Switching Gears

Last week, after an awesome first day of school, Annelise missed her second day (Thursday), so we've already tossed her record for perfect attendance out the window. Not that she was really hoping for that or anything. I don't know if she just picked up a little bug somewhere or if her Monday morning spent raking and spreading pine needles ignited her allergies but she was equal parts sniffly and stuffy (if that's possible) so a day of rest and Vicks VapoRub was in order.
After a brief visit to the library we settled in with a late morning treat, hot chocolate for her and coffee (of course) for me and our new reads.
And speaking of books, I'm currently enjoying a mystery/crime series set in England by Deborah Crombie (the Kincaid/James series). Not only does she create interesting, layered characters but weaves a really captivating story as well.

Since school is back in session, we are back to no TV during the week for Annelise, and after a summer of lots of TV I'm really looking forward to tightening things up a bit. In the past since she doesn't watch it during the week we were pretty laid back on the weekends and one show or movie would soon lead to another. Ugh! She likes the Disney show Shake It Up and some of her friends watch it and gush about it but I've gone back and forth about letting her watch it. I just don't like the way kids on Disney shows act (exception: Lizzie McGuire, that was a cute show), they're (usually) sassy and act way too big for their britches, and of course that sort of behavior is easily and quickly mimicked. It seems like my saying I don't want her watching a certain show makes her want to watch it even more, so we've been going round and round about what she can and can't watch.

Over the summer, in desperation for good TV, we watched some I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show and Leave It To Beaver on Netflix together. Now that was some good TV! Plus there are no annoying commercials. The good news is she likes these shows now (well, Lucy not so much--yet) so I'm glad we have that option on Netflix.

It's hard to wean off screens (computer, TV, iPad, iPhones, NintendoDS) but we're trying (at least limit the time spent on them, not wean off completely). So with that goal in mind we've been breaking out the games again and it's been FUN (I mean, I know they've always been fun but when you get out of the habit of playing and are numbed by screens you kind of forget).
Thursday afternoon Annelise and I played Pentago (she whooped me), Boggle (we had dud letters and gave that up after one round) and Mancala.
We had played Mancala before but at the time Annelise wasn't that impressed, this time she ate it up (possibly because she was beating me) and even taught Scott to play when he got home.

I kind of love that.

And it didn't involve a screen.

Do you limit TV and/or other screen time? What works for your family?
What are your family's favorite board/card games?


  1. We will have significantly less screen time now too. None before school, and none after until homework is done. And then most nights we'll have sports and then it is time to watch the Rangers so it all works out. We really like Aggravation (similar to Sorry, husband's uncle made us our very own wooden playing board), Uno, and Pass the Pigs.

  2. I'm trying to limit the TV time too, although she is watching tv right now. ;) It's a movie we rented off amazon, so I feel like since it's the last few hours we have it, she can watch it one more time. It's still an excuse...

  3. Haha, you don't like Boggle either, huh? My kids are big into "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" (great trivia), and I'm teaching them to play poker! Honestly, I feel your pain with the post-summer screen weaning. My kids are very technically adept, so we have the whole gamut of TV, iPad etc. One thing I just got, that definitely helps cut down on the TV time, is the Hopper from Dish. This DVR has over 2,000 hours of recording space, so we're never without something great to watch. I work a lot of overtime at Dish, so time around the house is very important to me. With the Hopper's Auto Hop feature I can set my Prime Time recordings to skip the ads entirely. It ends up saving us about 20 minutes per episode, which means we can watch all of our shows, and still have more time for game night! Best of luck re-acclimating to school :)

  4. Our kids have "tickets" that they can use for screen time (other than TV). They get 4 tickets per week, worth 30 minutes each. As for TV, we watch one 30-minute show after chores are done every day after school, while they have a snack. And *sigh*, Dad usually has the TV on during dinner, which is out of my control. ;)

    I searched and searched for the original version of the board game "Clue", and love that my kids love it! Reasoning/deducting skills, plus lots of fun!


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