Parenting in a pandemic is hard. Working from home, teaching from home and juggling different aged kids has seen us reach for the screens a lot more than we normally would. It buys us some fight-free time and it’s been my saviour at getting things done.
Even when we’ve been home learning we’ve been sat in front of a screen as we complete the activities that the teachers put up on Seesaw for us. So there hasn’t been much respite from it. I have to admit on a Friday night I do put their tablets up in their beds once they’re asleep to ensure I get a lie in on Saturday morning. Yes, I’m that mum!
But how much screen time is too much screen time? Probably about the level we’ve currently reached in our house, so I decided to draw up a list of things that we can do that don’t involve a boy unwrapping toys, an adult that pushes Peppa Pig figures around on a cruddy backdrop and yes, sometimes there are Just Too Many Nelsons.
My screen free ideas:
- If 2020 was the year of the walk, then 2021 is the year of even more walking. Get out in nature – it’s good for everyone’s soul!
- If walking won’t do – try bikes or scooters
- Build something (more intricate than usual) out of Lego
- Make a cake/cookies/biscuits/cupcakes
- Prepare a picnic together – then eat on a picnic rug, in or out!
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Build a den
- Make slime (this is one of Sofia’s requests – eurgh)
- Have a paper aeroplane race, but they’re only allowed to set off once they’ve been expertly designed and coloured in
- Let the kids plan a performance, and you’re the audience (for extra bonus points – take popcorn)
- Get the buckets and sponges out and wash the car
- Remember rainbows? Do some more window art
- Make puppets out of old, but clean, socks and then perform a puppet show
- Chalk some designs on your driveway/garden
- Plant some seeds to watch grow throughout the coming months
- Do some tie dye!
- Fly a kite
- Play dress up – either from the fancy dress box, or mummy & daddys wardrobe…even better, get them to impersonate you!
- Get the kids to write a bucket list of things they want to do when lockdown eases (Sofia wants to stay at The Shard – not even kidding) and Arlo wants to go to the zoo
- Practice a new skill – doing up buttons, zips or tying shoe laces
- Ask the kids to do a diary entry for their most perfect day
- Create a memory jar and start it off by all putting one of your favourite memories in
There are so many things to keep little (and big) eyes screen free – I’d love to hear some of yours!
From 3-9 May 2021 it is Screen Free Week and the masterminds behind that project, share heaps of ideas of things to do away from devices – find out more here