Our TV/Screen Free Transition + Favorite Toddler & Pre-K Morning Activities #BreakfastInvitations

About a week ago, I hit the breaking point with screens. I’ve been sharing a bit of our experience on Instagram {and in IG Stories!} most days, but I wanted to pop on the blog and share it with you here as well! After the holidays + all the craziness that surrounds it, my boys were having WAY too much television, iPad, just too much screen time in general. They TV was always on, they were constantly changing activities, shows or games every 5 seconds and not focusing or concentrating on anything they were doing. It was a bit of a haze where I lost the control of the screen time as a tool for me {when I needed to get something done} and they were overusing their devices to the point where it was affecting their behavior negatively.

So last Monday I decided to go screen free during the week.

And I think that even though it’s only been a few days, it might have been the best decision I’ve ever made.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy transition. Of course because this was a bit of a decision made on a whim, the boys weren’t prepared for it and didn’t understand the quick change of the removal of their favorite devices. But I armed myself with some educational, open ended things for them to play with, did my research on activities that encouraged learning for their ages {3 and 5} and we’ve been powering through ever since.

The Plus Plus might be one of our new favorite things!

Wanting this change just didn’t happen overnight. It was a combination of the fact that we are in the process of preparing to move {to the PA ‘burbs in the spring.summer!} so I have been tidying up, paring down and donating/selling what we aren’t using. I’ve done most of the house {a few times over} but the thing that gives me the most anxiety is the kids toys! They have so much and they weren’t enjoying much of any of their toys because all they wanted to do was play on their iPad, watch TV, or play video games. So part of the screen time removal was also to help see what they are actually playing with and what we can get rid of before our move.

But I also want to encourage MORE PLAY!

As I previously mentioned, their attention span was lacking because of the TV or something always on in the background. With that off, they are already doing more for longer, and I’m loving seeing that open-ended, imaginative play!

It’s been over a week and I am not the only one seeing the differences – one of my boys teachers sent me a note at the end of last week asking if we were doing anything different at home, because she saw that my son was so much calmer, more attentive and engaged in class! How amazing is that?! It was the best feeling in the world to get that gratification and I know we’ve got to continue on.

On the weekends, I’m prepared to be more relaxed – a family movie night, one show in the morning, playing a game together as a family – but it has to be earned during the week. We are using a sticker chart to track that – but trying to keep it as minimal as possible!

Another big driving force for starting this whole new way of life has been following along my new favorite IG obsessions: @dayswithgrey @busytoddler @littleoneslearn @teachingmyminis – They have daily activities and inspiration for you to do with your kids that I’ve been doing for the past week and its been great to see.

The #BreakfastInvitation is something you set up the night before, so the kiddos come downstairs and have something new to do. They do this activity and mama gets a few minutes to have her coffee, eat, whatever – because the kiddos are entertained {while secretly learning!} with their new morning game. It’s a win/win for everyone and my boys have been loving it.

Here are a few activities we’ve been enjoying this week !

Graham is working on the letters + his alphabet {he’s 3} and he loved matching up the letters on the refrigerator!

Brooks {is 5} and he can read + knows his letters, so I’ve been working on introducing more counting + numbers into his morning routine. These dominoes have been fun to play with + use for numbers and are under $8!

I’ve used them two separate mornings, the top one he flew through, so I changed it up again the next time.

The second version was a little challenging for him at first, because he had not done something like it before – but he was all about it at the end! I’ll be doing this at least once a week!

In my commitment to this project, I picked up a few supplies that have proven useful – this felt pack and these vehicles have been amazing! Graham has been loving sorting the colors and the types of vehicles, but he’s also used them with his slim, play doh and sand!

I would also suggest DOTS!

Dot Stickers + Dot Markers have been great for us.

I used this activity to help Graham learning to spell his name. It was the perfect challenge for him because he could totally do it.

Another favorite with the boys was this morning and the fun counting money. We chatted about dimes, nickels, quarters and adding up change. Lots of learning going on here, and I’m crossing my fingers I can scrub off the numbers in my cupcake tin!

So that’s what we’ve been up to lately! Its been a lot more work for me to keep everyone busy and engaged and happy while not being able to zone out in front of the TV, but I know it will continue to get easier and better. It already has in a short week and I can see the difference in my boys which feels amazing.

And as I was typing this article up, this popped up in my CNN feed that I thought was worth sharing!

I’m totally not trying to preach for anyone that is all about the TV. I get it! I was there too. We just needed a change and this is where we are right now and we are going to see what happens! Send me happy, productive, entertaining, open-ended imaginative play vibes!

Now I’d love to hear from you – do you do #breakfastinvitations ? What are your tv/screen time limits for your kiddos {if any!} I’d love to hear what you do that works for you – Please Share!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Patty January 29, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I am so proud of you for taking on this task! You have done an amazing job and I also see a difference in the boys! Keep up the good work…

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