The Kids Beat

Turn It Off

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Can you live without TV for seven days? What about Facebook? Give it a try during Screen-Free Week, April 18 through 24, an annual, national event that encourages families to unplug. Too much screen time keeps kids from exercising and getting outside and promotes unhealthy eating habits, say organizers from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). Children who spend two or more hours in front of screens each day are more likely to be hyperactive and have difficulties relating to peers. Exposure to screen time starts early — according to a CCFC fact sheet, preschool kids spend 32 hours a week with screen media. During Screen-Free Week, kids and parents can spend that time playing board games, charades or flashlight tag, making pillow forts or fruit smoothies, or organizing a scavenger hunt. Find more activity suggestions on the CCFC website — ironic, right?

Screen-free Week: April 18-24. Info and offline activity suggestions at commercialfreechildhood.org.

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