It will be hard, but SO worth it… technology can be addicting to our kids and even for us (because it makes life easier when they are watching a show & we can be doing what we need to do), but that is what makes it even more important that we break the cycle & limit it.
I don’t have certain limits set up like “You get 20 minutes a day”, I just monitor it. We don’t watch it during the school week (because it causes the kids to run behind in the morning), so I just keep an eye on them on the weekends.
A few things you should know: 1). “While inmates at maximum security prisons in the U.S. are guaranteed at least 2 hours of outdoor time a day, half of children worldwide spend less than an hour outside, reports TreeHugger.com”
2). A survey of 12,000 parents in 10 countries found that one-third of children (ages 5 to 12) spend less than 30 minutes outside each day. The survey, sponsored by Unilever laundry detergent brands OMO and Persil, inspired a new marketing campaign – “Dirt is Good – Free the Children.” ~ ReturnToMeNow.net
3). American children spend 5-8 hours in front of a screen per day and less than 1 hour outside (that is less than prisoners!) Too much screen time can cause sleep problems, higher risk for attention disorders, higher risk for obesity and actually changes the chemistry of your child’s brain. I don’t know about you, but those risks scare me. They should be outdoors getting dirty and exploring, not watching someone else having fun on TV.
I challenge you to really think about the amount of screen time your child is getting and consider implementing a screen-free day once per week or a screen-free zone such as in the car or at the dinner table where screens aren’t allowed (including parents!).Let’s give our kids the childhood they deserve and do as many of these fun activities as a family as possible.
50 Scree-Free Fall Activities for Kids
- Catch bugs & observe them
- Go to a new park
- Find a local park that you can hike… and go hiking!
- Write in a journal
- Stay up late & go to a Friday night Football Game at your local high school
- Blow bubbles out of new things…
- Draw a road with chalk and then ride on it with a scooter.
- Find a “Look & Find” book at the library
- Paint Rocks Plant fall flowers
- Grab an umbrella & take a walk in the rain
- Play dress-up in costumes (just for fun!)
- Find an indoor pool and go swimming!
- Make Pearler Beads
- Have an apple cider stand
- Make banana bread
- Make a telescope & look at the stars
- Go on a nature hunt, searching for specific things.
- Pitch a tent & camp out in the backyard.
- Make yogurt popsicles… and eat them for breakfast!
- Build a fort & read in it.
- Make a dinosaur out of toilet paper rolls:
- Make MUD-PIE in the dirt
- Go on a family bike ride
- Play Catch
- Play Four-Square
- Play PIG with a basketball
- Go to a trampoline park
- Let them build in the garage with leftover materials
- Play a huge game of tic tac toe outside with rocks & sidewalk chalk.
- Make a flower headband.
- Play Tag
- Hide toys in ice cubes
- Snuggle up on a porch & read a book together
- Collect leaves, rocks & pinecones and do math with it!
- Build a pinecone Birdhouse with peanut butter & seeds
- Use an empty container to build a fairy house like this one shared by my friend Rachel at One Crazy House Get the directions here
- Take the dog on a walk
- Go to a new Museum
- Jump Rope
- Paint a picture
- Make ice cream
- Pick Berries and Make Jam
- Have a Pajama Party & movie night 🙂
- Send the picture that you painted to a family member
- Roast marshmallows 🙂
- Go to a local farm
- Play Hide and Seek in your back yard … with a toy! (hide the toy!)
- Make a new recipe every day for a week… the kids get to pick it off of Pinterest (here is my meal-planning board). 🙂
Are you ready to do more screen-free family ideas? You can sign up for my free email series & grab this calendar below: