What a week! From San Diego to Sydney, kids families and communities unplugged for Screen-Free Week 2018. And not only did they survive, they had a blast!

Here’s what we’ve heard:

  • Kids were more active
    They scaled rock climbing walls, jumped rope, wiggled on jungle gyms, hiked, danced, and got their feet wet at the beach. Students at the Margaret E. Small Elementary School on Cape Cod saddled up for their first bike rodeo! It’s the second year the school has celebrated big with the school nurse, guidance counselors and teachers working hard to make it a meaningful week.
  • Kids were more creative
    They painted, created cardboard structures, played board games, language games and math games. Anthony from Hyde Park New York said, “…when my house had no TV, computer and video games, all I did was read. Until one day I dreamed big about becoming a writer… Lovito read gave me an idea to write my own book…it made me happy.”
  • Kids used their extra time to help others
    Students at Warrenton Middle School in Virginia kids made cozy blankets out of donated felt to bring to pediatric cancer patients. “We’ve even had teachers sign the pledge,” said Linda Hume, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at the school.
  • Kids came up with their own ideas
    At Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, kids wrote cards with all the different activities they wanted to try on Screen-Free Week.
  • Kids were proud of their achievement
    Screen-Free Week also helps children achieve a goal, while trying out all kinds of unplugged ways of being. Classes at the Parent Center School in Salinas, California, couldn’t wait to hold up their certificates for a photo.

Making Screen-Free Week last

For many families and communities, Screen-Free Week is a springboard for assessing their relationship with media and making lasting changes.  Here are some ways to bring Screen-Free Week into your year ahead.

  • Make a family media plan – the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Family Media Plan can help families devise a family plan that meets their needs and values.
  • Take the Wait Until 8th pledge with other parents to wait until least until eighth grade to give a smartphone to your child.
  • Try Device-Free Dinners  – with everyone’s screens out of the way, families can enjoy conversation at the table.
  • Improve sleep by setting bedtime limits – the AAP recommends that children’s bedrooms be screen-free at night and that screens are turned off at least one hour before bedtime.
  • Make a screen-free day or evening a regular part of your family’s routine – and stick to it!

And Save the Date for Screen-Free Week 2019: April 29 – May 5!