Next week is Screen-Free week. You may have received a notice from school about activities, or find some activities in your local area for kids.
Why No Screens?
While screen time has its’ place in the modern household, the statistics about how much screens the average kid watches or uses is pretty astounding.
The initiative is a way to get kids off the screens, and despite what you think it’s not a means to drive parents crazy. Just like our no spend months, this is designed to get you trying something different, stepping out of your typical routine. Who knows maybe you’ll want to ditch the screens altogether after this week!
What if I can’t unplug all week?
Don’t be hard on yourself-set limits and stick to them. Planning ahead helps, but don’t feel guilty if you don’t make it the whole week. One year we planned activities so the kids wouldn’t be on screens at all. Parks, art museums, and history exhibits were on the plan. I had meals planned, playdates, and packed in so much fun the kids wouldn’t even bother asking for screens. Then disaster struck, in the form of a nasty spring cold. The TV definitely came on that week, and most of our plans were trashed in favor of laying around getting better.
Alternatives to screentime
I’m sure you have your own list of non-screen activities, but these are some fun ways you can play together without using screens or spending a ton of cash either.
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of things your kids need to find (pictures help for the little ones) and go hunting in the backyard or your local park.
- Clean the house
It is spring cleaning time after all! Get the kids involved by putting them to work on the windows (anything where they can spray they love!), or cleaning the sinks and bathtubs with baking soda (safe for toddlers even!).
- Get messy
Whether it’s finger painting, making your own play dough or digging in the dirt or sand, getting messy is a great way to have fun without a screen, and cleanup takes awhile too so there goes more of your day!
- Read books
Reading on their own, or reading books as a family is so much fun. Audio books count too! If you need a break you can always put on an audio book and have some family quiet time.
- Cook a feast
Take some time to make a big feast. Think Thanksgiving in April (who says you can only do it once a year?) or make everyone’s favorite dishes.
- Be a tourist in your own city (fanny pack optional)
Most of us live near places we’ve never visited! Look up your local visitor website or community page and find a few things you haven’t done before. Whether it’s a historic place, a thrift shop you never knew existed, or something you would otherwise find ‘touristy’ make some time to check it out.
- Do nothing.
Modern families are always on the go. Make one day a do nothing day. Everyone stays in their pjs, and sits around. Eventually cries of “I’m bored,” turn into creative play as kids get the hang of doing nothing.
What are some ways you plan to be screen-free this week? Is your child’s school or local area doing anything fun for screen-free week?
Credit Release says
I agree that TV is not so good especially for children. The real damage is when children are exposed to late night TV which is often very negative and not enriching at all.
Hey Kelly, great post! I don’t have children yet but I stopped watching TV approx. 5 years ago and it’s a true relief!
If my childhood had been filled with less TV hours and more “mud sessions” at the river – well, I don’t know 🙂
Thanks for sharing this thought with other parents (and people like me).
Barb @ A Life in Balance says
Our spring break starts on Wednesday of next week. We don’t have issues with tv time during the day. It’s at night that’s the issue sometimes. However, all the neighborhood kids are playing together before and after dinner, plus we have two kids with baseball games and practice during the week. This week I’m weaning the kids off tv to go tv-free next week.
Gina Lincicum says
And it’s our Spring Break! While I’ve already planned some day trips and lots of outdoor fun, it’s going to hard to NEVER turn on the TV, especially when I just need a break!