The first week in May is one of our favorite weeks of the year! This week, May 1-7, is Screen Free Week and celebrates and encourages parents to unplug, turn off the tv and engage their kids in active, imaginative, creative play. This is a topic near and dear to Creative QT's heart!
In fact, our mission to encourage families to Make Time Together is rooted in our passion for helping families turn away from screens and focus on spending time together instead. The average American child watches about 28 hours of television a week. This is significantly more time than the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends.
For reference, here are a few of the AAP's guidelines:
- For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
- For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
It's no secret that parenting is hard. But, the time to be the hero in our kids' lives is now. Turn off the television and engage in active, imaginative play with them! Build memories that your children will cherish forever.
So, in honor of Screen Free Week, join us in celebrating a screen-free weekend! It's not too late to join in! Here are a few of our favorite activity ideas for a screen-free weekend.
Go on a Picnic: It's warming up in most of the US and is becoming lovely picnic weather. The key to a great picnic is "it doesn't have to be perfect!" Even if you just eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and fruit snacks the kids will love it. Take a frisbee or a soccer ball along to play with post-eating.
Have a Bonfire: Even if you just have a bonfire on your grill, head to the grocery and grab some hotdogs and s'more fixings. Instead of watching a movie on Saturday night, spend time outside telling stories and eating s'mores.
Plant Flowers: Are you working on some big landscaping projects this weekend? Have your kids help you! Don't just let them sit inside playing on their ipad. Teach them how to dig holes, about the different types of flowers, when/how to water them and on and on. It might take you longer, and a bit more patience but your kids will love learning from you!
LEGO® Building Challenge: Do you remember the April LEGO® challenge we did? Print it off again and pick a few of your favorite challenges out and let the kids build away!
Declutter the Kid's Rooms: So this may not sound fun ... but if everyone pitches in you may be surprised how quickly it goes. And the whole family will feel that gratification of accomplishing a task together! Head to our latest post about decluttering for some tips.
Have a great idea for celebrating a screen-free weekend? Leave a comment and share!