Pick ONE big project to work on throughout the week
1. Clean up and clean out the kids toysBetween Christmas, birthdays and those random presents grandparents buy when they visit, the stash of toys can get out of hand fast. Take a little bit of time each day to go through your children's toys together and decide what to give away or throw away, what to pass on to a sibling/friend, and what to keep. Make a trip to Good Will or Salvation Army or other donation locations
2. Clean Out the ClothesMy daughter is almost two and a half and there are clothes in here closet labeled 6months (no joke!) Take some time to sort through clothes. Make it simple with three piles, give away, put away (save for a sibling or for sentimental reasons), or keep. Try to find a women/children's shelter or other donation location to pass on your children's clothes
3. Do a Kitchen Make-OverLast year I was digging through my in-law fridge and I found salad dressing FROM THE 90's! That's LAST MILLENNIUM! We all have skeletons in our fridges, freezers or pantry. Take some time and get all the old leftovers, expired food, or food you don't eat out of your kitchen. Pick out some things to donate to your local food pantry and THROW AWAY the expired salad dressing...please! If you have more time, go through your tupperware, utensils and figure out what you don't need and donate it!
4. Plant a GardenPick out a nice spot in your backyard, buy some cinder blocks or 4x4's and build a raised garden bed. It doesn't have to be fancy or big, but planting a garden is a great thing to do together as a family and a great way to learn about fruits, veggies and nature. Check out this link about simple raised garden beds! Easy Raised Garden Beds
Pick TWO or THREE activities to do sometime during the week
1. Cook and drop off cookies to your local fire or police station to say "Thank You"Baking cookies is always fun for kids. Help them do the baking and let them decorate a "thank you" card to leave with the cookies.
2. Take a Nature WalkFind a trail or a greenbelt near your home. Take the kid exploring, asking them to find as many different types of nature they can. You can even make a scavenger hunt list (include things like tree, bird, lady bug, frog, puddle, caterpillar, butterfly)
3. Take a trip to your local libraryCheck out some of the libraries near you. Most libraries have reading times and toddler times with fun activities, books and songs that are age appropriate. Check out their website for times and location.
4. Buy or borrow an old favorite book and read it to your kidsOne of my kids favorite things to do is go to Half Price Books and pick out a book. Pick out an old favorite or be daring and choose a title no one has heard of.
5. Plan a play-date with friendsFind other friends that are participating in Screen Free Week (or ones that aren't) and plan to meet at the park. Make it extra fun with a picnic lunch.
6. Visit a friend or family member at work or homeMy husband works kind of far away, but he would love it if we came and visited him during lunch time. He loves showing off his kids to his coworkers. Think of someone who would be excited to see you and the kids.
7. Plant some flowersGet an old flower pot or go buy one and plant some flowers in it. Petunias are $1.98 for a pack of 6 (small ones) Brighten up your window sill or porch with some color.
Plan a family nightHere are a few ideas to have a family night that doesn't include movies or TV
1. Have a board game night.
2. Make a meal as a family.
3. Have a cook-out or a picnic.
4. Take a walk or bike ride together.
5. Play a family game of soccer or baseball.
6. Go out to a baseball game as a family.
Take time for yourselfWe play the role of mommy, wife, caregiver, cook and so much more, but we often forget that we have an identity outside of these things. Take some time by yourself before the kids get up, or maybe after they go to bed. I found a quick, but good Bible devotional from Bible Gateway and have a link for each day. (I have picked out devotionals that I thought would be good for this week, so the link on the website WILL NOT match my link) I suggest printing each out and putting them by your bed or somewhere you wont forget. Take time and read them, and refocus. We all need this time, and never take enough of it. Now you have no excuse! ;)
May 5, 2014 Neighbor Needs
May 6, 2014 Praying and Waiting
May 7, 2014 Toward Perfection
May 8, 2014 Permission to Rest
May 9, 2014 There's No Place Like Home
May 10, 2014 Perfect Peace
May 11, 2014 What are You Waiting For?
Take time together as a coupleThis is another thing that most parents don't do enough of. We forget to spend time with our spouses because we are too worried about the kids, or too tired after a full day with the kids. Its important to take that time and its important for your kids to see you and your spouse take time out together. So plan a date night out (dinner and putt-putt) or wait until the kids go to bed and play cards or a board game. My husband and I love to play scrabble together. We like the challenge and it's something that our kiddos (2 and 3) can't do (and its nice to do something they can't do sometimes!) Mainly just take time for each other and enjoy each other.
I hope this guide is not overwhelming, but helps guide your screen free week to be successful, fun and fulfilling for you and your family! Good luck and let me know how you celebrated your week! Here is a link to an activity log that will help you organize your week or you can let your kids fill in the activities they did!
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