This week, from April 30th until May 6th, is Screen Free Week. It is a way to encourage people to reduce thier screen time and interact, exercise and play more using their brains and bodies, instead of watching TV, movies, video games or the computer.
I noticed that after the amount of allergies and cold illnesses we've had the past few months that we have had the TV on way more than usual. This week gives me a great excuse to reduce the exposure to TV and increase our play time in better ways. I'm really hoping the weather agrees with me and stays nice this week, as it would really help! My son is only 4 and at this age does not play video games or on the computer at home, so that isn't something that needs to change. He is a big fan of PBS and Disney Jr, though, and while I like the programs he watches, it could be reduced drastically.
Another really bad habit we have developed here is keeping the TV on during dinner. I really hate it, but I am so tired by that time that I just give in to the arguing. This is the week that it's going to stop. I usually use the TV as entertainment later in the afternoon for quiet time, since my kiddo stopped napping. It also helps me get dinner made, as he is occupied. I haven't figured out a solution to that yet, except to have him help me cook dinner.
I told my family about screen free week at dinner tonight, and said that my main goal for the week is to stop the TV on while we eat and to reduce the amount of TV that we watch. So while we won't go completely TV free, I am curious to see how much we reduce our viewing. My son just sort of looked at me for a minute, and moved on. (We kept the TV off all afternoon and evening today and worked in the garden outside instead!)
Here is my list of things to do this week while we cut back significantly on TV time:
- Listen to music
- play with water beads
- make mother's day gifts
- make fingerprint robins craft
- build our backyard racetrack
- dig for weeds (so fun, right)
- visit the library and READ
- fly a kite
- make sidewalk chalk
- go for a walk
- visit a local garden center
- play outside in the yard
- visit a playground
How are you keeping your family occupied while cutting back on screen time this week?