There are many ways computers, mobile devices, and the internet have made our lives better, but the flip side of all the benefits they bring into our lives is the unhealthy, growing tendency to spend huge amounts of time in front of screens each day.
The average adult spends over 8 hours in front of a screen every day. For teens, the average jumps to 11 hours. For all the interesting information and fun games you may be filling those hours with online, committing to taking a break from it all for a week to spend time with your family can help everyone remember how fun life was before all those screens came into play.
In case you're worried you won't be able to think of anything to do that doesn't involve a tv, computer, or smartphone, we can help.
7 Fun Ways To Celebrate Screen-Free Week
1. Cook a meal together.
You probably have some old family cookbooks around or favorite recipes you know by heart. Pick a few favorite dishes to make together during Screen-Free Week. You could even make it into a family history lesson. Were there recipes your parents commonly made for you growing up, or recipes their parents made for them? If you pick a recipe a grandparent regularly ate during the depression, you'll get the added bonus of saving money.
2. Take a hike.
Most national, state, and local parks are free, so there's no good reason not to get out of the house and enjoy nature together. If you're planning on a really long outing, take a picnic along. You'll get a nice reminder of how much there is to talk about, even without quick internet searches fueling the conversation.
3. Play games.
No, not Candy Crush or video games. There is a huge variety of board games you can choose from, not to mention the dozens of games you can play with a deck of cards. Maybe it's time to see how your kids fare at Spades or Rummy? You just might be inspired to make game night a weekly thing. (Want to win some awesome board games for free? Check out our sweepstakes at the bottom of this post by May 5, 2014!)
4. Write and act out a play.
It can be just a scene or two but will get everyone in the family thinking creatively. Figure out your characters (one for each family member), brainstorm plot ideas, then get right down to the dialogue. You might be surprised how much fun it is creating something together (and getting a little goofy when it comes time to act it out).
5. Do crafts together.
You can draw pictures, make homemade cards to send to family members, or see what items you already have around the house that can be made into fun decor. Check out Pinterest and our blog for a few ideas before Screen-Free Week begins on Monday. Then either stock up on items from the local crafts store, or figure out what you can use around the house.
6. Read out loud together.
Does your family have a favorite book? If not you can borrow some ideas from other sources. Reading out loud is good practice for improving reading and speaking skills, so pass the book around and give everyone a turn.
7. Do a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood.
Take a walk around your neighborhood and make a list of the things you see. Turn that into a kid-friendly scavenger hunt. You can add a little community service incentive to the mix by sending the kids off with trash bag and making who picks up the most trash a way to earn points.