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Screen Free Summer Family Activities

By Lance Terry, Operations Pastor

My wife Ginger and I help lead our Parenting Littles Life Group at Faith Bible. In our class, we talk a lot about how our kids are developing, what they’re learning, and what we as parents can do to disciple them well. While we always use Scripture as our guide, occasionally there are some things we just learn through experience.

I’m always asking myself, “If I could only give one piece of practical advice to younger families, what would it be?” My answer might vary from time to time, but the one thing that’s always at the top of my list is limiting screen time. We all struggle with it.

You have some free time at home, but you’d like to be able to do your own thing, do some chores, have an adult conversation maybe, so we put the kids in front of the TV, the iPad, or a phone and just let it fully engage them.  

Don’t get me wrong, we love a movie night every now and then, and I’m not above handing the phone off when I need to occupy my kids for a bit.  The problems arise when we take that valuable family time and use it to look at screens, rather engage with each other.

With that in mind, here are some activities we love that you can do as a family to avoid the screens.

Invest in Some Board Games

Our kids love game nights, and it feels like we’ve played them all.  Right now, our favorite is Clue but there are so many that are fun to play.  When the whole family is playing it’s fun and you’re fully engaged with each other.

Do a Puzzle

Pre-covid I hadn’t done a puzzle in years. Now we’ve done dozens!  There’s something about teaming up on a project like that as a family that really brings us together.

Get Outside

It’s amazing how a change of scenery can change the mood in your house. Whatever the activity, I’ve found it always does our family good to get outside together. Play sports with them. Go to the park. Take a family walk sometimes.

Be Intentional About Mealtime

Eat together when you can.  Put the phones away.  Turn the TV off.  Figure out ways to get everyone talking.  We like to use dinner time to share our “highs and lows.” What was the best part of your day?  What was the worst?  Everyone may not be super talkative, but the more you do it the better it will be.
You could probably think of a dozen more. Whatever you do, the goal is simple. Be aware of how much you use screens to occupy your kids. As my kids grow, I’m realizing how precious our time is together. I believe God wants us to make the most of our time with our kids. My prayer for you and your family is that you would be intentional about how you use that time.
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