crafting a meaningful little project at a time

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Operation Rage Against the TV Screen

Summer vacation is here, and I’ve already seen the writing on the wall:

“Mommy, can we watch a show?”

What this really means is, “Can we watch every episode of Ninjago on On Demand back to back until our mouths are hanging open, drool is coming out, and our eyes are glazed over? Pleeeease?”

Ack- no!

But here’s the bad thing: with working full-time from home and staring down the barrel of an upcoming maternity leave, I get distracted- so this could totally happen!

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it- this DOES happen! I turn on Ninjago with great intentions to limit it to just one episode, thinking that I’ll get busy killing my to-do list while the kids are quiet and entertained. But now that Little Lady knows how to work remotes, I get busy doing paperwork or laundry or whatever and don’t notice that the minutes have turned into hours…because the kids are quiet and entertained…or rather slack-jawed and staring…yikes!

Operation Rage Against the TV Screen isn’t an effort to remove the TV from our lives entirely: every parent has different views on what amount of TV watching is right for their kids. I’m ok with letting my kids watch TV and movies- I’m not ok with falling into the trap of turning on the TV and letting my kids stagnate in front of the screen for hours on end. Even if it means that I can get a lot of work done while they are quiet and entertained.

Operation Rage Against the TV Screen is our battle against complacency, and the commitment to approach each day with an attitude of creativity and engagement, rather than the attitude “how can I keep the kids quiet and entertained today?”

I spent the last week of school or so digging through my teacher closet, pinning things on Pinterest, overworking my printer, and sitting in front of the laminator putting together kits, pulling out materials, making games, and building my arsenal. My budget for summer bridge activities was a measly $20, so most of the materials we used were things around the house or dollar store deals. We spent the first day of summer break (which happened to be pretty cloudy and overcast) at the kitchen table together making games and learning activities.  I tried to keep the activities simple, cut down on unnecessary frills, and focused on skills that the kids were working on at the end of the year along with what they’d be expected to start with in the fall in preK and Kindergarten.  Also, I tried to come up with plenty of independent activities- reality is, I do need time to work at home this summer while the kids are here. Even though TV Babysitter does keep the kids quiet and entertained, I’d rather see them industrious and engaged.

I will continue adding to the reserves and rotating in new activities throughout the summer, but now that the bulk of the hunting, gathering, and assembling is complete…

Operation Rage Against the TV Screen is a GO!

If you’re looking for ways to engage your kids in crafting meaningful summer days, stay tuned for more ideas to come! My goal is to blog a couple times each week about things we’re doing that may be things YOU’D like to be doing too! (But not if it means TV Babysitter has to take over for me to get it blogged! Ha ha!)

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