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Tips for Less Screen Time at Home


Tips for Less Screen Time at Home

Laura Standefer, Senior Screen Time Correspondent

March 2, 2020

Spring Break is coming up and summer will be here before you know it. I don’t know about you, but screen time management has always been so hard for me, especially during long breaks from school. In an age of constant entertainment, how do we scale back on our most entertaining gadgets? Especially when our kids are driving us crazy at home for weeks at a time. Here are some tips I’ve learned to help encourage everyone to live screen-free…at least for a little while.


My husband loves to blast music on the largest speakers we own (sorry, neighbors). For some reason, if we have music playing (especially loud music), it’s easier for us not to think about turning on the TV or watching videos on our gadgets. My son also loves having dance parties and making up his own choreography to our song collection, but of course, kids love listening to their own stuff. Turning on “Baby Shark” may be the last thing you want to do, but it might be worth it if it gets your kid off the couch and moving their bodies. 

Board Games

Since my son is all about YouTube Kids and video games, I honestly didn’t think he would be interested in board games. I recently saw a version of my favorite childhood board game, Trouble, on sale at the store and I brought it home to play with my family. I was pleasantly surprised when my son saw it and said, “I’ve seen that game on Youtube!” (facepalm). We’ve been playing it several times a week, along with some other classics such as Operation and the Hatchimals version of Candy Land. Your kids may be more interested in board games than you think and it’s a great way to turn off the electronics and spend time with the family.

Go Outdoors

I know, I sound like a grandma when I talk about how we used to play outside back in my day. I remember the excitement of ringing doorbells to see if my friends could come out to play and how we used to ride our bikes down steep hills to achieve dangerously fast speeds. I’ve recently started to make my child go outdoors and ride his scooter or to make some art using sidewalk chalk. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many of the neighbor kids he’s gotten to know just by being outside readily available to play and interact. It’s taken several years, but he’s finally at a point where he WANTS to play instead of watching TV. I honestly thought that this day would never come. 

Crafts and Kits

We shouldn’t feel as if we are constantly needing to entertain our children, but simply having materials available to help kids get creative can be extremely helpful with staying away from screen-time. My son knows that there is always a drawer full of pompoms, pipe cleaners, and markers available if he gets bored. However, if you’re one of those parents that like to take things to the next level, you may want to look into subscription boxes that provide hands-on projects and building kits. This Christmas my son got a subscription to KiwiCo and he is having a blast working on his monthly project with his dad. 

Top 5 Favorite Things About The HappiFamli Camp Fair


Top 5 Favorite Things About The HapppiFamli Camp Fair

Rebecca Cole, Senior Camp Fair Correspondent

February 3rd, 2020

Yes, it’s early February, but believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your kids summer. A great way to do this is to attend HappiFamli’s Camp Fair on February 16th from 1-4 pm at the Norris Conference Center.

Here are my top 5 favorite things about the HappiFamli Camp Fair:

  1. ITS FREE – Free admission, free parking, free activities, free giveaways. Get Tickets Here.
  2. IT’S FUN – Each camp has activities at their booth, and there will be a pony out front and a free LEGO event inside. The event is a great way to entertain the kids on a February afternoon.
  3. IT’S INTERACTIVE – As a mom, I love to see which activities my kids gravitate to at the Camp Fair. Sometimes I am surprised by what they are interested in, and I feel their interests change year to year. With so many different types of camps represented at the fair, there is something for everyone (ages 4-18).
  4. IT’S INFORMATIVE – I like the fact that representatives and owners from the camps are at the event so I can ask questions about the schedule, activities, staff education, ratios, etc.
  5. IT’S GIVING AWAY FREE WEEKS of CAMP – Many of the vendors will have a drawing at their booths for free weeks of camp and other prizes. HappiFamli will also have some great giveaways from local businesses. Come WIN something!

See HappiFamli’s New Predictive Matching Tool!

If the video rings true, then While you’re at the fair, please stop by the HappiFamli booth to get a demonstration of our new predictive matching tool that can plan your summer for you in about 10 minutes. Enter your family information and preferences, and then the tool does all of the work. Parents get a complete plan that includes detailed program information, maps, costs, reviews, and much more.

I can’t wait to see you on Sunday, February 16th!

HappiFamli Staff’s Best and Worst Parenting Advice


HappiFamli Staff’s Best and Worst Parenting Advice

Laura Standefer, Senior Parenting Correspondent

October 21, 2019

As soon as you share the news that you’re becoming a parent, expect to get advice from literally everyone. I learned this as soon as I started showing with my first and randomly started being interrogated and lectured by a random woman at H-E-B.

Most of the time, people are just excited and trying to make conversation. They want to just talk about themselves and relate to you by sharing their own experiences. However, you’ll come to find that all advice isn’t good advice because every child, family, and situation is different. Recently, I sat down with HappiFamli’s staff to discuss the best and worst parenting advice they’ve received. Here’s what they had to say.

Worst Parenting Advice:

    • “Sleep when the baby sleeps.”  Have you ever laid down and told yourself, “I need to fall asleep right this second in order to get some rest.” How well does that work? Trying to sleep whenever the baby sleeps is just like that. It’s too stressful and sometimes there’s simply just too much to do. 
    • Advice regarding sleep training. Some people will tell you to let the baby cry it out and some will tell you to never let the baby cry ever. But at the end of the day, YOU are the one that knows what your baby needs the most. 
    • Anything from your mother or MIL that begins with “Well back in my day….” It’s hard for our mothers and mother-in-laws to accept that times have changed. We have more information on how to feed, transport, and nurture our babies. They may have experience and they always mean well, but it doesn’t mean that you need to take all of their advice.

“…At the end of the day, YOU are the one that knows what your baby needs the most.

Best Parenting Advice:

    • Pick your battles. If everything is a big deal, then nothing is a big deal when you need it to be
    • Taking care of a baby is HARD, so give yourself some grace and forgiveness.  Do your best but don’t beat yourself up when things aren’t perfect.
    • Laugh.  It’s a simple and amazing tool for when you have grumpy kids or want to make a memory even more memorable.
    • Trust your instincts. Listen to yourself, not everybody else.
    • Start as you mean to go on.  Be consistent right from the beginning
    • As parents, be on the same page. Try not to contradict each other in front of the kids. 
    • This too shall pass.  It seems like sometimes kids will never get out of a certain phase.  But I promise they won’t use a pacifier or only eat chicken nuggets, or never sleep through the night when they’re 16.

2019 Best Of Camp Awards


2019 Best Of Camp Awards

HAPPIFAMLI, Senior Awards Correspondent

September 16, 2019

Thanks to everyone who participated in the voting for the 2019 Best Of Camp Awards.  We appreciate all of your feedback and were overwhelmed by the response.  We are so excited to announce this year’s award winners.




BEST ART CAMP: Creative Side Jewelry Academy

BEST DANCE CAMP: DANZA, Center for the Arts

BEST FILM CAMP: Austin Film Festival Summer Film Camp

BEST LANGUAGE CAMPLive the language

BEST MUSIC CAMP: Band Aid School of Music




BEST SPORTS CAMP: All Star Sports Camp

2019 Best Of Childcare Awards


2019 Best Of Childcare Awards

HAPPIFAMLI, Senior Awards Correspondent
April 29, 2019 
Thanks to everyone who participated in the voting for the 2019 Best Of Childcare Awards.  We appreciate all of your feedback and were overwhelmed by the response.  We are so excited to announce this years award winners.

Our previous Best Of Child Care Award winners for 2018 were:

Straight & To The Point


Straight & To The Point

Chad Bookidis, Cofounder – Parent

February 14, 2019

I have stared at a blank page for a good long while now. Apparently writing self-congratulatory announcements is not my forte.

I do know that the perfectly and unimpeachably correct way to say that word is “fort.” No ay. But I digress

“HappiFamli was just recently accepted into the Capital Factory Accelerator.”

When my Cofounder Rebecca Cole and I came together, our shared vision was simple: to solve the working parent’s dilemma. HappiFamli is the realization of that vision.

For those of you who haven’t heard us talk about HappiFamli, it’s an online services marketplace that helps parents learn about, find, and get help with the entire continuum of care for kids from birth to high school. The platform combines adjacent industries and puts them together as a locally relevant search engine platform so families save time and money and businesses can improve outcomes and grow.

For us, being newly minted members of the Capital Factory Accelerator means that we’ll have access to, and the support of some of Austin’s top investors and business minds. We’re confident that the growth we will experience will benefit our customers the most.

For businesses working with us, that means more opportunity for you to reach a bigger, curated audience, increasing lead generation and generating higher conversion rates. Conversions means higher revenues (business growth).

For parents using the site, it means new levels of access and knowledge. It means less time until we can offer you the tools that will change the way you find and source the help you need.

Needless to say, everyone at HappiFamli is excited to strap ourselves to this crazy rocket on behalf of you!