Early Ages Healthy Stages is gearing up to celebrate National Screen Free Week, May 1-7, 2017!
April 27, 2017
Celebrating National Screen Free Week: May 1-7, 2017
by Joan Spoerl
What if we turned off our televisions, computers, smart phones, hand-held devices and video games (except for necessary work) for seven straight days? Perhaps the following: better sleep, increased brain activity, live conversations, walks taken, gardens tended, homes repaired, books read, games played, creativity and exploration, and meaningful connections between families and friends.
Participate in Screen-Free Week, May 1-7, and see what happens! This year, Early Ages Healthy Stages will begin taking part in this national tradition that started in 1995. Join the millions of children and families around the world that will turn off screens and turn on life, by pledging to spend seven days without screens.
While screens can be helpful in many ways, research shows that there are many costs to too much screen time. Excessive screen time (more than two hours a day) is associated with sleep disturbances, attention span issues, psychological difficulties, hyperactivity, conduct problems, poor academic achievement, reduced physical activity, higher levels of aggression, delayed language acquisition, and childhood obesity.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all for children under age 2 and less than two hours per day for children 2 and older, many American children spend more time in front of a screen than they do in school. Children who spend less time with screens in their early years tend to do better in school, have a healthier diet, are more physically active and are better able to engage in schoolwork in later elementary school.
Here are just a few examples of things that your family can do instead of screens:
- Take a walk or ride bikes together. Talk about the things that you see along the way!
- Read a book (or two, or three!) together. Discuss the book’s characters and themes!
- Prepare dinner and share a healthy family meal together. Ask your family about their day!
- Write a short play and act it out for each other. Take time to get creative!
- Talk about your dreams. Share your goals and make plans for the future!
- Grow something in the garden. Learn about how things grow!
Visit, www.screenfree.org to take the pledge to go screen free! Check out our Online Resources page to start planning for your week without screens.
Let’s take this opportunity to explore your own ideas and creations, cherish the company of our loved ones, and appreciate the wonders that the real world has to offer. Happy un-plugging!