A Week of Rediscovery

Are you ready to change your family’s relationship with screens?

Join us for Screen-Free Week, a global invitation the first week in May to take a break from entertainment screens and experience more peace, connection, and fun!

Anyone can participate! Simply choose the platforms/apps/devices most problematic for you or your family, set a goal (take an hour off, a day, or the whole week!) and enjoy the free time that opens!

If you’re part of a school, library, faith-based institution, or organization, we invite you to host a Screen-Free Week celebration and enjoy the week in community!

Past groups have planned pool parties, nature hikes, craft nights, author readings, and concerts. The opportunities are endless!

This website has all the resources you’ll need for a successful Screen-Free Week, like our event planning guides, library of free event downloads, and blog. To receive even more perks, tips, incentives, and support, join our Screen-Free Week mailing list!

Our Screen-Free Week story.

Spending time on screens can be particularly harmful to kids who need creative play to thrive. That’s why Henry Labalme and Matt Pawa created TV Turnoff Week in 1994.

In 2010, TV Turnoff Week became Screen-Free Week, and found a new home at Fairplay.

Thirty years later, we’re wiser about kids and screens… but also facing more complex problems.

In the past, we were concerned about kids being a captive audience for the marketing of products on TV. Today, OUR KIDS have become the product—their attention, their preferences, their connections, their content, their locations are all being captured, tracked, bought, and sold between tech giants and brands worldwide.

Our goal is to monitor and educate the community about this new reality and to advocate for kids to have the dignity of privacy and play. Taking even a small break from screens the first week in May (or, whenever works best for you) is how to begin that journey.

Elementary and high school students from Chicago Waldorf School clean up Welles Park during Screen-Free Week 2017.

What People Are Saying

“I saw my 9-year-old daughter laying on the floor, just daydreaming. I immediately thought, ‘Oh no, she is bored, maybe she could…’ then I stopped myself and just let her lay there. She wasn’t bored, just deep in thought. We don’t always have to be doing something!” – Kim G., Ivins, UT
“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. Loving to read gave me an idea to write my own book.” – Anthony, 11, New York
“I wanted to play on my screen, then I thought of something I really wanted to do – play with my friends.” – Damien, first grade, Massachusetts

Who is the team behind Screen-Free Week?

Fairplay (formerly Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) is dedicated to ending child-targeted marketing and teaching people about commercialism’s impact on kids’ wellbeing. Since 2000, we’ve led a powerful movement of health professionals, educators, advocates, and parents who believe that childhood should be shaped by what’s best for children, not by corporate profits. By helping kids, families, and communities unplug from ad-supported screens, Fairplay helps children get the time and space for creative play – and face-to-face relationships with caring adults – they need to thrive.

Rachel Franz, M.Ed

Rachel (she/her) is Fairplay’s Education Manager who oversees Screen-Free Week. She is an advocate for young children, with a deep commitment to helping children and families find meaningful connections in a media-heavy world. Rachel earned a B.A. with honors in Environmental Studies, where she published her innovative research on picture books as a tool for consumerism education, and received an M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from Champlain College, focusing on nurturing preschoolers’ self-control in an “instant gratification society.” Rachel has worked as a founding Director and Lead Teacher at the nation’s largest all-outdoor preschool, and is a founding member of the NAEYC Young Professionals Advisory Council.

Jean Rogers, M.S.Ed

Jean is the Director of Fairplay’s Screen Time Action Network, a coalition of practitioners, educators, advocates and parents working to reduce children’s excessive use of digital devices and support principles of healthy child development. Author of Kids Under Fire, she has been presenting, writing and speaking about children’s screen use since 2009. She holds a Master’s in Education and a Certificate in Parenting Education from the Wheelock School of Education at Boston University. She joined Fairplay in 2016, inspired by the work of founder Susan Linn and the organization’s capacity to prevent commercialism from usurping children’s character, habits, and creativity.

Questions? Contact Us!

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