*Activity: No Electronic Devices*
'How in the world did we manage to accumulate so many devices in this house?' I asked my husband one afternoon.
'You know how it is, one at a time.' He replied while scrolling through his phone.
'Do you think that we should be selling some of them?' I asked.
'No, We could just give our old devices to the kids. Then they will all have their own. They can earn them.' He said.
After thinking about it for a while,we agreed it was the best course of action. It would save some money instead of buying brand new devices for each kid.
We live in a technological world. The kids watch you tube during their lessons in school and search the world wide web when they don't know something. Almost every home has a TV or two. Around 80% of homes have gaming consoles. There are TVs in most waiting rooms when you leave the house. It is easy to see how people take advantage of the constant stimulation.
When you stop and think about it, how many devices do you have in your home? We have three children and each child have one device. Hubby and I have phones. Three computers, Two TV's and an iPad Pro makes 10. That doesn't even include the Cameras, Electronic readers and music players. The technology has slowly integrated into our lives that you use it all the time without thinking.
We were growing used to watching what we wanted when we want it that when it came to choosing some together time, it was all too hard. We would spend more time picking what you want to watch than actually watching it. I knew that something had to change.
The reason that we started doing NED time in our home was because it was hard to get the time to really sit and share outside of dinner. We know that every kid loves the opportunity to shine in their own right. But my life is hectic when I have to run around with work and kids and school. So we started to make sure that on Sunday afternoons we would each lead in an activity for the whole family. Every one had to join in.
It was hard to convince everyone to give it a go at first. Especially the husband, but I knew once he was on board that everything would be fine. It started with simply no devices all Sunday, but that was a little hard. Then it changed to between breakfast and lunch on Sundays. Then during that time, the kids wanted to do something with me. They kept on complaining that there was nothing to do because they couldn't watch TV.
We talked a lot about alternatives to Watching TV/Playing on devices and agreed that it had to be fair. Everyone got a go at leading activities. It took a while to get the timing down pat. The time that we chose to do NED changed a few times too. But it evolved into something that we would look forward to.
The things that we would play to start with were very basic. Hide and seek. Board games or cards. Colouring in and drawing pictures. Spelling and maths games. After a while the kids would take the time to plan what they were doing for NED. We would have the lyrics to songs ready so that we could make parodies. We would choreograph dances and make puppet shows. We would leave the house to visit a family friend, counting that as a two person activity.
NED time brought us back together as a family. Something special that I encourage. Some people have adapted their NED'ing to Wednseday after school and others choose one activity before dinner a day. It is personal to each family.
How it Works
Making sure that you have at least half an hour per person, talk about who wants to go first and enjoy the activity together.
Examples: Colouring in with the kids, hide and seek, telling stories, playing board games. \Try and be a little creative.
This is a great opportunity for the kids to show some team work when wanting to choose a longer game. If you know that the activity will take longer than half an hour then make sure at least two people join up for it. If you have to leave the house then that counts as a two person activity too.
What would you like to do with the family?
Do you have something in your home that keeps you away from screen time? (Pool/Trampoline/Basketball hoop)
When is the best time for you to trial NED time?
Reward the kids this week for their creativity and ingenuity on their NED activity.