A couple of weeks ago, we embarked on an experiment where we have one screen free day per week. Moira is doing great at it, and after double and triple checking that today is indeed "screen free day," she doesn't ask to watch anything or play any video games for the rest of the day.
I, however, fail miserably. I start the day by checking email while hiding in the bedroom as Walker gets the kids ready for bed. I fiddle with my phone while putting Davis down for naps. I check it while we are out for the day. I also hide in the bedroom during quiet time, and then again after Walker gets home.
I may have a problem.
So instead, we are keeping no screen day for Moira, and I am trying to stay off the internet when I'm around her. I'm also trying to make sure that the time between Davis' naps is a time where my phone is put away, and the laptop is closed. And lastly, I'm trying to make sure that she and I do an activity together during Davis' afternoon nap.
Some of the activities, like the straw painting above, Moira loves and wants to do long after I have to get up and do other things. Somethings, like the splatter painting above, or the color mixing we did, she loves to watch me, but do her own thing while I work.
Unsurprisingly, the games we have been playing have been the biggest hit. I spent the first few no screen days reading some books of art and activities to do with preschoolers, and have been whipping those ideas out. It's been a revelation to me too that even when I have a migraine, it doesn't take that much effort to play "Simon Says."
Some of the new games Moira and I have been playing are:
"That's Silly!" Each person in turn says something silly. "Today for breakfast, I had fish in chocolate sauce." "Tonight, I'm sleeping on a bed made of dogs."
"Simon Says" It's a different game with just one person. Moira's not really competing against anyone when we play, and I can have her run all over the house, and do minor chores. I even had Simon Say she should clean her room one time, but she decided she was done playing.
"Sneak up on Mommy" I sit with my eyes closed and a book next to me. She has to walk quietly and pick up the book, and then I read it to her. Right now, she is trying to move approximately 2 feet, and it's so hard for her to be quiet.
"I went to..." The classic car game, where you list things you have packed in your imaginary suitcase in alphabetical order. I'm not requiring her to say all the words in order yet, but she does it on her own for the first few rounds.
"The Rhyming Game" One person (usually Moira right now) thinks of a word, and then the other player rhymes it. Sometimes we can go back and forth for a little, especially with "at" words.
I need to look at the books again and be reminded of some of the other ideas there were. I love having a few more tools in my parenting tool belt.