They’re everywhere these days and can seem difficult to escape sometimes. But it is possible! Here are 8 ways to spend an evening without a screen.
Play a Game
Having a family Game Night is nothing new but it should happen more often! Playing a game together is not only a lot of fun but is also great for the mind. There are so many options and types of games so you’ll never run out of ideas.
You might have a small collection of board games to choose from (we really love Catan and Carcassonne). Or a deck of cards offers several games to play (Go Fish or Phase 10 are our favorites).
Even if you don’t have any store-bought games, Charades is always a blast and our girls love to come up with their own ideas to have us guess. Pictionary can also be played on a whim with just some paper and markers. You don’t need a lot to get a game going with your family.
We all need more time outside! Taking a walk or sitting on the porch while the kids play in the yard is such a nice way to spend an evening. My husband and I enjoy sitting on our rocking chairs on the porch and chatting.
The girls love being outside late into the evening as well. Even during the dark winter months they wear headlamps while they go sledding. Unless the weather is yucky, there’s no reason to always be cooped up inside when there’s plenty of time to go outdoors in the evenings.
Make a Craft
With days being full of chores, cooking, schoolwork, and animals, there isn’t much time for crafting. The evenings are the best time to pull out a project and make some progress on it.
Knitting is my favorite activity, I really enjoy making something useful. I’m working on a new batch of sweaters for the kids right now. Sophia (14) is working on a horse cross-stitch to hang in her room. Lily (12) has been making some needle-felted bees for Christmas and Ella (10) has a butterfly embroidery that she’s finishing.
Sewing, whether by hand or with a machine, knitting, crocheting, needle-felting, embroidery, and painting are all wonderful handcrafts. Spending the evenings making something beautiful for yourself or to give away brings extra meaning to the time spent.
Sometimes it’s just nice to sit around and talk! We’re able to share our days during supper around the table but that doesn’t have to be the only time a family catches up. Hanging out on the couch and talking together about anything and everything is an evening well spent.
My girls love to sit and talk with me and tell me whatever is on their minds. During the day I can’t always sit for long periods of time to listen attentively to them but in the evenings this is possible. We never run out of things to talk about.
Read a Book
Whether reading alone or aloud, I like to have time to really enjoy a good book. My girls and I are all book lovers. They usually get some time during the school day to read quietly. But when they have a book that they just can’t put down, they often just want to spend their evenings sitting on the couch and reading.
Sometimes when my husband is away on Army duty, we pick a good book to read together. The last one we finished was Pollyanna, we loved it. Little Women is another favorite.
Write, Draw, or Color
Another activity our girls enjoy is writing. I’ve lost count of how many notebooks they each have, full of stories they’ve written. They love to sit on the floor around the coffee table and write, stopping every now and then to read their latest chapter to their sisters.
These stories usually include illustrations so sometimes instead of writing, they draw or color in their books. I usually spend this time sitting with them but working on my own project.
Who doesn’t want a delicious dessert after dinner every now and then? My girls and I love to bake so we have dessert a lot around here. Often, while I’m cleaning up after milking the cow, the girls whip up a quick treat for us to enjoy.
There are many options for quick desserts that capable children can make on their own. Brownies, cookie bars, muffins, or drop cookies are usually what we go with.
When all else fails and we want to relax, we just send the girls off to play. Truth be told, this is what they really want to do most of the time anyway! They are thick as thieves, those three, and love to play and hang out together.
Whether they’re building with Legos or playing with their Breyer horses, they will spend hours together when able just having fun. Sometimes children just need time to play after a long day to wind down before bedtime.
More Tips for Spending an Evening Without a Screen
- Make the television (and other screens) inconvenient-When we moved into our log home six years ago, we realized there was no where downstairs to put the tv. We have a wood stove right in the middle of the living area so that has become our “tv”, we love to hang out on the couch with the fire going. We ended up putting the tv upstairs in the small loft area. Since we’re usually downstairs near the kitchen and living room, we don’t often go upstairs to watch it and it’s rarely on.
- Get rid of cable-We haven’t had cable for years. We have an Apple TV that we use to rent or purchase movies that we want to see but otherwise, we don’t have any tv channels.
- Plan a movie night-Friday is our Homemade Pizza & Movie Night. It’s something fun that we all look forward to. When it’s planned out, you’ll avoid mindless scrolling wondering what to watch. To be honest, as our girls have gotten older and especially during the summer months, they often skip the movie after pizza so they can enjoy the beautiful weather outside and play. My husband and I will often watch a movie together on Saturday nights if there’s anything out that we’ve been wanting to see.
I hope this gives you some ideas for ways to spend an evening without a screen. There are so many ways to spend time together as a family without the tv being on. It can be a hard habit to break but is well worth the effort. I’m sure there are other activities that I’m missing so please let me know if you have a favorite of your own!