Post by Zina Harrington of Let’s Lasso the Moon.
Screen-Free Week 2015 is May 4th – 10th. This annual event is a wonderful opportunity to unplug and spend your free time playing, reading, daydreaming, creating, exploring, and connecting with family and friends.
I’d like to think I do a pretty fair job with screen-time throughout the year, but when Screen-Free Week hits it’s always eye opening. It makes you acutely aware of how often you check your phone, how often the kids use the iPad, how often we default to TV as a family activity. We’ve been participating in Screen-Free Week since 2005 and each year our family walks away refreshed with special memories.
Do you want to participate? Here are the (un)official rules:
Make it work for you. Participate for a week or participate for a day. Participate with just your TV or include all screens. Shut down all your social networks, or just vow to call friends instead of seeing what they are up to on Facebook. Make your own rules.
Here’s the catch, there might be a little whining from the kids in the beginning. The more your child whines about screen-time, the more important Screen-Free Week is for your family. Their complaints are simply a sign of how truly reliant they have become on screen-time.
That being said, participating in Screen-Free Week shouldn’t mean you have to become Super Parent and constantly calling out, “Hey Kids, let’s do a project.” I reached out to Jean this month for simple ways to inspire kids throughout the endeavor.
Skip the whining by strewing…
Strewing is the art of casually yet strategically leaving “invitations” for learning and creativity out for your kids to discover on their own. It is about helping your kids explore and play and create on their own. It’s about introducing or reintroducing materials, books, concepts, in a non-pushy way that lets them own the experience and gives them the thrill of discovery. [ Learn More ]
7-Days of Solo Projects
Let them wake-up to discover an unspoken opportunity to create or play! Below are seven modest invitations you can set-up the night before. These are all activities a child could, depending on their age of course, do on his or her own once discovered.
Here’s a video showing these 7 Simple Art Activities for Kids in action! And keep scrolling for more details about each one.
1. Double-Doodle Art | Learn More
2. Magazine Picture Drawing Prompts | Learn More
3. Contact Paper Suncatchers | Learn More
4. Toothpick Sculptures | Learn More
5. Qtip Painting & Pointillism | Learn More
6. DIY Light Table | Learn More
7. Collage Art | Learn More
Before school is the one time of day our family defaults to TV. It is easy to set the kids up with PBS as I shower, get lunches made, and get things settled. I am so excited this year to set up these ideas from The Artful Parent each morning.
10 After School Strewing Activities
Do the kids watch a show to unwind after school? Check out this printable cheat sheet of 10 after school activities (PDF) for alternative ideas. For each activity, Jean listed what to set out, a brief description of the process, and a few possible variations.
Parent-to-parent tip :: Print and tape this in your art cupboard door and refer to it for quick inspiration in the future.
Keep It Simple
If you’d like to offer screen-free activities without the organization and planning, consider resources such as Kiwi Crate. Creative activity kits like these come with everything you need, and I mean EVERYTHING, right within the box. They are a wonderful alternative.
Looking for more Screen-Free Week inspiration? Check out these additional resource for event info and ideas:
- Check out ScreenFree.org for resources and additional ways to get involved.
- Print a list of 75 Screen-Free Activities over at Let’s Lasso the Moon.
- Learn more about creative invitations over at TinkerLab™ .
- Stop by The Art Pantry and download their new eGuide Invitations to Create ($4). Check out their blog for The Quickest Way to Set Up An Invitation to Create.
- Check out 20 Must Follow Moms and Rockin’ Art for Kids on Pinterest. Or if you spend more of your time on Facebook, check out this Kids’ Crafts and Activities group. Ask to join and I’ll be happy to add you in as a private member.
- Last of all, check out Jean’s books for additional art ideas. You can find them at your local library or on Amazon here: The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons and Holidays with Crafts and Recipes.
Will you join us for a day or for the week? If you have questions about Screen-Free Week or any of the projects above, let’s chat in the comments!
Find Zina Harrington over at Let’s Lasso the Moon sharing insights on modern parenting, tips for family travel, kid-friendly recipes and beginner photography tutorials. If forced to summarize herself, she likes to borrow the words of Albert Einstein, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
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