Sunday, April 21, 2013

25 Ideas for Screen Free Week

Screen Free Week is almost here...are you and your family participating?  From April 29-May 5 we are all challenged to turn off our TVs, put down the tablets, close the laptops and hide the smartphones while we learn to entertain ourselves and each other.

Those of you who have been here before know that I am not an anti-TV mom.  In fact I have written about what I feel are some positive benefits of television and other technology for children.  That being said, in this technology driven age it does us all well to consciously put it all aside from time to time.  It might be hard for your kids, it might be hard for you, but you might want to give it a try.

If you think you might be up for the challenge you can click here for an official pledge card.  The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has many other resources that you might find useful for screen free week and beyond.

There is so much you can do with the screens turned off.  Here are some of my ideas to get you started.

  1. Read, read, read!
  2. Stay up late and go on a flashlight hike.
  3. Look for pictures in the clouds.
  4. Check out an audio book that the whole family will enjoy.
  5. Take your kids on a mystery drive.  Choose a destination and give them clues so they can guess where thay are headed.
  6. Try letterboxing.  There is treasure hidden near you, just follow the clues to get there.  Go to to learn all about it.
  7. Daydream.
  8. Put on a shadow puppet show.
  9. Listen to an old time radio show.
  10. Create a work of art to hang.
  11. Build a fort out of sheets and blankets.  Hide out inside and tell stories about when you were a kid.
  12. Learn Pig Latin, then try to speak it for the rest of the night.
  13. Play board and card games.
  14. Fly a kite.
  15. Go on a backyard scaverger hunt. 
  16. Play wiffleball, or soccer, or horseshoes, or tag, or anything else you can think of in the backyard or nearby field. 
  17. Bake together.
  18. Put on a family play.
  19. Have a talent show.
  20. Write and illustrate a book.
  21. Plan and plant a garden.
  22. Design and build something.
  23. Write letters to friends.
  24. Call a relative that lives far away.
  25. Go out for ice cream.
Have a great screen free week!

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the Wake of a Tragedy

I watched my three year old climb to the top of her playset today.  Not the top where the slide starts, but the tippity top...where the canvas roof is.  As she sat there, proud as can be, she called out, "Don't worry Mommy, I'm careful!"

I'm wondering if she will make it the month before she breaks an arm.

But the thing is, she is being careful.  I watch her.  She tests her limits one step at a time, then practices.  When she gets it right, when she feels confidant, she challenges herself a bit more.  Then more.  And all of a sudden she's at the top. 

It's hard as a mom to stand back and watch but I do.  Kids take risks, they get hurt, they learn.  Hopefully the hurts are not bad ones.  She is supposed to do this and I am supposed to worry about it.  It's in the job description.

Having your child killed by a random act of terrorism while cheering on thousands of people striving to achieve something to be proud of is not supposed to worry us.  It's not.

My heart aches for the families affected in Boston
My heart still aches for the children of Newtown.

Everytime I visit a city, I relive the flashbulb memory of 9/11.  Each lockdown drill I go through with my students I blink back tears.  Yesterday, I watched way too much cable news and thought about how the Macy's Parade crowd my family and I were in just a few months ago was a little bit like the Boston crowd.  Could have been us.  Could have been you.

We can't control any of this.  And we can't let it control us.

So on days when it all seems black, let's remember what we can control.
  • We can teach our children to be kind. 
  • We can help our children see things from different viewpoints and have empathy.
  • We can set boundaries and limits for our children so when they grow too big for our boundaries they can set their own.
  • We can teach our kids to make good decisions.
  • We can teach our kids to be brave.
  • We can feed our children right so they grow up healthy.
  • We can give our children the world through stories.
  • We can love our children.  Every day.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013-Welcome


I am excited and a little bit nervous to be a part of the Ultimate Blog Party, 2013.  This is my first time trying something like this out as a blogger, and I am looking forward to making some great connections with some amazing writers and moms.  I'd like to thank you for stopping by and hope you will choose to stay for a bit.

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Let me introduce myself.  My name is Kristin and I have two amazing girls ages 3 and 6.  I am married to a self-proclaimed "fish nerd" who writes, blogs and pod-casts about fishing.  Along with our beloved Abi the Wonder Dog, we live in northern NH and enjoy all it has to offer.

As well as being a mom, I teach a combined kindergarten and first grade classroom.  I blog about my family, but also about parenting for school and life success.  I believe in play, in good choices, in boundaries, and in time well spent.  I hope that people get ideas they can relate to from my blog and will share their own knowledge in return.

I hope to grow my blog through this Blog Party experience and would love for you to follow me on Facebook.  I just joined Twitter for this experience...and can't make heads or tails of it but anyways, @MtnViewMama if I can figure it out.