We are living in a culture that is addicted to computer, iPhones, iPads, and television. How many times have you seen a teenager plop down with their iPhone and immediately tune others out? (For that matter, how many times have you seen moms tuning their kids out?) Does it seem like people are more at home on their devices or in front of a screen than they are interacting with EACH OTHER?
In reading Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, much is explained about our intellectual discourse and how it has gone downhill since the advent of television and modern media. (Read it - you will be shocked.)
My family is not immune. We struggle with screens in our house. We don't have cable, but we do have Apple TVs. I try to limit tv watching, but at certain points in time it seems like a battle.
Also, left unchecked, I think my kids would stare at the iPad all day if I let them. (And, let's be honest - at times I struggle with this, too.)
I'm not anti-television, but I do believe that less is more. I would rather my whole family be engaged in something productive than just stare at a television screen.
Screen-Free Week is a great time to be intentional about turning off the screens and doing other things. My children and I came up with a list of 27 things to do during screen-free week. I'm printing this list (scroll down for the printable .PDF) for my children to refer to when they say, "I'm bored!".
27 Things to Do During Screen-Free Week
- read books
- fill up your entire driveway with sidewalk chalk art
- ride your bike
- do something kind for a neighbor (bake cookies, clean up their yard)
- lay outside and watch the clouds - write a poem about it
- get out the atlas and trace maps
- rearrange your room
- make a special dinner for your family - set the table and make table decorations, too!
- listen to music
- ask your parents if there are special jobs you can do for them - DON'T ask to be paid
- take a nature walk
- make homemade bubbles and play with them outside
- build LEGO landmarks
- wash the car
- play cards (here are some of our favorite card games)
- write your own comic book
- go outside and JOG! can you jog a mile (or more?)
- sort through toys you don't play with and give them to someone who will
- make homemade Play-Dough
- write letters to far away friends and family
- pamper your pet for the day (walk them, give them a bath, etc...)
- make the most awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies for your family!
- make simple crafts for Operation Christmas Child boxes (rubber band bracelets are great!)
- buy seed packets and plant the seeds - give the pots to your mom for Mother's Day
- get a camera - go outside and take pictures - write a story about your walk outside
- do something nice for every member of your family - don't tell them you did it!
- make tye-dye Sharpie bandanas
Is your family taking part in National Screen-Free Week?