Screen-Free Week 2017 Makes a Real Difference!

By all accounts Screen-Free Week 2017 was bigger and better for more children and families than ever!

Screen-Free Week by the Numbers

141 Registered SFW celebrations around the nation (and countless more unregistered ones!)

72 Children and parents attended the family picnic at Mission Hill School in Boston

90 Students took the screen free pledge last week at Van Dyke Elementary School in Coleraine, MN

702 Registered Children’s Book Week locations (many of whom also celebrated SFW)

40 Seventh Graders at Bedford Central Schools in NY who found Screen-Free Week to be easier – and more fun — than they thought!

47 Organizations endorsing Screen-Free Week 2017

120 Students who met Mr. Purdy’s Screen-Free Week challenge at Mounds Park Academy, Saint Paul, MN. He dyed his hair pink when they did!

Chicago Waldorf Schools SFW 2017

Three early childhood kids work with High Schoolers from Chicago Waldorf School to clean up Welles Park.

Van Dyke Elementary School kids who pledged to go Screen-Free May 1 – 7 were entered into drawings for a whole bunch of prizes. One was this bright green bicycle!

Van Dyke Elementary School kids who pledged to go Screen-Free May 1 – 7 were entered into drawings for a whole bunch of prizes. One was this bright green bicycle!

What people are saying about Screen-Free Week:

“It was much easier than expected! The best part was no negotiations with the kids! Favorite activity- lots of yard work, campfires and playing outside! I will not be putting the Facebook app back on my phone and hope to decrease visits to it to once daily.” — Elizabeth H

“Even though Screen-Free Week is over, my 7-year-old hasn’t asked to watch any TV after school. Instead we finished a puzzle. Her favorite thing about Screen-Free Week? “Spending more time with my family!” We practiced piano, played games, and played records. She also played outside by herself. We will definitely be limiting screen time going forward. This was our 3rd year participating!” — Kristi R.

Linden Hill PTA in Wilmington, DE celebrating with ice cream!

Linden Hill PTA in Wilmington, DE celebrating at the roller rink and with ice cream!

Linden Hill PTA in Wilmington, DE celebrating at the roller rink

Linden Hill PTA in Wilmington, DE celebrating at the roller rink

“A lot of my students were surprised by how much they could do! Their social skills increased noticeably. I found kids interacting more with each other and saying ‘That’s a great idea,’ or ‘I did that, too!’ It’s a big change from young kids who spend a lot of time with screens and don’t know how to talk or act around one another.” – Emily Caldwell, first grade teacher

“We started early this year, stopping shows and movies for the whole family about a month ago. Our 4-year-old daughter stopped asking to watch anything at around day 4. Before we stopped screen time we were always trying to balance indoor time with outdoor time. But when we stopped watching shows, we’ve found our weekends to be so full with trips to the forest, long bike rides to parks, lots and lots of gardening in the backyard. We have no plans to change this dynamic now.” — Andrea C.

We played a lot of games, spent loads of time outdoors and everyone finished a book from start to end! — Jillian P.

My daughter and I had a great experience. We noticed how much more we got done. Screen-Free Week reminded us how much we enjoy doing other things together. And we are definitely watching less TV now! — Meredith K.

Favorite Things!

Everyone has their favorite Screen-Free Activities. We bet you can think of several right now. Here at CCFC, we did crafts played board games and enjoyed lunch together. Here are some of the fun activities all of you reported doing May 1 – 7! Book reading! Karaoke. Neighborhood dinners. Family yoga. Hiking. Arts and Crafts. Scavenger Hunts. Board games. Fort-building. Kite Flying. Listening to music. Playing musical instruments.

Mission Hill School, Boston, MA building and bubbles!

Mission Hill School, Boston, MA building and bubbles!

After Screen-Free Week

  1. Use the American Academy of Pediatrics great tool to make a Family Media plan
  2. Screen-Proof your home. Keep meals screen-free, and be sure to carve out screen-free time every day. Consider designating one day per week as Family Screen-Free Day.
  3. Have young children? Check out these 7 Parent Tested Tips to Unplug and Play
  4. Mark Your Calendar! Screen-Free Week 2018 is April 30 – May 4!