Screen Free Week Check-in: How is it going for your family?

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

We are half of the way through Screen Free Week (formerly known as TV Turn Off week).  So, it is time for a mid-week check in to see how things are going for everyone.

Did you decide to go completely screen free? (If so, I bet you aren’t even reading this)

Are you TV free and limiting other screens? That is what we’re doing:  we have switched off the television for the week and are limiting other screens like the computer and cell phones for adults, and the kids are completely screen free.

My kids don’t actually spend much time on the later two normally,  but my husband and I both admittedly needed a “diet” from the computer and phone screens.

I had been setting a timer for myself and limiting the amount of time I spend working on blogging tasks and on the computer.  I have been pleased to see just how much I can get done when a) I know I have a time limit and specific tasks to focus on and b) when I don’t browse Facebook or wander from site to site.  A screen diet has been good for me.

The kids are doing very well with no TV. I will admit that they still ask for a certain show every day, but this is my fault as I am the one who had gotten into the habit lately of the 5pm “Hey, why don’t you guys watch Wild Kratts while mommy makes dinner?” routine.

However, when I remind them that we’re keeping the television set off this week, there haven’t been any arguments and they move on pretty easily to something else.

Ideas for Battling the Mid-Week Slump

By now, hopefully your families are used to idea of no TV, but just in case you’ve still got your work cut out for you, here are some ideas and resources to help you make it through the rest of the week TV free.

Consider covering up the TV, or even moving it to another part of the house (can it live in the garage until the end of the week?)  We covered up our set with a tablecloth.

Set up some playscapes for your younger children to inspire play. Create a scene with their dolls or blocks or other toys before you go to bed so that they have something to catch their interest and inspire creative play the next morning (a time when many parents turn on the television).

Get outside. Take a walk, play in the backyard, go to the park, or take a bike ride.  Remove yourselves from the temptation of the television by going somewhere else.

If the weather won’t cooperate with outdoor play (and I’ll admit that right now our midwestern forecast leaves a little to be desired) consider visiting the library, children’s museum, or that kid-friendly cafe you’ve been wanting to try.

Take a trip to the art supply store and pick out materials for a family art project that you can work on the rest of the week together.  Or, recycle some items from around the house and create some free and eco-friendly art as a family.

Instead of  Saturday morning cartoons, this weekend why don’t you switch on a podcast or radio show?  We like the Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl, Barefoot Books podcasts, and the Nodcast Podcast.

You can find my original list of 20 Ideas for Screen Free Week here, if you need some more inspiration.

Need more help?

You are half way there friends, and turning off of the TV is such a good thing for your family. I’m proud of you!

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. This week has been tougher for us than I would have imagined. Both kids came down with high fevers and have been so sick. We don’t watch a lot of TV (30-60 min a day, I don’t watch any) but if it hadn’t been “No Screen Week” I would have turned on a movie for them while they were sick. The first three days were AWFUL, yesterday the worst but I held strong and we got through it. Today seems easier and I think the rest of the week (now that they are feeling better) should go smoothly. I just wish it would stop raining :) I have kept my computer time to under 60 minutes and have my laptop in my bedroom, out of view, and this has been WONDERFUL for all of us. I think I will keep this up.
    RaisingZ´s latest post: Love the Hand-Me-Down Bins –

  2. Well it has went okay! I would really like to see some sunshine as most of my fun stuff was for outdoor time but we are painting, making blankets, and cooking. It was been a great time! However I did have one child have a meltdown and am trying to upload it on my blog. My husband and I don’t turn the tv on until the children go to bed. Our boys haven’t done anything with a screen including leapster time. So far so good. Ask me Sat. when we have company :)
    Courtney´s latest post: Screen-Free Week-Ready or Not

  3. We decided last night to join Screen Free “Week” even though we were getting a late start. My husband and I actually TALKED (and lost track of time) last night! Today was morning #1 for my son and he did great – a little dance music instead of this morning show and… a check-off chart that shows an ice cream reward if we can keep the set off through Satruday. (I’ll admit that reward is just as much for me as for him!)

    In the past, I’ve always said, “Oh we missed Screen free week. We’ll do it next year.” But this year, we’re embracing that even baby steps (like screen free “half week”) are better than no steps!
    Alissa´s latest post: Wordless Wednesday- Dance Party

  4. Well…I hate to admit it. I didn’t realize that Turn Your TV Off Week was now Turn Your Screen Off Week. HAHA!! But, we have enjoyed the week without TV. The little ones each have asked once for the TV to be turned on, but I have heard no real complaints. Loving the time I get to spend with hubby after the kids are gone to bed without TV. So, overall it has been wonderful. But, I will limit my computer time now that I realize it was to be included. :)
    kristy´s latest post: Miracles

  5. nopinkhere says:

    The 5yo understands and doesn’t ask, but I hadn’t realized just how addicted my 20mo was to watching TV! (Mostly Signing Time, but still!) I haven’t watched TV myself, which has put a crimp in my new exercise routine as I was using on-demand exercise shows on our cable. I’ve just tried to have tickle fests or go for a walk instead. The kids are screen free unless they sneak into their dad’s office to watch him work on the computer. But I’m not doing as well with other screen time. I’m still spending just as much time on my computer and phone.

  6. It hasn’t been too bad for us. Most of the kids’ lives we were TV free on weekdays with only a Friday night movie night. When I went on bedrest a couple of months ago I eased up on that for a while, but I think we’ll use this week as an excuse to go back to the old rules. We did make one exception for Tuesday night. My husband and I had a Lenten retreat and my dad had to bail out of babysitting last minute to go out of town for a funeral. A friend of his offered to babysit our kids and I didn’t think it was fair to ask her to babysit last minute, for free, for four kids seven and under and then ban her from using the TV. :)

    We’ve done lots of fun stuff. We made hot cross buns, played with legos, went to the park, cleaned pretty much the whole house. It’s been good.

  7. This is a great…and a little scary…idea! Just recently I decided to unhook myself from writing for 24 hours. I went through withdrawal! But, it felt good. It’s like you have to give yourself permission to do something else. Caught up on some reading and just relaxed. It was nice.
    Sinea´s latest post: Preparing for the Rest of the School Year

  8. Didn’t see this the first time around, as I actually was screen-free 😉 You should post (or link to this post) now that the week is over! I almost missed this but I was skimming my RSS titles before I marked all read — can’t possibly read everything from the past week.

    Screen-free week was very rewarding for me. Not completely screen-free, but I did severely limit email access and cut out unnecessary browsing (Google maps/phone book services were okay, restaurant reviews were not). I did binge on Facebook for a minute mid-week, but otherwise stuck to it reasonably well. None of my planned organization or house cleaning happened, but I did a whole lot of reading! Including one timely book in my library stack, The Winter of Our Disconnect. I picked it up a few days before I heard about Screen-Free Week. An interesting read, one woman detailing her experience with 6 MONTHS screen free. It made me think about how things would have progressed once my reading binge was over, I could imagine the differences if I’d gone even a month. But I’m plugged back in now, no turning back… until next year. I could see this being a regular thing for us.

  9. i wish i could do that with my kids but i cant even do in with myself! i work with phone and computer,,,,,how can i start ? how can i convince myself that there is something out there?
    dido´s latest post: my first acupuncture back pain therapy!a

  10. WOW!

    That is one of the most questions I was asking myself.
    How to write a blog, that gives and pain, and the answer to it,
    the way to the result.

    You write beautifully, and very clean.
    I loved all the solutions you found, most of all- the libary,
    in our days, most of us, just stoped reading…
    It is so important for a child to read ,
    I know a good friend who read so many books when she was young,
    now she has an amazing imagination!


  1. […] from Progressive Pioneer wrote Small Steps: Kill Your Television.  Simple Kids is hosting Screen Free Week, and Simple Organic talks about the impact of no television for kids. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", […]

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