Changes to Screen-Free Week for 2024 and beyond!

Changes to Screen-Free Week for 2024 and beyond!

Thank you so much for being a part of Screen-Free Week in the past or your new interest in our event! At Fairplay, there are so many things we love about Screen-Free Week: the real life connection, the giggles, the chances to explore new things.

We also love how unique each celebration is. Last year’s celebrants hosted game nights, put on magic shows, had tea parties, and read lots of books. Some people celebrated in May while others found it easier to unplug during school vacation. To allow for even more unique participation, we’ve made some changes to Screen-Free Week, making it even more flexible than ever!

The new! Screen-Free Week:

  • Can be celebrated anytime! We’ve removed the dates from many of our resources so that your celebration can happen when you want and where you want. You can always feel free to celebrate during the first full week of May (next year, it’s May 6-12, 2024), but you don’t have to!

  • Can be celebrated anywhere! Our robust resource library is filled with resources to help you host a celebration or celebrate yourself, whether at home, at your library, at school, at a business, and more! The resource library will remain available and FREE!

  • Doesn’t require registration. We’re making participating as simple as possible: no need for registration or pledges through our website.

  • Can be renamed at your discretion. Many people have expressed that the name just doesn’t work for them anymore. We don’t care what you call the week (okay, maybe not “We Love When Big Tech Companies Monetize Kids Week”) as long as you celebrate!

This year, you’ll see fewer emails from us promoting Screen-Free Week, but the spirit remains the same. Plus, we’re still here for you– email us at with your questions!

Happy unplugging!

Screen-Free Booklist Authors Celebrate Screen-Free Week

Screen-Free Booklist Authors Celebrate Screen-Free Week

Our 2023 Screen-Free Booklist, in collaboration with Children’s Book Week is filled with awesome books to inspire healthy screen time! Three authors of books added this year shared videos with us where they talk about Screen-Free Week or read from their stories. Check them out below and get the full booklist here. 

Author Howard Pearlstein wishes us a happy Screen-Free Week and talks about his book, Connor Crowe Can’t Let Go!


“Would you rather have 100 friends that you’ve never met online or one that will actually show up in person when you really needed them?” Author Dr. Allan Peterkin reads from Peacock & Sketch.

Author Annette Sexton reads from Timmy’s Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress (But I Tame It, Big Time) for Screen-Free Week.

Stephanie Wildman reads her book, Treasure Hunt, a new addition to the Screen-Free Children’s Booklist this year! 

We can’t wait to celebrate with you during Children’s Book Week and Screen-Free Week, from May 1-7, 2023! Happy reading!

NEW! Books to Inspire Healthy Screen Use

NEW! Books to Inspire Healthy Screen Use

We love celebrating during the same week as Children’s Book Week because one of our favorite Screen-Free Week activities is reading! 

Each year, we pair up with the Children’s Book Council to curate a list of books that inspire kids and teens to unplug and have healthy relationships with technology! This year, we added six awesome new books to our list! We love so much about them, but here are the highlights, below:

by David W. Miles, illus. by Natalie Hoopes (Familius)
What we love: Simple words and soft illustrations celebrate the idea that books, with no off switch and no need to charge, hold amazing worlds! (Ages 4-8)


Climb On!
by Baptiste Paul, illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara (NorthSouth Books)
What we love: This multilingual (English and Creole) book tells the story of a child who pulls her dad away from the TV to go for a hike. The two bond as they encounter little adventures on the way to the top! (Ages 4-8)


Peacock and Sketch
by Allan Peterkin, MD, illus. by Sandhya Prabhat (APA Books for Children and Teens)
What we love: Kid-friendly commentary on influencers and fast fame! We love the illustrations, the quirky Peacock character, and the message of the importance of real friendship. (Ages 4-8)


Connor Crowe Can’t Let Go
by Howard Pearlstein, illus. by Stefani Buijsman (Clavis)
What we love: It’s hard to put down the screen; this book adds humor to the problem when the screen literally sticks to little Connor! (Ages 5-9)


Treasure Hunt
by Stephanie Wildman, illus. by Estefania Razo (Lawley Publishing)
What we love: A big brother leads younger siblings away from video games and toward a fun treasure hunt! We love to see siblings guiding siblings in healthy screen habits. (Ages 5-12)


Timmy’s Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress (But I Tame It, Big Time)
by Dr. Raun Melmed, illus. Jeff Harvey (Familius)
What we love: This book was written by an ADHD expert for children who need support with device use. We love that it offers concrete tactics for managing screen time, a suggestion made by a peer to Timmy the monster who finds success and a happy balance in the end. (Ages 7-11)

The list also features past winners, which include books for readers ages 0-18! Get the full list here.

What we love about these books is they serve as great conversation starters. We look for books that don’t shame kids about their screen use, but instead are empathetic to how hard it is to put down a device while also providing inspiration to unplug!

We can’t wait to celebrate with you during Children’s Book Week and Screen-Free Week, from May 1-7, 2023! Happy reading!


Research says… unplug!

Research says… unplug!

 At Fairplay, we love Screen-Free Week for many reasons. Each year, we get stories from people around the globe about how unplugging, even just for one day, helped siblings get along better, connected people across communities, and boosted creativity.

We love hearing from people about their experiences, but what does research say about the benefits of taking time off screens?

The latest screen-free research

Last May, researchers from the University of Bath in the UK looked at the impact of taking a one week break from social media. They found that the levels of depression and anxiety dropped significantly when participants (age 18-72) took a break from popular platforms like TikTok, Instagram and SnapChat.

According to Bloomberg, the lead author Dr. Jeff Lambert said:

“Many of our participants reported positive effects from being off social media with improved mood and less anxiety overall. This suggests that even just a small break can have an impact.

With the growing mental health crisis, we know that immediate interventions are needed to improve mental health especially of young people. A new study published in February 2023 by the American Psychological Association, “validates what some parents have experienced when their teenagers cut back: They seem to feel better about themselves.”

Reducing their screen time by just 60 minutes a day for three weeks made a significant positive difference in young people’s sense of self. 

Unplugging also helps parents and kids build relationships. Researchers in Turkey actually studied Screen-Free Week and found that families who participated in Screen-Free Week realized:

  • It was important to be intentional about how they interact with their kids
  • That kids are happier when their families spend screen-free time with them

Following Screen-Free Week, families took the time to choose programs and digital games together and also set specific limits around screen time!

Screen-Free Week is a great chance to take stock of your screen hygiene and set new practices in motion! 

For more information on the effects of technology on our mental health, check out this video by Fairplay’s Screen Time Action Network

Thank you to Rachel Franz for this guest post. Rachel is Fairplay’s Education Director and former coordinator of Screen-Free Week.