Celebrate Screen-Free Week: April 18-24
Family Friendly Cincinnati is proud to be an official endorser of Screen-Free Week (April 18-24), the annual celebration where children, families, schools, and communities turn off screens and turn on life. What would you and your family do with an extra 20, 30, even 50 hours a week? Please visit www.screenfree.org to learn how you can get involved and join in the fun.
We all know that children spend far too much time with screens: an astonishing average of 32 hours a week for preschoolers and even more for older children. Excessive screen time is harmful for children—it’s linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention problem, and the erosion of creative play.
Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is a wonderful way to help children lead healthier, happier lives by reducing dependence on entertainment screen media—including television, video games, computers, and hand-held devices. By encouraging children and families to unplug, Screen-Free Week provides time for them to play, connect with nature, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time with family and friends. And, of course, Screen-Free Week isn’t just about snubbing screens for seven days; it’s a springboard for important lifestyle changes that will improve well-being and quality of life all year round!
Anyone can participate in Screen-Free Week simply by refraining from using screens for entertainment during the week of April 18-24, 2011. But experience tells us that it’s more fun – and more effective – to go Screen-Free with others. Since 1996, tens of thousands of parents, teachers, healthcare professionals, scout leaders and clergy have helped millions of children turn off screens and turn on life by organizing local Screen-Free Weeks.
Screen-Free Week organizers and their teams promote the week, reach out to community partners, get children and families to participate, and help them discover fun screen-free activities. You can organize a Screen-Free Week in a classroom, an entire school, with a scout troop, faith community, neighborhood association, at your local library or in any community or civic group. To learn how you can become a Screen-Free Week organizer, please visit www.screenfree.org.
Here’s some ideas from your friends here at Family Friendly Cincinnati for things you can do with your families this week instead of watching TV or playing video games:
~ Take a walk in the woods
~ Play a board game TOGETHER
~ Have a picnic in the backyard, at a park or even on the living room floor
~ Have a family “quiet time” and read books together
~ Do a community service project with your children: collect donations for a local agency, clean up garbage in a public area, sign up to cook at a local soup kitchen, visit folks at a nursing home who might not have family to visit, and the list goes on.
~ Clean the house (I know this one is not going to excite the kids, but it will feel great to clean out those closets!)
~ Art Projects, from coloring to intricate collages, there are so many arts and crafts to choose from!
~ Have a yard sale (this goes hand in hand with clean the house!)
~ Explore a local attraction you have been wanting to see (Family Friendly Cincinnati has lots of ideas for you)
~ Cook a meal with your children, or bake cookies for neighbors
What will your family do when you turn off the screens?!?