Screen-Free Summer, Week 1

happy happy happy summer, friends!
i am l-o-v-i-n-g summer.
i feel like my deep-down inside self needed summer. the freedom of no more school. barefeet. skirts. coffee and my Bible outside in the mornings.
 hallelujah, summer.

We're trying to go screen-free with the kiddos this summer.
not because I have some major issue with electronics or tv.
Just because it's summer -they need to be OUTSIDE:
playing, creating, imagining.

Childhood Unplugged!

I think i'm rebelling a bit from the Eternal Winter we just had,
as well as how hard the past 6 months or so of our lives have been - 
we've kinda been in survival mode, and we need to get out of it. ;-)
and, our kiddos grow up way too fast.
they're 5 and 7, and I feel like our summers of "little" kids are nearing an end 
{reaching for Kleenex now!}
so I just want to enjoy every single summer sunshine moment.
minus screens!

so, i've been trying to plan fun things just to do a summer-o-fun.
i'm going to try to keep track, just for fun, of what we do.
 and, you  know, if I'm announcing our screen-free-ness to the blog-world, t
hen, ya know, we better do it. 

{and it may be just the grandparents that are interested in this stuff. sorry if it's completely boring. i know this screen-free stuff is different than my normal blogging voice!}

so, Screen-Free Summer,
week one
{June 1-7}:

This was our first real day of summer break.
holy summer break, batman.
I didn't realize how much the pressure of school was wearing on me until it was over.
although I love our hybrid school 
{home 3 days/week, at school 2 days/week}
the back-and-forth of it all wears me out.

so, the feeling of truly nothing to do was so, so, so nice.

we had sweet friends come over to play.
 their oldest son is about Grant's age,
and they're adorable together.

I happened to have the stuff to make sparkly glitter slime, 
and that was even more fun with friends.

the boys {who actually made blue slime} took it outside and threw it at each other,
because, ya know, that's what boys do. ;-) they even invented a brand new word for the slime!

here are the directions.  It really does feel like slime while you're mixing, but then it hardens into this rubbery blob.  it's not like playdough where you can keep squishing it - i'd say it's more the mixing that's the fun part. and, you know, throwing it at friends. ;-)

Monday afternoon we went to the library to sign up for the summer reading program.
I'm so, so, so excited about it this summer because it's the first summer that Grant can really, really read. like, a lot, by himself. and, if we're not watch TV, what better thing to do than read, right?

we sat and read in the library, 
and it was so fun to see this across the table from me as I read to Gracie.
I'm trying to get Grant to read an hour a day, and I'm trying to read to gracie the same.

Grant reads about 15-20 minutes in bed in the mornings before he leaves his room,
about 15 minutes around lunch time, 
and about a half an hour before bed.

whew. day 1, screen-free summer, down.

{Tuesday, June 3, Day 2:}

we had a gift card to my favorite breakfast place, Bob Evans, 
and because of some unique scheduling situations we decided to use it Tuesday morning!
gracie went like this.
i mean, seriously! cuteness.

after breakfast the kiddos and I went to Meijer (a grocery store for you non-midwest people)
 to pick up a few things.
we also let Grant pick out his mega-monster-crazy-big Lego surprise,
that if he reads an hour a day until school starts,
he'll earn.
he's way excited about it!

 then, since it was hot out, 
we came home and broke out our water toys!

the cuteness continues! i die.

this water table has served us well! we received it when the kiddos were both toddlers, 
and we still use it! 
Gracie uses it to give her dollies a bath, of course, and Grant uses it to fill up his guns and super-blasters.

their fave water activity is to throw the hose over the slide.

i made these sponge water balls.
directions here.

i used twine though (like bakers twine)
which was extremely better than the floss.
i couldn't get the floss to tie at all!
the sponge balls were fun, but the kids didn't play with them as much as I thought!
 I think if we had friends over and they were throwing them at each other more a la water balloons, they'd be a hit! and they're super cheap.

by about 3:30 in the afternoon on day two of this crazy summer goal i had I was exhausted! 
but, so, so happy to be playing and not screen-timing.

 {Wednesday, Screen Free Day 3:}

our sweet daughter grace abigail has been cyclically sick with extremely high fevers, leg pains, and nothing else since January. it took several rounds of sickness to start connecting the dots, but i started finally realizing that the same thing was happening over and over.

{poor girl is tired SO much!} 

so, wednesday we saw a specialist who's doing a ton of blood work on the poor girl.
she has to have blood work twice a week for the rest of the summer. 
poor thing!

she ended up with more-than-a-bit of candy from the hospital gift shop to try to help my momma guilt feel a bit better.

that night, we played this fun game with grandma!
so, so, so silly and fun.

stuff like
{crab walk backwards to the kitchen sink}
if you have an elementary aged-boy, he'd love it!
grandma was glad she lucked out and got out of crab-walking ones and just had to penguin walk. ;-)

{Thursday, Screen-Free Day 4:} 

we played at home in our jammies 
{the kids were playing SO NICELY all day! fort-building included!}
and then about 4 o'clock, I was TIRED.
tired, tired, tired.
and the hubs wasn't going to be home until late.

so, I did what I hadn't done since they were toddlers and I just needed them to be strapped in and quiet for a few moments:

we loaded up and hit the drive-thru for supper!
grant ate then entire cheeseburger and 8 chicken nuggets from wendy's.
grace at like 4 fries.
i got the new espresso latte frapuccino from Starbucks.
holy moly good!

we returned home to this.

and then ended the day by blowing bubbles on the porch,
which is always a good end to a summer day, right?

{Friday, Screen-Free Day 5:}

today was the first day that Grant didn't wake up and ask to watch a show 
which he usually had been doing in the morning.

it was national donut day!
so, we did our civic duty!

{Saturday, Screen-Free Day 6:}

We happened to find out that the small town near us had a parade,
so we went!
the kids, believe it or not, had never been before.
they didn't know they'd get candy thrown at them,
and were over-the-top excited.

it was a beautiful Saturday morning,
and it was just so nice to be out together
{Matt usually works on Saturday mornings},
and the kids got way-too-much candy.

I went to a tea at church Saturday afternoon,
and my amazing, can-build-anything husband built this water-fall frame {Bike Wash} for me from this idea I had shown him.

it goes over the sidewalk and sprays water down!
it is SO FUN.
the kids LOVED it, 
and it's crazy cheap. 
it, unfortunately, hasn't been warm enough to get it back out past the initial use, 
so we're all super excited for heat again.


what a week!
we're having a blast,
and just loving summer.
i am LOVING the fact that we're screen-free.
now, Matt and I are still watching the one show we like {24},
and I'm watching my re-runs of Law & Order or whatever while I fold laundry or do dishes,
but I've limited my social media time to only when the kiddos are in bed.

it's nice to be a bit unplugged.
summer, unplugged!

we'll see how I feel about all of this screen-free busines in a couple of weeks.


a few ideas on my list for the next few weeks, if you want some inspiration for a screen-free, or screen-less-than-normal summer of your own. I know that these aren't like, rocket science, but I just want to do some small thing every day to have super fun with these precious kiddos of mine.

i'm starting to save my eggs now for this! and to crack them in a specific way on the top. I think it'll take several weeks of eggs to get enough for the kids to have enough paint to have fun for longer than a minute.

what are your plans for the summer? would you go screen-free? think i'm nuts? or brilliant? ;-) maybe a bit of both?

will post next week with Screen-Free Week 2 updates!