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5 Simple Ways to Replace Screen Time

Turn off the screens and reconnect.

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Screen Free Week May 1-7 is an opportunity to turn off the screens (except when necessary for homework or work) and reconnect. Remember, this isn’t just screen-free kids week, it’s for the whole family. Parents have an opportunity to model (or learn) alternatives to screen usage.

Make the pledge at screenfree.org and to avoid falling into regular screen habits, physically unplug electronics. Collect remote controls, chargers, and gaming units in a box and put them on a high shelf for the week. If kids have phones to take to school, collect them at the end of the school day and hand them back out as they leave in the morning. Fill the days with unplugged activities.

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1. Walk, Bike, or Hike

In many countries, there is a tradition of taking a stroll before or after dinner. Instead of reaching for the remote, plan for a relaxing walk or bike ride around the neighborhood.

2. Read Together

Visit the library and bring a tote bag. Check out fiction, how-to, hobby, or travel books, or whatever your family enjoys. It’s ok to use the computer here to search for books.

3. Cook or Bake Together

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Find a new recipe to try and teach the kids basic kitchen skills like chopping veggies and following a recipe.

4. Life Skills University

Teach kids the basics: how to do laundry, wash the car, create a budget, or even practice fire escape routes. Your kids like to be with you and enjoy learning from you.

5. Play Games or Make Up Your Own

Pull out the board games and puzzles and roll the dice. If the kids have outgrown the games you have, pack them up to donate. Then make up your own games.

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