiet without teenagers and their friends hanging throughout the house, playing piano, and showing us the latest viral videos. We miss Julian and Plum so much while they’re gone. On the other hand, some of our favorite pastimes circle back around this time of year—running barefoot through sprinklers, afternoon barbecues at the river with friends, local farmer’s markets, and evening walks through our neighborhood, just to name a few. For Birdie and Sailor, the summer also can mean long, hot days trying to fight off boredom. If you’re a mom with small kids, chances are, you’re familiar with trying to keep busy minds amused in the summer months (because the plethora of toys they have just won’t cut it, most days).

Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-2Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-7Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-9Luckily, both Birdie and Sailor have a deep love for coloring—especially when it comes to printouts. Are your kids as obsessed with printouts as mine are? It seems like a daily occurrence that they ask Aubrey or me to print off their favorite characters—most recently, outlines of popular cartoons like Moana, Pokemon, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Growing up in the height of the digital age, our kids are incredibly tech-savvy. The minute they come home from school and drop their things to the ground, they grab for our Acer Spin 7, and start browsing their favorite sites for new pictures and characters to bring to life with the touch of their crayons. Their little hands love using the Spin 7 because it’s simple, quick, and user-friendly. Everything they need is right at their fingertips, uncomplicated, and easy to navigate. And, because it can handle sticky fingerprints and a fall or two, our lives as parents are a little easier as well. They can do what they love, and we don’t have to worry. We send their selects off the printer and done—instant entertainment.

Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-8Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-14After a good hour or more, we have a floor full of Birdie and Sailor’s creations—colorful, scratchy, and beautiful. The kids select and hang up their favorites in their room. If the kids are growing tired of coloring inside the lines, we head back to the drawing board (i.e.—The Spin 7) to brainstorm, get even more creative, and make additional masterpieces of our own. I love seeing the ideas and images that come to life at the touch of their small hands and huge imaginations. You can see the pride radiating from them as the hold up their latest and greatest sheets of scribbles. In these moments, I always try to remind myself that even though life gets busy or quiet or hectic at times, it’s nice to know you can rely on your tech to work with your hectic schedule, bring out your kids’ inner creative genius, and enjoy your family in any season of parenthood.

Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-15Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-20Mother-Hoods-Gardiner-NY-17This post is in partnership with Acer, but the words and opinions are my own. Check out Acer’s great product line-up at



  • Amy

    Where is that fantastic rug from?

  • Dina

    I know this is an ad, but the coloring printouts made me think of this swedish cartoonist Linnéa Johansson and her project for kids. After reflecting about narrow stereotypes for little boys and girls, women and men and how they are reducing our expression of emotions, how we think we can act and behave, our possibilities in this pretty gender divided society, she started working on two printable albums.

    One is called Super Soft Heroes and the second is named Super Strong Princess, and they are FREE of charge to download!
    You can google translate the swedish text on this page or just scroll down to the bottom and download “Ladda ned fil”:

    Kids seem to like coloring both inside and outside of the lines and they are very good for sparking a conversation about social norms and roles. Telling kids that of course a mama can play the guitar, the princess doesn’t have to be saved by some guy – a dad/superhero can bake cookies, take care of a child, use a wheelchair to get around and still be fully masculine, he can be both happy and sad etc.
    Her drawing project went viral in Norway and Sweden back in 2015, I even found some articles in english:

  • DeeDee

    I can’t get used to seeing such little kids sitting in front of a computer screen. Ditch the computer and just set them up with crayons and paper , the screen is a crutch. Love your style though! :)

  • Sandra

    Was just thrilled to see that Sailor is a “lefty” – like me! I have a soft spot for left handers. Unfortunately none of my kids share this characteristic with me. Do you have others in your family?
    Have a great summer!

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