Technology, it pervades all parts of our life at the moment and I am not saying that is a bad thing, but I feel that we all need some freedom from it and some quality family time. Kids need quality time with you, yes you and for that I mean me in the picture!
We have implemented a screen free day each weekend and have screen free family time at 6pm, but this wasn’t easy to implement. It took time, it took planning and it takes constant input from me. I am not going to pretend that it is easy, so I am going to be sharing some screen free activities and ideas for family time together.
We are big fans of board games and as they boys are getting older we can move more to strategy games. Yes they don’t like to lose, but who does!
I want my boys to be able to have a pack of cards and be entertained. So we have taught them solitaire and we are busy learning some new games together, such as twos and eights, go fish and rummy. I swear that Maxi is going to be a card shark and card counter!
Go for a walk
Now we have Alvin, we do this much more often and we love going out for a family dog walk. Now I know that I am very lucky and I live in North Yorkshire, (Gods own country) with some fantastic walks, which we take advantage of. If your kids don’t want to get out for a walk turn it into an adventure by looking for things that begin with a certain letter or are a certain colour or go on a nature walk.
Do a family art or craft project
Now this doesn’t have to be a big scary project or even a messy one, you could just do some colouring in together round the table or you could make some story stones.
Make up a story
Group storytelling is a great way to spend some screen free time. Story stones are a great way of facilitating group storytelling, especially using ones you have made as a family featuring things that you like.
Make a scrapbook together
My boys love looking at pictures, so we resolved to do something with all the images that I take and make some scrapbooks of things we have done together. The boys love doing this, I print off a batch of images and then we all sit round the table and reminisce about the things we did and our different memories. I try top leave the actual scrapbooking to the boys by sitting on my hands!
Do a science experiment
How often do your kids want to do something and you just don’t have the time to devote to them. We use screen free family time to do longer term experiments and science projects. Science Sparks is a great resource for science based activities. We had great fun exploring our sense of smell and taste.
Cook or bake together
I am passionate about teaching my boys household skills and cooking and baking together is something that we all enjoy and even better it feeds our souls as well as our tummies. Some nights we just get the cookbooks out and all browse through them and make a list of what we want to cook and make a shopping list. Other nights we bake or cook together.
Some great ideas there. Computers are brilliant but you certainly need time away from them. My son loves art so he paints and draws a lot and that gets his away from technology.
I wrote a similar post today, more in an adult context! I am going screen free on a Sunday for a while at least give or take when it to do with blogging…I have no chance of getting Bex my 15 year old to join, Oscar would happily though!
great ideas Jen and I too am limiting screen time and find they are much calmer as a result. I should lead by example though as I feel I am a bad role in this way.
Some great idea, I especially want us to get outdoors more as a family even in the winter
great ideas – my girls don’t get very much screen time at all!
This seems to get harder as the children get older. My boys are now aware of how much screen time other children. Before, they never questioned not being allowed on.
I find it a real challenge to get mine off the screen – especially the older ones. I find the beach normally wins out with us
I don’t put the television on when we get home from school because once it goes on it stays on. Also my daughter has so much homework she has start doing it otherwise we’d never have dinner. We haven’t got any games consoles like Playstations either.
Great ideas Jen. I am terrible for always having the tv on, even when I am not watching it x
Some very good ideas thanks ever so much .x
It is so easy for the screens to take over! I love baking and cooking with my daughter. She doesn’t watch much TV but every day that’s a willpower thing for me because she asks for it LOADS.
These are really great ideas! Technology is a huge part of our lives and sometimes it seems impossible to do anything without it.
Im not sure I could manage this, but then again most of my work involves being in front of the screen x
I love this post. We are good at no computer games but that does tend to push them towards the tv. We do do board games but I am loving the inspiration here for other things. Card games – YES – my mom played with me all the time and it is a fond memory – I ought to do it with my boys too. Thank you.
Some great tips. We have time limits on screen time and all their electronic devices disconnect at a certain time so they can’t sneak on when we’re in bed! It’s important for them to be able to entertain themselves or for us entertain each other without computers or tv.
I have to say, screen free time sounds like such a great idea – I always say we should put down the phones and tablets etc, but never seem to do that. Going to take a leaf out of your book and black out an afternoon or evening!
Oh I do like the idea of screen free time… might introduce it at home
I bet this takes quite a bit of effort. We go out to parks etc quite a lot so hopefully away from our screens enough 😉
Great tips – we really need to start limiting the IPad time a bit more…mine are obsessed!