Screen-Free Week is an annual, week long challenge and celebration of the joys of life beyond the screen. From May 2nd to May 8th, 2016, kids, families, and communities including Let’s Go! will collectively unplug from all TV, phones, tablets, computers, and video games as entertainment. Yes, for the entire week! We’ll be spending our new found free time playing, reading, exercising, creating, exploring, cooking, and connecting with family and friends.
Let’s Go! recently met up with a local Maine family to see how they manage screen time at home. Check out their tips in the video below and read on for more about why going screen-free is so important!
Understanding Recreational Screen Time
Trust us, we understand it’s not easy to detach from our screen-based habits, and we know screens can often be essential to our lives—including those moments we just need some back-seat quiet during a long car ride, or a whine-free dinner out. That’s why it’s important to first recognize what is essential screen time, and what screen time is purely recreational or entertainment-based.
Screens are powerful tools that are full of potential for our daily lives, but with adolescents and teens spending 7+ hours a day in front of a screen, we need to encourage opportunities to limit our recreational and entertainment-based screen time whenever possible. Screen-Free Week gives us all the kick-start we need to understand the potential and experience the possibility of limiting screen time every day.
Benefits of Reducing Screen Time
The benefits of reducing daily screen time for adolescents and teens are well researched and broadly impactful to their health and well-being. It’s why Let’s Go! recommends 2 hours or less of recreational screen time per day for kids and teens. By establishing 2-hour limits, we’re able to increase the time kids are physically active and socially engaged, and decrease their exposure to advertisements for unhealthy food options. All of these opportunities influence the many proven benefits of reducing screen time. Decreased screen time is proven to:
- Lower obesity
- Decrease attention problems
- Improve school performance
- Improve sleep quality
Be A Role Model
Screen-Free Week is a great chance to put on your role modeling shoes, and show your kids, family, school, or program all the amazing opportunities of unplugging. Go for a bike ride after dinner instead of your regular TV programming. Encourage your kids to build an obstacle course, make a chalk mural, go on a bug hunt, bake some cookies. Your teens can help cook dinner, put together a DIY project for their bedroom, or enjoy some personal time with friends without the screen! Dance, sing, enjoy the extra time together!
Miss the video before? Check it out below!