Tuesday 27 June 2023

Score Keeping Summer - Making your big kids earn screen time

As we near the final day of school, I am thinking about what next week and the nine following weeks will bring for my kids. While some of our summer days are booked with summer camps and vacation time, my kids will have plenty of downtime.

While I am very good with unstructured time and downtime and understand the importance of it, I don't want either kid wasting away beautiful summer weather bathed in the blue light of a screen. 

I also work from home and need at least some time to get things done with minimal cries of "I'm bored" or loud squabbling. 

The past few summers, we've compiled a list of activities that will earn you screen time, and I posted it, although my past list was a lot more basic than the one below. 

I am fully aware that some of the items on this list also involve screens. However, they are more productive than hours spent binge-watching fluff. The kids and I both worked on this list together. Feel free to borrow anything here to keep your kids entertained this summer.

Photo by August de Richelieu: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mother-helping-her-daughter-with-homework-4260477/

Ways to earn screen time in our house 

  • Walk the dog
  • Go to the park
  • Run an errand (buy milk from the corner store, mail letters, return a library book, etc.)
  • Go to the library
  • Swimming
  • Playing outside with friends
  • Crafts
  • Yoga
  • Practicing karate
  • Playing quietly in your room
  • Deep clean your room (twice a year, the kids go through their toy bins, bookshelves, clothes, etc., to clear out old items and make room for new items, time spent doing this activity counts)
  • Reading (in addition to comics, graphic novels, and other books of interest, both kids have agreed to read two novels this summer and work on projects about them with their tutor. Jack's first novel of the summer is The Great Gatsby. Molly's is The Green Mile.)
  • Sessions working with their tutor
  • Online drawing tutorials
  • Doing Word Searches
  • Learning cursive writing (even though this is being re-introduced into the curriculum in Ontario, I think they're old enough just to miss it)
  • Learning French on Duolingo
  • Typing tutor games
  • Taking an online babysitter/health and safety course
  • Babysitting
  • Cooking or baking
  • Storyboarding and working on one of their movie projects together
  • Playing a board game
  • Writing postcards
  • Outdoor chores (staining patio furniture, pulling weeds, washing windows, etc.)

What do you do to keep your kids off screens for the summer?