Too often, the TV is my go to activity when I need my three year old to be quiet or out of the way for half an hour. I know a lot of parents struggle with this and I feel guilty on an almost daily basis for allowing my son to watch TV.
That is why I have decided that this week will be Screen Free Week. This was planned last week on a whole lot of blogs, but as usual, I am late to the party! On the plus side, there are so many valuable hints and resources now available at my fingertips.
You can download your own screen-free printable pack here!
So here is my plan for the week to make Screen Free Week fun and family orientated for my children.
Make Something Monday: Monday's weather doesn't look great so keeping the boys entertained inside could be fun. I plan on making this Car Garage with Lucas' help so that we have somewhere to park all of his toy cars. It will help me use up some of the toilet rolls I have been hoarding too! Then we might include Adam in making some music if we need some more distraction, although I am hoping that the garage will keep Lucas entertained for a while.
Time To Learn Tuesday: I plan to take the boys to the Discovery Centre at the Canterbury Museum. We also have Musical Tots to go to, so this should full up the day nicely.
What's Cooking Wednesday: I have promised my sister I would bake for her today for a fundraiser. Lucas and I will make my Coconut, Apricot and White Chocolate Slice and my Coffee Balls. Then for dinner, Lucas will help me make Octopus Hot Dogs and we will serve them with corn on the cob and tomato salsa. Adam likes to play with the measuring cups and bowls while we are cooking.
That's Easy Thursday: (anything fun and easy since Lucas has preschool in the morning) Based on this idea, I will give Lucas some PlayDoh and alphabet cookie cutters and let him explore the alphabet. He is pretty good with the letters, only stumbling on J and I, but Play Doh is always a hit. We might even make our own if I am feeling adventurous, as I have heard it is easy to make but I have never tried it. Adam is a bit too young for Play Doh but he can have fun with the cookie cutters by exploring the different shapes.
Family Friday: I love the idea of a Carpet Picnic. We have done this activity before but only for lunch and never with Dad. Lucas usually has preschool on a Friday afternoon so I can make up some fun picnic finger food and then we can sit in the living room on our picnic rug, which may end up as a fort.
Father and Son Saturday: I am out at a scrapbooking workshop so I asked Lucas and Malcolm to think of things they could do together. They haven't decided on what to do yet but Malcolm knows that screen time is not an option.
Steam Train Sunday- The Halswell Miniature Trains run each Sunday from 1-4pm. They have an amazing track, and what little boy doesn't like riding a train? There is also a great playground and you can feed the ducks. I also think that Lucas and Malcolm will be making me breakfast in bed for Mother's Day, or they may have something else special planned!
I have also printed out the screen free activity cards so that if Lucas complains of being bored, he can choose from activities such as blow bubbles, play with toys or paint a picture.
I will try to include Adam, the nine month old, in these too although he doesn't watch TV anyway. But it always nice to have activities that everyone can do together. And I have also planned some activities for him as above and will do some fun things with him when Lucas is at preschool.
I am really keen to try do a schedule like this on a regular basis. It would benefit my husband to make time to play with our children, and we could have different Sunday themes such as Slime Sunday, Science Sunday, Soccer Sunday, Spick and Span Sunday (great excuse to let the kids help clean the car or windows!)- can you think of any other Sunday options? Maybe have a theme each week too such as dinosaurs, transportation or winter.'
I am also limiting my screen time- after this post I will not be online again until the kids are in bed each night. I need to make more of an effort to actively engage with them, as that is the type of Mum I want to be.