Screen Time Challenge

I thought I might make a challenge for myself. I want to see if I can keep the kids screen-free for an entire week. I’d really like to see if I can do it without them even noticing.

I'm going to give the "no screen challenge" a try.

If I expect them to be screen-free, then I can’t let them catch me on my phone. I will still have it with me in case I get a phone call or if I need to take a picture, but I certainly can’t be checking  my email.

We usually watch TV in the morning after breakfast, so that’s the main time I need to fill. Usually if we don’t watch a princess movie to start our day, the Little Miss suggests we watch one in the afternoon, but we don’t do that often, so it will be easy to avoid.

In theory, this challenge will be really easy. But to be honest, I think it will be much easier on the kids than it will be on me. Their screen time is my down time. I’m on my phone reading blog posts or FB or writing…you get the idea. So if I do this, I will have to find a different time for all of my blogging extra-curriculars.

Activities  we can do to keep my our minds off of the latest favorite Disney movie (Sleeping Beauty, btw):

*Crafts-I’m really excited about this one! The kids love getting crafty. At least the girl does.

Screen Time Challenge

My boy does too, he just doesn’t know it yet. He’s still in the “I wonder how this tastes?” phase.

Screen Time Challenge

Nevertheless, we are going to get our creative juices flowing. With the set-up, the craft itself, and the clean-up, I figure it will take up a good hour of the day (Ha! I really hope its more, though!)

*Quality time with nature-The weather in Seattle is never a guarantee, but if it’s cold, we’ll play in the car (the Little Guy’s favorite new game).

Screen Time Challenge

If it’s nice, they can play on their slides or in the sandbox. We’ll also go to the park. We have so many in the area that we have yet to discover!

 Screen Time Challenge

* Story time at the library-My oldest adores story time! She is  a book fiend! And of course throw in some singing and bubbles, she’s all in. But my son just wants to explore. He doesn’t know what it means to sit still…yet.

*Independent play-My kids have a ton of toys and there’s usually some point in the day where I can just sit back and let them play. I love it! They usually play together for a bit, then go their separate ways. What I don’t love is when it comes screeching to a halt because they start pushing, shoving, or yelling at each other, (or yelling at me fighting for my attention).

*Help mama cook-I already know my daughter is a big fan, now I just need to get the little guy on board. If nothing else, I’ll drag his high chair into the kitchen and throw a bunch of flour and rice on there for him to explore while the girl and I get down to business.

*Dance Party!-My daughter and I used to have these all the time. I’m not sure why we stopped, but its high time we brought them back. We need to get my son in on the action and get active!

*Help with chores-Since I will be playing catch-up with blogging stuff during their nap time, I will most certainly have some things that need to be done around the house when they wake up.

They will have a choice. They can either help me, or they can have some more independent play. Either way, this is when the dishes will get washed and the laundry will be folded.

At this point of the day, I will likely be starting to struggle. I’ll want to reach for that remote. We’ll just have to head back outside, or we can go to Z’s favorite store, the Dollar Store (Ugh! At least it’s cheap!).

I realize I’m making it sound like we watch a ton of TV. It’s all relative. It may be a lot for households that have a strict “3 hours per week” rule, but there are plenty of people that have TV on 24/7. I allow my kids to choose one movie per day.

Before I begin this challenge, I will have to be sure everyone in the family is in the loop. My husband thinks it’s a fantastic idea, but he has little hope for its success (so supportive! Haha!!). He said he thinks I’m more likely to win my $1000 than I am to accomplish this challenge. Now I just have to get the grandparents on board. The kids LOVE my parents’ iPhone 6’s and when they come around, both kids are pawing at their pockets. My folks will just have to hide them somehow…

So, from May 18-24th, we will be screen-free. Who’s with me? Sounds like fun, right?

What awesome activities does your family like to do that doesn’t involve a screen? I’m open to ideas, I’m so afraid its going to be a long week! Wish me luck!

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29 Comments

  • Reply Shelah

    It will be interesting to see how it goes. You may find being screen free very liberating!

    May 15, 2015 at 7:58 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      That’s my hope! 🙂

      May 15, 2015 at 8:02 am
  • Reply Rachael Boley

    I’m interested to hear the follow-up and I’m proud of your effort. Our screen time has gone way down since goi,g back to work, but they do still look forward to their episode of paw patrol when we get home. I try hard to be screen free-ish when we are together, but it’s hard. On weekends that’s sometimes the only prayer of a 5 minute break… But this is a good challenge.

    May 15, 2015 at 8:08 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I’m interested about the follow-up too! Ha! Like you said, sometimes it’s the only break we get!

      May 15, 2015 at 8:12 am
  • Reply Lauren

    I’m sure you can do it! It sounds like you are prepared with lots of fun activities and ideas.

    May 15, 2015 at 8:14 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! I chose a perfect week to do this because the weather is going to be awesome!

      May 18, 2015 at 8:43 pm
  • Reply Terri's Thoughts

    You go girl. I would love to have done this when she was younger, now at 12 she is all over the laptop be causes of homework etc, we do limit TV time though

    May 15, 2015 at 8:18 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks!! Yeah, mine are really young so I have a bit more control and I think it will be easier to distract them.

      May 15, 2015 at 8:26 am
  • Reply Stephanie

    I love this challenge and think it’s perfectly okay for little ones to have some screen time but not 24/7. We have some days when we are so busy that the TV doesn’t even get turned on and other days when we watch it more than I’d like to admit!

    May 15, 2015 at 9:03 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Same here! Some days we don’t watch either, then others, we watch way too much!

      May 18, 2015 at 8:42 pm
  • Reply twitchetts.blogspot.com

    Wow this will be a challenge… Sounds like you are up for it!! We play a lot of games. Board games, card games, moving games (hide and seek). Start a Pinterest Board on it 😉 Good Luck can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    May 15, 2015 at 10:17 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks! A Pinterest board is a great idea! I think games of all sorts will be in order for sure!

      May 15, 2015 at 10:29 am
  • Reply Melissa

    I have done this before for the weekend but not for a whole week! Storytime is great! Going hiking! Puzzles. Sometimes I do Books on Tape.

    May 15, 2015 at 10:18 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Those are great ideas! Thank you! I think we’ll be able to get outside a lot, because the weather is going to be gorgeous!

      May 18, 2015 at 8:41 pm
  • Reply Alyssa from The Sparkly Life

    oh wow! i am SO impressed that you are doing this. i honestly don’t think my iPad-obsessed kids (or, let’s be honest, phone/computer-obsessed me) could do it though! GOOD LUCK. I will be so anxious to hear how it turns out. 🙂

    May 15, 2015 at 11:26 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! I’m anxious to see how it turns out too! I think since my kids are so young (2 and 4), they may not mind too much…we’ll see…

      May 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm
  • Reply Thaleia from Something2offer

    Kudos to you my friend. I have 4 children 12 and under. We all are tech junkies!

    May 17, 2015 at 12:58 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thanks! I haven’t done it yet though! We start tomorrow-we’ll see how it goes…

      May 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    I admire you so, so much. I’m not sure if I could swing that in the season of life that I am in. BUT, when my son is home this summer, and my middle child has a playmate, we may have days where we just spend a lot of it outside and they just have to get over it. I think you have a ton of great ideas.

    May 17, 2015 at 4:53 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you so much! I’m very curious to see how it goes…we’re starting tomorrow…

      May 17, 2015 at 4:57 pm
  • Reply Sue Parke

    I love this! Quality time with nature, dance parties and helping with chores are my fav on the list!

    May 18, 2015 at 7:34 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! I’m excited yet nervous at the same time…

      May 18, 2015 at 8:15 am
  • Reply CourtneyLynne

    It’s so funny! I was one of those parents that was like very little screen time from the beginning because that’s what all the books say…. My daughter has a speech delay and TV is what gets her to talk…. Now her speech therapist is like tv & iPad all the time lol…. Funny how you can think something is the right thing based on what you read and then the opposite is what works for your own kiddo… Proves there really isn’t a correct way to do anything! Props to you though on the no screen time!

    May 18, 2015 at 8:14 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I absolutely agree! I’m just doing it mostly to see if I can. I don’t feel like we have a screen time problem. It’s so funny how freaky some people are about too much TV. Although, I guess 24/7 wouldn’t be great. That’s awesome that it’s helped your daughter-so cool!!

      May 18, 2015 at 8:25 am
  • Reply Tricia

    I’m interested to hear about the follow-up! We only have one so far and he’s not yet two, so we try to avoid screen time as much as we can. We have been letting my son watch a little Thomas on the weekend mornings, so my husband and I can hang out in bed for a little longer. It’s been very nice. We do a lot of those things that you suggested during the week though and I have to say we don’t miss TV at all. We usually do some kind of playgroup activity in the morning, so there’s really no time in the morning for TV and the afternoons are usually pretty busy with making dinner and other errands.

    May 19, 2015 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Denise @ Healthy Disney Family

    We avoid screen time sometimes but have never tried for a week. Sounds like a great challenge and a good way to really connect with each other!

    May 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Two days in and it really does feel like we’ve connected more than ever!

      May 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm
  • Reply Alana

    Your household sounds very similar to mine. Sleeping a Beauty is also our go-to in the morning. I think I’m going to try your challenge, even just for a couple of days and then see if I can keep going! So smart!

    May 23, 2015 at 7:35 pm
  • Reply Simple Summer Media Detox Rules

    […] Mama by Fire had her family go for an entire week with no screen time. You can read about what activities she chose to do with her children here and her final thoughts on their screen free week […]

    May 6, 2019 at 2:43 pm
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