This year an international celebration known as Screen-Free Week will take place from May 1st- May 7th. Screen-Free Week, formerly known as TV-Turnoff, is one week each year where people swap out technology and digital devices for time to get creative, read and play outside with friends and family! This week is also the 98th anniversary of Children's Book Week, an annual celebration for young people and the joy that reading brings. Children's Book Week is also considered the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country!
You can still use devices during the week but if it interferes with family time you may want to reconsider how important it is. While it can be difficult to completely detach from all technology, simply being aware of how much time we spend connected to devices can help. According to the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, reducing screen time can help prevent childhood obesity. Screen time is also linked to other toddler health factors that include increased BMI, irregular sleep patterns, and delayed language acquisition. As the weather gets warmer what better way to get out and enjoy it than screen-free?
Here are a few activities for screen-free fun:
- Hike at Humpback Rocks
- Plant flowers
- Bake cookies and share with a neighbor
- See a movie at Hull's Drive-In
- Make cards for holidays or birthdays
- Learn about different cultures at the Frontier Culture Museum
- Make a nature collage
- Play catch or Frisbee at Ridgeview Park
- Create sidewalk art with chalk
- Visit the Staunton Farmer's Market
- Rent books from the Augusta County Library
- Plan a yard sale (with a lemonade stand!)
There are many different ways to get involved, by either organizing a screen-free week (if you do make sure to register online for more information and certificates!) or simply participating on your own.
For more information on Screen-Free Week and its benefits check out:
Information provided by Sarah Conyers, student intern with Community Outreach at Augusta Health. To contact Dana Breeding, RN, relating to the information in this article or with questions/comments/concerns, please call (540) 332-4988 or (540) 932-4988.