In honor of Screen-Free Week, eeBoo creative director and owner, Mia, illuminates how relying on creativity and adventurousness instead of screens for entertainment has shaped the people her children have become.
We are full-on fans of letting children go without screen time. It is the very first advice I offer to new parents. Our children had very limited access to television and computers. This wasn’t easy, it meant engaging with our children after hard days at work or early in the morning on weekends. Directing them to watch TV would have been a profound pleasure. We consciously decided that foregoing that luxury to create circumstances for active play would, in the long run, save us time and strengthen them with a variety of skills and interests. We were also acutely aware that the years we had with them were finite, and that we would deeply regret having missed out on the opportunity to spend time with them.
This turned out to be a correct call. When they were small, we would wake up and play with them or set up projects for them to do, which quickly led to them making up their own activities. We had a room filled with jars of feathers, popsicle sticks, paint, crayons, paper and glue, and the kids would get up and start messing around in that room. When they were older, they read books or played board games when it rained. When it was sunny, they played ball or built a “boat” or taped leaves on to themselves and generally engaged in wholesome, sometimes “slightly daring” stuff. We never heard, “what should I do” or “I’m bored” or “can we watch TV…” They developed a strong sense of themselves and what they liked to do. As high school students, they were always game to try something new, and now at college they have pursued adventurous, self-directed paths. Attributing this all to no screen time may not be completely fair, but we absolutely believe that encouraging them to think and engage with the world around them has led them to become creative and independent adults. Not having to supervise or direct them at this stage in life is advantageous for them, and saved us lots of time for ourselves. It was pay-in early and reap the benefits later- an old fashioned way of thinking and 100% worth it.
eeBoo’s Screen-Free Activity Recommendations: Plant an indoor herb garden . Visit your local greenhouse and buy planters, soil, and a variety of seeds. Spend an afternoon potting your herbs, and learning about each one. Did you know that basil is a natural disinfectant? Each week, draw a picture of your herb garden to track the progress of its growth. In the company of your new plants, continue the garden-themed fun with eeBoo’s Gathering a Garden Spinner Game.
Play a silly story game Get the family together with eeBoo’s Create a Story Cards. Draw a card and start a story based on its illustrations. Take turns drawing cards and adding a plot twist or new character inspired by the card. Up for a challenge? Test your memory skills by requiring a retelling of the story after each round. Hold a paper airplane Olympics Make your own plane, or try a do-it-yourself kit, and head to the park. Have various contests: whose plane goes the furthest, which can do the coolest trick, who can land a plane in a target such as in a hula hoop. eeBoo Jefferson Flyers come in four different colors, perfect for competing in the big race. Go for a penny walk Go for a walk with a penny, and flip the coin to decide which direction to go in. For example, heads for left, tails for right, and whatever it lands on you walk that way. After your walk, write about your adventures in the outdoors. eeBoo Composition Notebooks make perfect nature journals. House of bridges Use everyday materials to make the longest bridge you can between two pieces of furniture. Try paperclips, rubber bands, or eeBoo Pipe Cleaners. Challenge yourself to build a bridge that could hold a quarter, or maybe a little toy car!
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