While I was doing my best to chillax this weekend, Ben Blair worked hard to keep the kids occupied (Ben Blair is such a champ). The weather was fantastic, so mostly, everyone was outside running around, eating popsicles and celebrating the start of summer vacation. But when they were indoors, and looking for something to do, we kept busy with an arsenal of artsy-techy pasttimes — things like iPhone apps, digital cameras, and Oscar’s favorite: Photobooth.

I’m so grateful for all the new technologies that engage kids in creative ways. I think it’s wonderful to see Olive earning virtual money, then buying and selling items on Webkins. Ralph loves editing footage with iMovie. Maude creates with Wii Music or writes on her blog. Oscar is all about taking photos (like the ones pictured here). Betty plays with Jirbo Match on my phone. I could go on and on…

In addition to being great learning tools, I confess, I depend on these technologies to occupy and entertain the kids from time to time so I can get some work done or get dinner on the table. Should I feel guilty about it? I don’t. We do lots of fun activities at our house — I think of screen time as one of many worthy options.

What about you? Do you have any techy-yet-creative ways you engage your kids? Do you ever use technology as a babysitter? Do you have restrictions on screen time? Any favorite apps you’d recommend?