October is here! That means crisp cool mornings, the holidays are around the corner, and (at our house) No Screen Month! No Screen Month is a time when we take a break from screens as much as possible. Screens include tv, computer, iPads, phones, and any other device with a screen.
If you are anything like our teenagers, you may balk at the idea of no screens for a month. Does the idea of no Netflix make you think, “boredom”? Let me tell you it is actually so refreshing to not have the tv and other screens invading our time!
A Few Exceptions
Now, obviously, there are some things we still use technology for during October. We do things like check email, pay bills online, (write blog posts! 😉), but we try to be more aware of how long we spend in front of screens when doing these necessary tasks. We cut out tv, movies, video games, and other time-draining activities from our lives.
We’ve been doing No Screen Month for years. Admittedly, this was easier before iPhones and iPads entered the picture! When all our children were younger and we had no handheld devices to distract us, No Screen Month just meant no tv or computer. Now almost everyone has a phone so normally it is very easy for members of the family to be isolated and in their own little world. It can sometimes feel like a battle to have meaningful family time with all members present and accounted for. With the screens off, we are forced to leave distractions behind in favor of more worthwhile endeavors.
What We Do With the Screens Off:
- Talk to each other more. Conversations mean connecting to those we love and building those relationships. We love to sit on the porch and talk, talk, talk.
- We play board games. There are so many benefits of playing games together with your kids: Making memories, building unity, having fun, and let’s not forget the educational value in most games!
- We go outside a lot more. When the screens are off, our kids climb trees, ride their bikes, go on walks or hikes, kick the soccer ball, or throw the frisbee.
- We make a campfire. Whether we roast hot dogs and marshmallows or not, there’s just something about sitting around in the glow of a crackling campfire that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling! 😊
- We try to plan a camping trip and more family outings. Pumpkin farm, anyone?
- We play musical instruments or Spotify, sing, and have a dance party. Loud, but fun!
- We are generally more creative. We draw, paint, make crafts, or sew, to name a few. This is a great time to start making homemade Christmas presents for family members or friends.
- Our little kids play and pretend more. When they dress up or play with their toys, they are building imagination much more than when watching a video.
- We read more! (My personal favorite!) I love books and reading! I know it is so much better for building our brains than tv and movies.
Hopefully, I’ve given you some food for thought! How are things going at your house? Are the screens threatening to take over like they do in our house from time to time? Maybe it’s time for a break? Do you want to take the No Screen Month challenge? You don’t have to do a whole month. Maybe just a week or even a few days would be enough–whatever works best for your family.
A Word of Caution
If you decide to implement this idea, it can be a little difficult to get used to at first. Your teens may balk. Your younger kids may beg. However, I guarantee if you stand strong and show them other ways to have fun, they will get into it! How can they want to watch tv when they are wrestling on the floor with Dad or out having an adventure hiking or climbing a tree? They will be making precious memories that will last much longer than mindlessly watching another episode of their favorite show.
If you decide to have no screens for a while, I’d love to know about it! Just leave me a note in the comments. Have fun!