Tag Archives: free time

31 Days Unplugged – Day 15 – Unstructured Time

14 Mar

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A big part of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge has, for me, been about time management.  I have found that when I am unplugged, I have  a lot of time to do other things.  How do I spend that time for the glory of God and the good of my family? I have grown a lot this month in that area, and found that several new and exciting opportunities have arisen due to my new focus.  I hope that is true for you, too!

Recently, my husband and I had to decide whether or not to sign Charlie up to play T-Ball this Spring.  I really wanted him to start playing, but Jason wasn’t so sure.  I thought it would be good for Charlie to meet some more kids his own age and start getting some baseball skills.  Jason thought he was too young and unfocused, and he also knew that we would have to sacrifice a lot of our free time (which we really value) to take Charlie to practice and games.

In the end, we decided to wait a while longer to begin playing organized sports, and even though I was disappointed at the time, I am now relieved that we don’t have to spend our Saturdays this spring at the ballpark, especially after talking with some friends who are stressing out, trying to figure out how to add ball practice into their already busy schedules.

Having too little unstructured time is a problem for a lot of people, whether you have children or not.  We run from one activity to another, spending hours a day in our vehicles (with the kids watching movies or playing on the phone).  We spend our Saturdays rushing from one game to another, then from birthday party to birthday party.  What are we trying to accomplish, exactly?

According to the National Wildlife Federation, today’s children in America spend less than 30 minutes a day in unstructured play and 7 hours or more in front of some sort of electronic device!  That just sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? 

No wonder so many of our children are obese, diagnosed with ADHD and depression, and simply stressed-out!

Today’s post is an extension of yesterday’s challenge to cut down on your family’s time in front of the TV.

Challenge #12 – This weekend, structure at least one hour a day of unstructured time into your schedule. (That sounds ironic, doesn’t it?) In my opinion, that isn’t enough unstructured time, but that’s a good start.  Spend this time doing WHATEVER you want to do, and let your kids do WHATEVER they want to do (except watch TV, of course:)).  

I am a big believer in unstructured time, and a large portion of our days are spent with the kids simply playing.  I have always believed strongly that that is how kids learn and make memories, not by being shuttled from one activity to the next.  We’ve got to give ourselves and our families time to just be.

Spreading weeds

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Our Post-VBS Chill-Out

12 Aug

Well, VBS is over!  It was a great weekend with my church family and we had so much fun with all of the kids who joined us.  One thing I love about VBS is getting to spend so much time with people that I enjoy being around.  Here’s a couple of pics from the weekend:

Some of the kids during our finale worship service yesterday.  We had really great music this year!

Some of the kids during our finale worship service yesterday. We had really great music this year!

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The congregation built these huge cornstalks as part of the service. They were a lot of fun!

Here's how Maddie participated in the finale. She thought now would be a good time to practice her cat impersonation.  She actually crawled up to me while I was standing up leading the kids in a song and said, "Meow."  Isn't her outfit cute, though?

Here’s how Maddie participated in the finale. She thought this would be a good time to practice her cat impersonation. She actually crawled up to me while I was standing up leading the kids in a song and said, “Meow.” Also, note that she has on someone else’s shoes. Isn’t her outfit cute, though?

Anyway, VBS is over and I feel like I have nothing to do!  I woke up thinking about VBS, then realized that I don’t have to think about it anymore!  So the kids and I have been just enjoying our freedom today.

Maddie and I sat in bed for an hour and a half this morning!  Can you believe that?  It was wonderful.

After Charlie finally woke up, we went to the park and walked and met some friends to play.  It was very hot, but very wonderful.  I didn’t have the camera with me, but you can see some pics from our morning on our Instagram pics on the side of the blog.

The we came home and we are doing WHATEVER WE WANT TO DO!!!!!  It is so awesome!!!!

Charlie has spent a good deal of his day spraying all of the animals with his sprayer bottle. Who knew that spray bottle would be such a worthy investment?

Charlie has spent a good deal of his day spraying all of the animals with his sprayer bottle. Who knew that spray bottle would be such a worthy investment?

We have also enjoyed the kiddie pool today.

We have also enjoyed the kiddie pool today.

The kitty's have also gotten a lot of attention today.

The kitty’s have also gotten a lot of attention today.

We had a wonderful time planning for VBS this year, but it sure is nice to not have anything to worry about for awhile!  Don’t worry, I’m sure something will pop up!