We’re having a screen-free summer with life skills bingo. Join me and fifteen fantastic bloggers as we teach our kids to grow their own food, manage a household, draft up a business plan, and more – all with the help of a free Life Skills Bingo printable pack available in my subscriber resource library. Plus – on Thursday – my friend Allison from The House That Lalli Built has a play-based screen-free Bingo card going live. Can’t wait to share that with you, too!
Screen time ate my children, and B was the first to go.
This time last year, that kid was OUTSIDE. All the time. We’d finish up school and clean up after lunch, then she’d bolt into the yard like a Triple Crown Contender out of the gate at the Preakness. Once school let out she’d connect with her buddies, reappearing indoors for pretzels and hydration at various intervals throughout the afternoon. Each pit stop revealed an increasing layer of dirt and flush, and by dinner we’d be scrubbing hours of adventure from those precious cheeks and hands.
But the school year brought several changes. My professional responsibilities tripled. F had trouble sleeping at night. My afternoons and evenings were taken up with tutoring appointments, and I was too exhausted to stay up any later than the kids.
I needed time to get stuff done, and screen time sucked their attention like a Dyson on steroids. I gave each of them two hours a day to use a device, and for the most part was fine with my decision.
Until B became the bellwether.
Warm weather rolled around and the doorbell started ringing. But this time, no eager feet flew down the stairs to answer; B remained firmly entrenched in her virtual world, building in Minecraft or questing in Animal Jam. Where last year the struggle was prying her away from the great outdoors, this year I could hardly remove her from the electronic divide. Her siblings were starting to follow suit; requests for cease fire brought epic meltdowns.
Behavior was crumbling. Favored interests were dwindling. Chores were becoming increasingly ignored.
Those screens had their tentacles wrapped around my children.
I didn’t notice until the neighborhood kids stopped knocking at the front door.
I’m not by nature a screen-averse parent. I think screen time has its place, and I’ve even endorsed it as a learning tool for kids. But when limits became an issue and our homelife started to suffer, I knew I had to pull them from the belly of the beast.
My children are people first. They are consumers second.
Sure, they can build, work, grow, and create in a virtual world, but real life is much more rewarding.
This summer, we’re embarking on a brand new journey, learning and practicing new skills together. I’m excited to announce the beginning of our screen-free summer, focusing on building valuable life skills.
I hope you’ll join us for Screen-free Summer Life Skills Bingo.
Screen-free Summer Life Skills Bingo
I know myself, and I know I need two things if I’m going to make any serious changes:
- a plan of action
- a network of support
So I sat down and asked myself the following:
- What talents and skills do my children already have?
- What skills do I want them to learn, and why?
- What skills can I teach my children on my own?
- What skills will I need to research and learn along with them?
- What personal resources can I contact for help?
- What community resources can I contact for help?
By the end of my brainstorming session, I had a list of 16 things I wanted to teach my kids, plus a collection of personal and professional resources I could enlist for support. This was the beginning of the Summer Life Skills Bingo series, featuring the help and talents of 15 colleagues from my blogging community.
Are you interested? We’ve got a summer full of activities to help kids become proficient in tasks like gardening, sewing, and baking. We’ll practice meaningful conversation, learn to write letters, and discover what it takes to draft a business plan. We’ll care for our car, care for our home, figure out the laundry, and preserve food for the winter. Goal setting, time management, emergency preparedness, and more – if our kids need to learn it to be prepared and self sufficient, we’ve got you covered in this awesome summer series.
When you download the Summer Life Skills Bingo printable pack, you’ll get three documents:
- one pre-filled bingo card
- One blank bingo card
- One summer life skills planning sheet
You can choose to follow along with us all summer, or create your own bucket list using the planning sheet as a guide. Starting this Wednesday, May 17, I’ll host my fifteen colleagues as they share their expertise with us and our families.
May 17: Growing Your Own Food – Ginny at Not So Formulaic
Screen time’s a formidable opponent, but I won’t let it dictate our summer plans. Won’t you join us as we battle the beast? Come explore, play, learn, and create.
I know you’ll be glad you did.