Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Reflection on Screen Free Week

What an interesting week we had! Some times were challenging, some times were hilarious.

While I'm not planning to give up screens in our lives, I am glad that we participated in this event, and feel as if we did benefit from the experience.
We played, read books, created art... It was a breath of fresh air.
I'm going to just give a quick run down of each day, so that you can see how our week went.

Day 1: The morning was off to a rough start.  I had pictured the kids getting ready faster without the TV on, however they were really dragging their butts. I cannot believe that we made it out the door on time. My Little Boy whined and complained and huffed and puffed. I got the Boys off to school while Little Lady and I headed over the my school board meeting.
After preschool was out, I let Little Boy play on the playground a bit longer than usual before heading home. After Big Boy got home, we headed to the park. At the park, we saw something we would never have seen if we were at home with the screens on. We saw a dog riding a bike!! This little Pomeranian had a Dora the Explorer bike on training wheels and she balanced while her owner pushed her around. Then she went in the swing, went up the steps and down the slide, counted to two, and went up the ramps in the skate/bike area. So funny! We stayed at the park for two hours of lovely outside playtime.
Once we got home, Little Lady took a nap, Little Boy took a bath, and Big Boy pouted because he wanted to watch NatGeo Wild. After he came around, and the other two were ready, we played play dough for quite a while. The Boys also painted some pictures.
They helped prep dinner, we ate, and they played outside. Then it was time to lay down for bed.
Not too bad for our first day of no screens!
My 3 Babies at the Park

Day 2: This day got off to a much easier start! Big Boy had a long day at school, so the Littles and I went shopping with my Grandma for my sisters upcoming baby shower. That killed lots of Screen Free time! Once we were done, Little Boy stayed at Grandma's, Little Lady came home with me and napped, and I worked on shower decorations. Big Boy came home, and both Boys had Little League games that night so off we went to the ball fields. We came home for a quick dinner, and then the kids went right to sleep with no fussing at all! Good day!

Day 3: Boys went off to school, and Little Lady and I ran some errands. After school, Little Boy had a friend come home with us for a short while. Once his mom came and got him, me and The Littles headed down to our friends house (where Big Boy was already waiting for us, as he went home from school with them.) The kids made homemade pizza's for lunch and all played, while the mommy's talked. Those friends were also participating in Screen Free Week! After our play date, we came home and Little Lady took her nap. Big Boy read a book. Little Boy crawled up onto my lap and fell asleep in my arms for the first time in years! Priceless.
After this quiet time, they all played play dough again, and then moved into the computer room to play on the chalkboard table. Then, more play dough. At this time Little Boy said to me "I just love hanging out with you mom." Again, PRICELESS.
Play dough time & painting pictures!
We had dinner and everything, and when it was time for bed and Little Boy (Wow! He was really pulling at my heartstrings on Day 3!!) says "I'm gonna miss this day. It was the best day."
Total bliss.

Day 4: Another good start to the day! Little Boy went to play at his friends house for a few hours, while a friend of mine came over for a visit. Once Big Boy came home from school, we met Little Boy and several other friends from preschool (who happen to have siblings that go to school with Big Boy) at a local park to play. On the way home from the park, we stopped  at the library and picked up lots of books! We came home and decorated Little Boy's scooter for his Trike-a-Thon at school the next day. The Boys played outside, we had dinner, read some books, then off to bed.
Little Boy decorating for Trike-a-Thon

 Day 5:  Got ready, dropped Little Lady off at Grandma's, Big Boy off at school, and then Little Boy and I headed to Preschool. I work in the class on Friday's and today was the Trike-a-Thon, so we were excited! We had a super fun day at the Trike-a-Thon (I got taken out by a boy on training wheels!) and Little Boy won the award for most colorfully decorated! After school, we went to lunch with several parents and kids that we are friends with from the preschool.
I picked up Big Boy and then both Boys went to Grandma's house, where I picked up Little Lady. I drove an hour to pick up my sister's baby shower cake, came home, picked up the Boys and went off to baseball practice. We stopped at the store for some dinner and then came home where The Hubs was already waiting for us. We ate some dinner, and then I left for my Bunco night. I have a feeling the kids were allowed to watch TV in my absence... but I needed the girls night out, so I let it go.
Winner of Most Colorfully Decorated, with his medal and trophy!
 Day 6: Busy day! The Hubs took Little Boy to his ball game while I stayed home (and the other kids slept) and got ready for the baby shower. Spent the morning and first part of afternoon cleaning, decorating and prepping... I'll admit, they did sneak in some TV time and I had to just let it go (again...) because I couldn't take the time out to direct them or occupy them. Then the shower guests started arriving, and The Hubs took Big Boy to his baseball game. They came home, the shower wrapped up and then we had some friends over for Mexican Food for Cinco de Mayo. They have 3 boys, so all the kids played!

Day 7: The Hubs had the TV on all day. The kids did watch some (sigh) and we all took alternating naps. Total lazy Sunday. But no games on the phone, computer or video games, so I guess it could've been worse.

So that was our week. We weren't perfect, but we did have a bit of media detox that was good for all of us. And it was much easier than I had anticipated. Did you participate in Screen Free Week??