Friday, September 2, 2016

Keeping Kids off Screens Printables

School is back in session, and as a mother of four school-aged children, I have made some New (School) Year's Resolutions. Shamelessly, I will share them here: 
  1. I will actually open my children's backpacks each afternoon and see what is in their take home folders.
  2. I will read school emails (including attachments!).
  3. I will take and enforce measures to limit my children's screen time.
  4. I will implement a plan to help my children exercise every day, even when the weather is bad.

If you don't struggle with any of the above 4 items, then a big pat on the back to you for being a more responsible mom than me.  I usually start strong, but by mid October I deserve about a C+ in any of these subjects. This year I am determined that I will be better. And one way I am taking action is by displaying these posters in my kitchen. I am truly enforcing the rules of what must be completed before screens.  

I began this quest by making these handwritten signs (shown below). I used scrap cardboard and glued some flat magnets to the back. My husband loved the idea, and suggested I make digital files he could print and laminate for me to make them more durable, so I did!  I went ahead and made my handwritten signs into digital files as well because I still kinda like the homemade look.

I amended the "Before Screens" page from the handwritten to the digital to say "Read 30 Min+" instead of "Read Scriptures 10 Min+."  I did this because while I do want my kids to read scriptures daily, they also enjoy reading other books. The 10 minute amount for scripture study is a challenge we made as a family, so I will include that as part of their 30 minute requirement.

I helped my 6 and 9 year olds go through these exercises yesterday afternoon. I over-estimated how many sit-ups they could do and how long they could hold planks and wall-sits.  I told them (and I'm now telling you) that if you can't do the amount shown on the poster now, just do as many as you can, and you can work up to the amounts here over time.  We turned on a fun Pandora station (I recommend "Everything is Awesome Radio"), and soon they were sweaty little bootcampers in our living room! We put a timer on in the kitchen so they would know when 30 minutes was up, but by about half-way through, they were so into the exercises, they weren't concerned with the timer. :)

Ideally, I want my kids to enjoy exercise outside playing pick-up soccer games in the cul-de-sac or riding bikes and scooters, but unfortunately that doesn't always work out. This way they can stay active, get stronger, and learn to enjoy exercise even when it is not perfect weather.