Celebrating Screen-Free Week with Normal, Everyday Activities

Apr 29, 2013

You might remember this post from several months ago. In it, I talked about how a punishment of "no TV for a week" turned into a real blessing as my kids started playing much more creatively and cheerfully.

Well, since that time, the TV has insidiously crept back into our lives. And once again, I am seeing its effect on my kids: they whine, they complain, they pester, they cry. When I tell them it's time to turn off their show, they act like I've delivered the worst news of their lives.

We were definitely in need of a break again, so Screen-Free Week came at just the right time.

Luckily, my kids only watch about an hour's worth each morning, so it is fairly easy to cut out. The times I really "need" it are when I am teaching piano lessons and trying to keep them downstairs. However, it's amazing how once it's not even an option, they find a multitude of ways to entertain themselves.

Since this is a "special" week, we are filling it with "special" activities (read: all the weekly activities we normally do with a couple new ones thrown in).
  • Books (of course!) - We have a huge pile of picture books to read and enjoy. I'm also reading Winnie-the-Pooh out loud. And I just checked out the audio of Charlotte's Web. (I read this aloud several months ago, but Aaron really wanted to hear it again, so I thought we'd give this a try.) Aaron has also been reading Mercy Watson to me. And I'm sure we'll have plenty of moments where we're all sitting down just enjoying reading (or looking at) our own books.
  • Music - particularly Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, which Aaron and Max have been a little obsessed with lately.
  • The zoo - We have been dying to check out our zoo's new Lego exhibit, and I think this week's the week. Anyone want to join us?
  • Ice Art - I found this idea at Train Up a Child. My boys will love it!
  • Bug Hunting - Nothing special about this one...just good ol' fashioned diggin' in the dirt. This is what they spend most of their spare time doing anyway. (Good thing it's the TV going away and not bug hunting or I might have an uprising on my hands.)
  • Bike riding - Have you noticed the way nice weather makes it so much easier to turn off the TV. Love it!
  • Shadow Play - I found this idea at Reading Confetti. I don't know that we'll necessarily use The Gruffalo's Child to make the shadow puppets...we'll put our own spin on it!
  • Library storytime - We rarely miss a week at library storytime. We have found some of our favorite books and learned some of our favorite songs and finger plays this way.
  • Playing at the park - As long as there is nice weather, we are going to be outside enjoying it!
So you can see, nothing overly complicated but definitely lots of fun to look forward to. What will you be doing this week?

 No better way to cure boredom than a heaping stack of books from the library!

A note: Obviously, since I am writing this post, I am not banning myself from the computer this week. However, I am cutting it out completely in the morning, and I also won't be watching any TV (which, I have to admit, is not a sacrifice at all for me since I haven't been watching anything lately).


  1. My daughter loves Peter and the Wolf, too, although I have to admit it gives me audition nightmares (it's on every symphony audition for flutes haha).

    These are all such great no-screen ideas, love this post!

  2. Your pile of library books looks like mine!

  3. I love this. I must do something like this for my kiddo later too.

  4. Love the pile of library books! I need a screen-free week, but I can't seem to pull myself away from The Voice. :)

  5. Yes to all of the above. Yesterday we went rollerblading, bike riding, and read chapters of the book we're working through. The kids also dug out a Mozart CD and danced for ages with scarves and other props. The things that they do when the tv is off are so interesting!

    1. It sounds like you had a full day of wonderful play, learning, and fun!

  6. I love that idea of screen-free week. I have gotten mad and taken the tv away for a week before too, and I LOVED it. And then it slowly creeps back in at our house too. Sometimes I think we should get rid of it. I certainly wouldn't miss it!

  7. We love Peter and the Wolf too! About twice a year we seem to listen to it nonstop for days and then forget about it for awhile. We just pulled it out again this week. I can't believe we go to the same library and we've only

  8. I meant to say we've only read three of those books.

  9. Nice list! we read some of the Putter and Tabby books too!


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