Screen-Free Week (May 1-7, 2017)

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2, and less than 2 hours per day for older children, on average, preschool children spend a staggering 32 hours a week with screen media. Some of the distressing effects of these early habits can include poor school performance, obesity, problems with attention and socialization, and most importantly, changes in children’s fundamental connection to the world.

By limiting your child’s screen time, he or she will have more time for hands-on creative play. Play is essential and promotes intellectual growth, critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-control. Children play to have fun, express themselves, gain a sense of self, and make meaning of their world. We applaud you for joining us for Screen-Free Week and wish you many joy-filled memories with your family! Here are 30 fun screen-free ideas to do as a family:

  • Make cookies and share them with a neighbor
  • Try a new craft
  • Have an international dinner night and learn about a new culture
  • Play charades and board games and have a family game night
  • Go on a picnic or go camping
  • Take a nature hike
  • Visit the library
  • Attend a live sports event
  • Go to a museum or zoo
  • Take a bike ride
  • Build a fort inside or outside and camp in it
  • Make your own play dough (see recipe below!)
  • Plan a day trip to a fun, historical site
  • Go to the lake or beach
  • Plan a scavenger hunt
  • Play in the sprinklers
  • Visit the famers’ market and try new foods
  • Host a neighborhood potluck party
  • Make homemade pizza from scratch
  • Go canoeing
  • Make a card for a grandparent
  • Watch the sunset or watch the night sky and learn about stars
  • Play hopscotch, hide-n-seek, and freeze-tag
  • Make a campfire and tell stories
  • Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk
  • Look through old family photos
  • Fly a kite
  • Make puppets and have a puppet show
  • Make a bird feeder and feed the birds
  • Visit with a neighbor

Try this homemade play dough recipe!