Encouraging creativity by going screen free
Monday, 15 November 2010
Our household has had an on again-off again relationship with television for the past few months. Back in July, in a moment of frustration, I hid the TV in the spare room.
It stayed away for a few months.
Our home was a calmer more loving and creative space without it.
We dragged the TV out every now and then if there was something we really wanted to watch. In the beginning we’d put it away straight after the show. But as time went on it was left out more and more. Eventually it just stayed out.
Saturday night I realised it was time again for some screen free time. Daddy Eco and I had spent far too much of the day on the computer and Little Eco had spent far too long in front of the TV. I felt like much of the day had been wasted. So we decided we’d go TV and computer free all day Sunday.
A screen free Sunday.
No computer. No Television. And the result....Lots of imaginary play and creativity.
By breakfast Little Eco had invited us to a tea party and had washed the dishes afterwards.
By lunch she'd vet checked all the baby guinea pigs, bathed her dolls, and had enjoyed many other creative play moments. All inspired by her own imagination.
In the afternoon, inspired by Lil Blue Boo's recent guide to painting with children, we bought some bottles of washable poster paints in primary colours and had a huge painting session.
Little Eco learnt how to make green from blue and yellow, and pink from red and white. I pulled the fabric off a canvas I had hanging on Little Eco's wall and she started painting.
It was all quite civilised in the beginning....
Then deteriorated a little....
...then a little bit more, until her painting session evolved into a nude painting moment complete with bum prints. I haven't laughed so much in a long time.
I think the painting looks at home in her room. Each time I walk into her bedroom I smile.
Because we used washable paints, apparently we can simply wash the paint off the canvas and reuse it. We'll give it a go.
I've just noticed Lil Blue Boo has followed her post on how to paint with children with one on Painting with Children - "Finer" Art, providing a few 'tips to help your child paint something you could hang on your living room wall'. We definitely needed her hints on how to avoid 'that muddy brown result' that happens when too many colours are mixed.
I think Screen Free Sunday and messy painting sessions are going to become a family tradition.
Do you think you could go without screens for a day or even a week? How about 6 months!? That's what Susan Maushart and her three kids did. I enjoyed this radio interview about the experience.
For more creative play inspiration head on over to Childhood 101 for We Play.
P.S. Welcome to those of you who found me though the Sunny Days article. I hope you stick around for a while. Feel free to introduce yourself in the comments :-)
P.S.S Novocastrians, the next Raid My Wardrobe preloved fashion sale is this weekend. Details here. I can't wait as I really need some new (old) summer clothes.