Screen Free Week is an annual celebration from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), which encourages “turning off screens and turning on life.” CCFC’s Screen Free Week begins on Monday April 29th and lasts through Sunday, May 5th. It’s a response to public health concerns about the amount of time children spend with consuming screen media (e.g., computers, smart phones, television, and video games). Isabelle’s screen usage is already well below the average American preschooler’s, which some studies studies estimate between 4.1 to 4.6 hours per day*. (Including multi-tasking, children 8 to 18 spend 7.5 hours per day with screens*!) I credit Waldorf philosophy with the fact she spends no more than an hour (Two hours two days a week when I let her watch “Sesame Street,” plus an occasional half hour watching “CBS This Morning” with me a couple of mornings a week when I’m just craving information.) in front of a screen each day. And that time is in front of an iPad doing expressive and receptive language activities alongside me. Therefore, instead of those couple of hours of “Sesame Street” during Screen Free Week, I’m vowing to spend a bit more time outside. I’ll also be sure I wake up a full hour earlier than Isabelle during all of Screen Free Week so I have ample time to watch the news before she wakes up. As usual, Isabelle and I will read a lot together.
Random House Children’s Books is issuing an UNPLUG & READ Challenge during Screen Free Week. It was inspired by Dan Yaccarino’s Doug Unplugged , which is about a robot who discovers real life experiences trump virtual ones. I’m delighted this blog will be one of the stops on Random House’s UNPLUG & READ Blog Tour on Thursday, April 25th, which is when I’ll review Doug Unplugged.
While it’s not feasible for me to eradicate all screen usage that week because of consulting and blog-related commitments, I will be lessen my media consumption that week so I can get outside to draw (which I haven’t done since we moved to PA almost four years ago!), spend more time reading books and in favor of my writer’s notebook as opposed to writing on my computer.
Looking to decrease your child’s media consumption during Screen Free Week? Click here for the UNPLUG & READ Parent Guide.