It’s Screen-Free Week, and this is the second year I’m participating. In lieu of regular blog posts this week, I’ll be posting informational materials from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood that sponsors this event (prepared a week in advance). I’m going to try to stay offline and away from electronic screens from April 30 – May 6, and suggest you (and your family) do the same. You can always catch up on your favorite blogs, websites and email next week. As my mother would say, “Go play outside!”
What is Screen-Free Week?
Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is an annual celebration where children, families, schools, and communities turn off screens and turn on life. Instead of relying on screens for entertainment, participants read, daydream, explore, enjoy nature, and enjoy spending time with family and friends.
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.
Why Screen-Free Week?
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. Time with screens is linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, and attention problems. And it is primarily through screens that children are exposed to harmful marketing. Regardless of whether they are consuming “good” or “bad” programming, it’s clear that screen media dominates the lives of far too many children, displacing all sorts of other activities that are integral to childhood.
Screen-Free Week is a fun and innovative opportunity to improve children’s well-being by reducing dependence on entertainment screen media, including television, video games, computers, and hand-held devices. It’s a chance for all children – and their parents – to examine their relationship with entertainment media and rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen.