Unplug and and explore hands-on activities with your kids
Boston — May 2, 2016 — Screen-Free Week – the annual celebration of unplugged fun – starts today. Families, schools, and communities around the world have pledged to turn off screen-based entertainment and turn on life!
Research shows that children who spend less time with screens do better in school, sleep longer, eat better, get more exercise, and spend more time with their families. That’s why leading health, education, and advocacy organizations around the country actively support Screen-Free Week. Endorsers include the American Public Health Association, the National Black Child Development Institute, the National WIC Association, the Alliance for Early Childhood, and Kaboom!
“It’s heartening that so many people and organizations are committed to helping families find alternatives to screens,” said Josh Golin, Executive Director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which organizes Screen-Free Week. “Less screen time means more time for hands-on play, reading, exploring nature, and dreaming – activities crucial to a healthy childhood.”
Since 1996, thousands of parents, teachers, PTA members, librarians, scout leaders, and clergy have organized Screen-Free Week celebrations in their communities. Here are just a few of this year’s festivities:
In Charlotte County, FL, Healthy Charlotte is offering a variety of family-friendly activities throughout the week, including craft nights and a kids’ fishing tournament!
Let’s Move! Missoula has partnered with local organizations to provide free and low-cost events for the community throughout Screen-Free Week, including a kickoff celebration with over 20 fun outdoor activities for kids.
Parent Connection of Eastern NC is holding a cloud watching party, complete with arts and crafts, stories, and make-your-own binoculars.
The Youth Services Division at the Brighton District Library in Brighton, MI, will be holding a Scavenger Hunt, Used Book Swap, LEGO Challenge, Creative Crafting, Sensory Programming, and Family Game Night.
The West Chicago Park District in West Chicago, IL, is offering community members a variety of screen-free activities as part of its Healthy West Chicago Initiative.
Here’s what endorsers are saying about Screen-Free Week:
“Too often, screen time means advertisements directed at kids. Commercials and product-aligned shows push kids to push parents to buy more and more Stuff. We want to raise our kids to identify as children, not as consumers–and to grow up to be great citizens, not great shoppers. Screen-Free Week is a terrific way to stop the flow of advertising, and to tune into the amazing world around us, and it’s a great time for kids, parents, caregivers, neighbors and friends to deepen connections with each other. Screen-Free Week is one of our favorite weeks of the year!” – Shana DeClercq, Community Engagement Manager, Story of Stuff
“It’s time to turn off that TV, put that computer on standby, shut off those video games, and put away those phones and tablets! It’s time to get outside and play! Unplugging from technology for a while can allow children and families to make stronger connections with each other and the world around them while also engaging in some fun, health enhancing physical activity. Set healthy habits early!” – Richard Rairigh, Director, Be Active Kids
“The National WIC Association enthusiastically endorses Screen-Free Week! Among other activities, Screen-Free Week will allow more time for active, creative play, contributing to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of young children. Play also enables parents to engage fully with their children. Screen-Free Week is an important step towards building a healthier America!” – Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO, National WIC Association
“The Power of Moms community is well aware of the impact our screen-saturated culture has on families. While we recognize that some screen time is beneficial, we are also familiar with the pitfalls of too many screens. We think Screen-Free Week is a wonderful time to unplug from technology and plug into meaningful personal and family activities.” – April Perry and Saren Loosli, Founders/Directors, Power of Moms
“Islamic Shura Council calls upon Muslims to turn off and/or reduce their screen time during the annual Screen-Free Week. Remember that time is not just money, but it is a profound gift of the Divine. Islamic Shura Council encourages everyone to ‘honor their time’ by engaging in meaningful activities such as reconnecting with self and family and through service to others.” – Shakeel Syed, Executive Director, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.