Making a decision to reduce the media consumption in your home will require some thought, creativity and planning as you replace the screen with traditional play. In his book Play, Dr. Stuart Brown makes a scientific case for more unstructured play in all of our lives. Giving our children the gift of a rich play history will benefit them their whole lives. When technology is such a big part of your family life, it an be a challenge to think outside the box (literally) and come up with answers to “Mom, I’m bored, what can I do?” When this question is asked in a whiny voice on an empty stomach at 5 p.m., it is worse. Unless you have a plan, you may find yourself giving into digital play over and
over. I have found it helpful for mom to have a suggested list of ideas until your child is creative enough to direct his own play. Remember that creativity is born out of silent, uncluttered time. Your child’s imagination will grow best with large sheets of clean white paper, sunshine, white space in their calendar and freedom to tap into their God-given childhood magic without mom and dad hovering. If your child hasn’t grown up doing this, you will need to give him a jump start before you expect him to do this on his own. Soon his imagination will kick in gear, and you will discover a different child as he discovers a different world.
Because many children today have a nature deficit and because nature is the best healer for digital overuse, we are excited to present our summer series: 30 Minutes Outside! Beginning June 1, we will post an idea each day for you to send your child outside for at least 30 minutes. The goal is for this initiative is to be a starting point and catalyst for you and your child to begin unplugging from the digital world and plugging into real life through traditional play. The 30 minutes will turn in to hours, and after awhile your child will not need your prompts. Who knows, you may even get some ideas to play a little yourself!
Stay tuned for June 1, when we will share great ideas by moms who are experiencing joy in their game-free home!