What does Screen-Free Week look like for The Risky Family? Well, in full disclosure we’re not disconnecting completely. However, as a holdover from the winter that would never end, we’ve fallen into a bit of screen dependency. I’m viewing Screen-Free Week as a chance for us to cut way back on our consumption of media and reboot our tech habits, if you will. Here’s our plan for the week:
- The kids are allowed to use the iPad or watch a show in the morning before school. We are not a morning people, and this always eases them into the day. It’s a very short amount of time that they’re using screens, and I never have issues with it interfering with getting ready or getting out the door in the morning.
- During the school week, we won’t be using screens after school, unless needed for homework.
- I will also refrain from using television, social media or mindlessly surfing the web from the time the kids get home from school until the next morning, unless it pertains directly to work.
- On Saturday we can have an hour of screen time.
- On Sunday all bets are off. It’s Mother’s Day, after all, and I would like to have a relaxing day! For me, that means catching up on reading other blogs and perusing Pinterest (as well as non-screen related activities such as sleeping, reading, more sleeping … you get the idea).
For some of you, this may look like a normal week, and for that I applaud you! But I want to be transparent, and show other families that we struggle with screen usage just like many of you.
If you’re taking the plunge, you’ll most likely be faced with kids who aren’t sure what to do with themselves. Here are a few screen-free ideas to help you celebrate Screen-Free Week:
Turn to Books
After school we’ll be making a trip to the library to load up on books for the week. Besides fiction, there are lots of non-fiction books to inspire you with projects and ideas. Some of our favorites are:
- Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun
- Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Go Wild!: 101 Things to Do Outdoors Before You Grow Up
- Fifteen Minutes Outside
Reconnect with Nature
Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Even if it doesn’t, there’s nothing wrong with playing in the rain! A few other ideas for getting outdoors:
- Explore a pond.
- Climb a tree.
- Take a family bike ride.
- Visit new playgrounds and vote for the new family favorite.
- Check out some field guides from the library. Go on a nature walk and try to identify trees, wildflowers, or birds.
Unleash your inner tinkerer, scientist, or artist
- Make some magic potions.
- Make your own lava lamp.
- Start an art journal.
- Try the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment.
- Deconstruct a screen that no longer functions.
Try a new family game each night and find your new favorite. We love:
Master a new skill
Take the time to be silly.
Between school, work, and spending mindless time in front of screens, one of the first things to disappear is our ability to goof off. While screens can certainly relax us and take our minds off of things, we forget about the restorative power of laughter. Roughhouse with the kids. Have a whip cream fight. We like to play a game to see where we stand in a circle and each do something ridiculous at the same time. The last one to laugh wins. The truth is, when we let our guard down and get silly, we all win.
Do you have anything fun planned for Screen-Free Week? Or are you just seeing where your undistracted imaginations take you?