No screens for all the family

If you know me at all you will know that I am pretty addicted to my screens – either my MacBook Air or my Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, they are both switched on pretty much permanently and if I run out of battery on one of them I feel at an absolute loss. And I’m not the only one in our house, Hubs is an IT geek, so screens are his babies. Then L, our 7 year old, loves the TV and would watch it all day if we let her.

A few months ago on Twitter Karen from Let Kids be Kids challenged me to a screen free day, along with many other bloggers, on Sunday 19th January. The idea being that neither the kids, nor the adults, could use any screens for the day.

I thought to myself “this will be a doodle”, it’s only one day, and it’s a Sunday, no problem.

We drew up a list of all the non-screen things we would do.

L with our list of fun things to do

L with our list of fun things to do

Here are the fun things on our list:

  1. Play Twister
  2. Play the Gingerbread man boardgame
  3. Go to the park and play with the stomp rocket
  4. Play draughts
  5. Play Happy Families card game
  6. Play Junior Monopoly
  7. Play the Peppa Pig boardgame
  8. Do some explosive experiments
  9. Plan the animal bingo game
  10. Do some spiral art
  11. Play the Where’s Moshi game
  12. Play Jenga

Note how many times the word “Play” appears in this list? Obviously a key piece of the childhood puzzle.

So how did our no screen day pan out?

We played Jenga.

L beating me at Jenga

L beating me at Jenga

Then we attempted to play the Where’s Moshi game (essentially Guess Who but not as good – in my opinion), with a toddling baby trying to join in.

L and I playing Where's Moshi, with C's intervention!

L and I playing Where’s Moshi, with C’s intervention!

Then it was time to go old school, and to play draughts. I hadn’t played this since I was a child, and I absolutely loved playing this with L 🙂

L playing draughts with me

L playing draughts with me

Fortunately it was a lovely, sunny day (but very cold, as it was January after all), so we decided to take L’s Christmas present – a stomp rocket, to the park. L had fun jumping on it….

L stomping on the stomp rocket

L stomping on the stomp rocket

…while C had fun scooting around on her toddler version of the Micro Scooter.

C on her baby scooter

C on her baby scooter

Once we were back home we warmed ourselves up with a hot chocolate, and settled down for a game of Junior Monopoly.

L ready to play Junior Monopoly, with our hot chocolate and biscuits :-)

L ready to play Junior Monopoly, with our hot chocolate and biscuits 🙂

After finishing Monopoly we played the French version of the Happy Families card game “Jeu des 7 familles”, then it was time to put the kids to bed.

The hardest then was not to collapse in front of the TV, or to fire up my phone or computer. Instead my evening was spent chatting to Hubs and reading my book.

So what did I learn from this Screen Free day?

I learnt that spending time with my children without screens was an enormous amount of fun. But it was also very tiring. I get a lot done when I can just plonk L down in front of a film while C is napping, by taking away her screen time too I had to be more present.

It was a really lovely day, and I loved playing the games, especially the old school ones. But it’s not something I could handle doing every day, or even every week. However it did make me aware of how much screens are used in our house, so we have made a conscious effort to reduce screen time. I could also see myself having a no screen day one Sunday a month…..maybe.

What about you? Have you ever tried this? Do you think you could manage it? What would be the hardest for you?

I’m linking this post up to The Oliver’s Madhouse and the Magic Moments linky, as our day spent together was full of magic moments. For other Magic Moments, click on the linky below and enjoy 🙂


23 Responses

  1. Karen bell says:

    Fantastic! So glad you had a good day. It is amazing how invigorating it can be to spend a day without screens and it’s not the children who struggle the most. It does sound like you all had a lovely family day together.
    Thank you so much for joining in with the #Screenfreeday
    Karen bell recently posted…Worms in mud puddingMy Profile

  2. says:

    We love playing board games in our house! We haven’t got as far as grown up Monopoly yet but I suspect that will be a bit of a marathon! #MagicMoments recently posted…Growing up age 7 and eleven twelfthsMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      We have played a lot of Junior Monopoly, which L loves, we tried grown up Monopoly once but she had to play on a grown up’s team as it was a bit hard to follow!

  3. Wow, I do not know if I could handle this. We could give up the telly, but I don’t know about my mobile. Well done you! #magicmoments
    Californian Mum in London recently posted…Mother-Daughter TimeMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It was very hard, but well worth it. The hardest was not switching back on again in the evening though!

  4. Mel says:

    We have never tried having a screen free day, but it is a great idea! I love the fact your little one write a list of things she wanted to do and well done for resisting the urge to switch it all back on once the kids had gone to bed! Mel #MagicMoments
    Mel recently posted…Toilet Paper Roll BunniesMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It was easier with the list as we kept referring back to it. Not switching on in the evening was the hardest in the end!

  5. I think I can last aday without tech stuff but 2 days =P NO! I relaly need to go online as I chat with my sister. I need to know how is life back home and I need to be updated of the events there otherwise ill go berserk. #MagicMoments
    Merlinda (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Love The Little Things #15My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It is so hard to have screen free days now, but well worth the effort every now and then.

  6. tina baker says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. I have been thinking about how much we use screens in our house hold. Some times I wonder just how much I missing out on my little one as he grows. Social media is my worst habit. I try very hard not to use my ipad or go on the internet when Tyler is awake but we always have the telly on in the background even though I rarely watch it. I just like background noise. My OH is the worst! He can sit on his Iphone practically all day without even blinking! I might give this a go myself. you looked like you had a very fun day as a family. 🙂

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I found it a good idea to restrict us all, but it was really hard. Social media is the hardest for me, and TV is the hardest for our 7 year old.

  7. We haven’t had television for over four years and I have never missed it, however, the children do play a lot on the PS4 and I spend about two hours a day on my laptop or tablet, sometimes I feel like even that’s too much. I don’t have a mobile phone.
    Alexandra Mercer recently posted…At last, a poppy seed!My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Hubs and I spent a couple of years without a TV, although we did watch the occasional DVD, it wasn’t too bad, and our kids don’t watch it too much, but switching off for a day made me realise how much we do rely on it!

  8. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this. Your idea of planning ahead and making a list of things to do instead of looking at screens is a good one. I’ll give it a go and report back.
    Ruthy @ Minibreak Mummy recently posted…Easter treats from WaitroseMy Profile

  9. It is difficult for to have a screen free day as I could potentially miss enquiries for the gite and they can come in at any time and via social media as much as email. I suppose I could get some-one else to check and only revert to the screen if I needed to reply to an enquiry. Have you read the book “The Winter of Our Disconnect” by Susan Maushart about an Australian family who went screen free for 6 months? makes for very interesting reading.
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault recently posted…Butterflies galore but where are the ladybirds?My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I remember that when we used to run our own online travel agency in France, it meant we could never switch off, which is one thing I don’t miss about it. I’ve not heard of that book, I’ll look it up – but 6 months? That’s craziness!!

  10. Jaime Oliver says:

    this sounds perfect! i so should try this!

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x
    Jaime Oliver recently posted…Silent Sunday 20/4/14My Profile

  11. Notmyyearoff says:

    Such a brilliant idea. We are all
    Completely addicted to technology in our house. Both hubby and I work in IT as well so we never ever get away from it. We need a day like this I think. At the moment the only
    Time we really get away from IT is when we’re on holiday and wifi is expensive 🙂
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Dearest Little Z – At 3 Years and 4 MonthsMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Hubs and I are always on our screens – he’s an IT geek – so it was hard to do, but such a great day when you do it. Just plan in advance so you don’t get too itchy!

  1. 27/08/2014

    […] written before about how I’m addicted to my phone (you can read those posts here, here and here), so the idea of switching off completely both appeals and fills me with […]

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