Screen-Free Week: What We’ve Been Up To

So far, at the halfway point (Thursday afternoon), screen-free week has been going great! I’ve obviously written a couple of blog posts; I also have to check email and Facebook for the store; and have had to check Facebook as my friends and I are organizing a getaway for this weekend via Facebook. However, I haven’t watched any TV, nor has Neko, and I’ve drastically cutback my time online. I have only been checking essential Facebook notifications (not groups, etc), and have only gone on Pinterest to plan activities for today.

This week, instead of staring at screens, we have:

  • gone for walks, in the sun and the rain, to the library, the grocery store, the park and the fire station (unfortunately all the firefighters were out on a call, so we couldn’t get a tour).

Neko and Mairead on the way to the playground on a rainy Monday.

  • made oil pastel trees – this kept the girls occupied for a full hour while Finn napped on Monday! I love the way they turned out.

Making oil pastel circles to cut out.

Neko with her finished tree, and mine.

  • played with friends, every day.
  • had a bath, with hot chocolate, after a long bus trip home and transfers in the rain.
  • read lots of chapters of Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
  • baked a cake in the Easy Bake Oven (TM).
  • listened to music and danced.
  • drawn pictures.
  • made cornstarch/baking soda modeling clay.

Playing with modelling clay.

  • cleaned the bathroom (Neko. Seriously. We decide not to watch TV for a week and you volunteer to clean the sink and bathtub? Do you think we’ll ever watch TV again? She did a decent job, too.)
  • packed for the weekend (Neko is going to my parents’; I’m going on a girls’ weekend.)
  • made rock candy! (It was easy to entice friends over to do this one with us.)

Our vats of very sugary solution – to become sugar crystals clinging to a bamboo skewer! AKA, “rock candy.”

  • learned about the letter ‘X’ (via Jolly Phonics).
  • built marble runs out of wooden train track (much trickier than it sounds, and yet, it kept Neko amused, both with Mairead and later, solo, for at least a couple of hours – and she didn’t even get frustrated!).
  • put up the backless, window-mounted birdhouse. Hopefully some feathered friends will decide to call it home so we can observe them!

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were spent whining to watch TV (Neko, not me). These three days confirmed to me that screen time is, in fact, a habit. I mentioned way back when that we used to have a routine in the mornings – Justan and I would stay in bed far too long, while Neko watched far too much TV. It was really negative, with negative behaviour to go along with it. We cut that out and it was immediately apparent how much of a habit it had been. Cutting out TV for even these few days has confirmed that it’s a habit for Neko, and for us. It’s been nice to do other things instead.

However, I’ve missed Facebook. I had a relapse tonight. I get a lot of joy and laughter from my friends on Facebook. I also get a lot of news from Facebook. I have very politically aware friends, on whom I rely heavily to keep me up to speed on certain issues. I, in turn, keep my friends up to date on the issues I follow closely. I was on Facebook a few times a day, for very short periods, to take part in the planning of the event this weekend. I also have to keep tabs on my business page (though my business partner has done most of that this week). However, I wasn’t checking any non-essential notifications. I did have a relapse tonight, though. And it was great. I do need balance with social media but generally I feel I have it. Also, I’ll be off Facebook for the most part, all weekend, as I’ll be at a cabin in the mountains with good friends and plenty of wine and food.

Tomorrow morning, Neko leaves for my parents’ place. She probably will get a bit of screen time, however they don’t watch much TV there, and because it’s spring, they’ll spend a lot of time out in the woods and pastures. If it rains all weekend (like it has most of this week), I’m sure she’ll get more TV – but I don’t feel right sending her to my parents for free childcare and then demanding they keep her amused on my terms all weekend!

I hope you’re all having a great Screen Free Week (or a great week, screen and all).


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