I’m not sure why, but our school had a screen free day last month. These screen free challenges are particularly difficult for my kids, hooked as they are to their iPhones, iPod Touch, computer, TV and Wii. Did I miss any? Does the Color Nook and Kindle count too?
Successful Screen Free Day Last Month
I was shocked when my little boy, 2nd grade, burst out of school with a plan to stay screen free. He cooked it up with his 3rd grade best friend Sam. They were going to:
- Jump on Sam’s trampoline
- Go inside and eat a snack
- Play Clue and other board games
- Go back outside and jump on the trampoline some more
- Read books (our March Madness school reading competition was still going on)
It was imperative that he go to his friend’s house so his request was happily granted. Three hours later, he came home and announced that 1) We need to buy Clue (I had thrown our board game away ages ago), and 2) Going screen free for the day was not as hard as he had thought.
image from Random House Children’s Book Facebook Timeline
Ideas for Screen Free Week
Given that he’s our biggest screen abuser culprit, I was pleasantly surprised. But now, going into a week of screen time, I realize that to be successful, you need a plan just like my son and his friend did. Screen Free Week has resources and ideas that might help.
images from Random House Children’s Book Facebook Timeline
I also noticed that going screen free one day was fantastic but nothing fundamentally changed. When we wait at restaurants, you can typically find all five of us on our screens. My other thought was while going screen free for a week is a Herculean goal, it is probably better to make a smaller change that is permanent.
Maybe I am a cop out or maybe I am being pragmatic, but while I am going to try to go Screen Free this week, I am going to focus on eliminating screens while we wait at restaurants. Baby steps!
One day when my husband was thoroughly disgusted with our son’s excessive screen time, he invented this game for them to play instead while waiting for food. It’s called “What Changed?”
Screen Free Week Game for Restaurants: “What Changed?”
It’s very simple. One person makes the change, the rest close their eyes. Now open your eyes and identify the change.
The key to success is making very subtle changes like:
- Drink 1/2 inch of water from the glass. Do this very quietly (as my son slurped too loudly and gave it away).
- Turn the bottle by a quarter of a turn. Yes, that counts!
- Switch the condiments around.
- Remove 1 napkin from the napkin dispenser.
- Turn the spoon upside down in the sauce dispenser.
- This was a tough one. Turn the spoon in the condiment jar upside down.
- No one got this one. The brown sauce was squeezed into the spout so that it was colored brown from clear. (This is Hoisin Sauce, a Chinese Plum Sauce. See how the spout of the squeeze bottle is clear? The sauce is thick enough to squeeze to the top of the spout such that it will stay there.)
- This would be impossible to guess. Switch water glasses around.
Are you going screen free this week? What are your plans? Please share! We could really use your ideas!!