“Screen Free Week” was introduced in 1994, but back then it was called, “TV Turnoff Week.” Te same principle still applies – the less time kids spend in front of the screen, the better it is for their health and development. Ungluing glazed eyes away from toy reveal videos, Sesame Street singalongs, or watching other people play can give kids the opportunity to do what they do best – play and learn. Playing is a critical part of child development when children experience the world around them based on authentic social interactions and discovering new things. Studies have not just shown that the blue light from screens inhibits sleep, but that too much screen time raises the risk of a sedentary lifestyle that can lead to obesity and heart disease.
Screen Time Is Not All That Bad
With all of that being said, smartphones, tablets, and TV screens, are an inescapable part of modern living and provide educational content made for children. That’s why you’re not a “bad” parent for putting a screen in front of your child – it’s a part of life and sometimes moms and dads need a break.
And now that the coronavirus has effectively shut most of the world indoors, screen time is inescapable. Instead of everyone at home stuck to their own personal devices the whole day, you can try the many screen free home entertainment suggestions and spend quality family time together. And you don’t even have to hide the smart devices!
Screen Free Entertainment
You can start the transition at home with screen free meal times as well as a screen free hour for the family to play a game together. Whether it’s a classic game of charades or a walk around the neighborhood, there is definitely something for the family to do together for an hour away from the Internet.
For quiet time, smart devices can still be around, but instead of scrolling through social media, playing games, or watching videos, you can try other screen free entertainment like podcasts and audiobooks. While listening, everyone can be doing their own thing like doodling, learning to knit, sudoku, crosswords, or anything else that’ll keep their hands busy as they listen and learn. As a family, you can learn and listen to podcasts like:
As a family, you can listen to audiobooks of classic stories while playing a card game, board game, or doing your own thing all in the same room winding down before bed.
Staying Home Without Going Stir Crazy
Most people know that too much screen time isn’t good for anybody, but because social distancing limits the things to do and places to go, it’s easier to let the screens eat up our time. Try something new and detach your family’s faces from the screens and have a cooking competition, an experiment night, or just a quiet evening of relaxing and listening to the next chapter of the current family audiobook.