There are many ways we can organize to support one another via technology, but for young children, they need hands-on, concrete ways to help. Whether it’s chores around the house, making masks, or helping to deliver groceries for immunocompromised neighbors, there are so many unplugged ways to give to the community and build relationships with one another in a time when we need it most.
Unplug to help for Screen-Free Saturdays!
Kid-Friendly Ways to Help
Start with a book. I’m a huge fan of using books to start a discussion. Check out this list of 11 Picture Books to Teach Children about Giving to Others. Image from Brightly.
Make masks! Sewing is a fantastic activity to learn starting in preschool and extending into adulthood — not only does it help kids to develop their finger muscles, but it’s also a practical creative outlet! There are a number of tutorials for hand sewn masks as well as using the sewing machine , but if they feel more comfortable with glue than needle and thread, they can make no-sew masks! Make sure to print or write your instructions down before Screen-Free Saturday to avoid the pull of the computer!
Collect seeds! Making sure everyone has access to healthy food is an important effort for kids to participate in. One way that some kids have been helping is collecting and saving seeds. Consider inviting your kids to harvest seeds and to donate them to local food co-ops, seed shares, and community gardens. Or, have them plant their own food!
Help around the house! Empower your kids to make their bed, put their toys away, help with dinner, sweep the floors, and participate in your home community! Older children can help take care of their siblings by reading and playing together, or even planning fun family activities for Screen-Free Saturdays and throughout the week.
Give blood! If your teen is comfortable, they can give blood, which is especially helpful during the pandemic! You can use this website to find a donation center and schedule an appointment to make a blood donation in your area.
Wash your hands and stay home! Of course, the best way to help right now is to slow the spread of COVID-19. So, follow your local guidance and the needs of your family!
Want more ideas? Check out this list from Self-Sufficient Kids.
LookUp to StepUp
Our friends at Lookup.live have been challenging teens and young adults to take on community challenges with their LookUp to Step Up campaign- a way to encourage teens to use social media for good, when they do use it. Check out their recent blog on using social media as a form of digital protest in support of Black Lives Matter.
New blog post!
Check out our recent blog post by teen Haydn Wolfers who is working to complete her Girl Scout Gold Award by teaching upper elementary schools about digital wellness! Find the post here: https://www.screenfree.org/haydn-wolfers-inspiring-teen/
As schools look to “reopen,” technology is a big part of the proposed plan. So, what do we need to consider to make sure our kids don’t get lost in the digital shuffle? Our 3-part series, “Back to School During Covid: The Case for Limiting EdTech” provides answers, inspiration, and practical solutions. Check out the recordings at: www.screentimenetwork.org/recording-archive.
The past several months have been difficult to say the least, exacerbating inequities and hitting each community in different ways. Scientists explain that in times of crisis, acts of kindness and helping others (wherever we’re at in our ability to help) can boost our own health and well being. So, spread the love however you can this month!
P.S. Share your experience with us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us @screenfreeweek on your social media (after Saturday, of course). Let us know what issues came up so we can troubleshoot together!
P.P.S. Don’t forget to share the pledge with your friends and family!