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April 30, 2018 Screen-Free Week

Morton County Extension News
Liz Larson, Parent and Family Resource Center
For the week of April 30, 2018

Dates to Remember

May 8, 15, 22              Caring for Kids, Mandan
May 10                        Morton County Soil Conservation District Meeting, Mandan
May 29                        4-H Communication Arts Contest

 

Screen-Free Week
            April 30 – May 6 is the designated “Screen-Free Week” this year. How does that concept sound? A bit frightening or perhaps makes your stomach flip. Can you imagine a whole week without any screens? Smart phones, pads, lap tops, televisions. I know many of you are thinking that sounds great but…I need them for my work, my child uses a screen for school work, how would we stay in touch with Grandma, or our Friday family movie night wouldn’t be the same. Yes there are many wonderful uses of screens and technology, however, research is showing we are impacted. Our sleep, our moods, and our interactions with others. So we may not be ready or able to completely unplug, but entertain these “7 Parent-Tested Tips to Unplug and Play” from www.screenfree.org and rediscover some joys or moments that may be missing in your family by an excess of screen time.

Tip #1: Rearrange the furniture
Turn your living room into a place for family interaction and play by arranging the furniture so the TV is not the focus of the room.

Tip #2: Start the day screen-free
Create a morning routine that doesn’t involve screens. How we start our day sets the mood and expectation for the rest of our day.

Tip #3: Enjoy screen-free meals
Make meals a time for your family to talk about the day without distraction from TV, smartphones, and other screens. Have a designated spot to place phones so everyone (parents/adults included) are paying 100% attention to one another.

Tip #4: Encourage sensory play
Provide easy play options, like sensory play – which gives children the change to explore using their sight, touch, and other senses- to engage kids while you get things done around the house. Did you know young children learn through exploring with their whole bodies? This means including all of their senses.

Tip #5: Explore the outdoors
Make memories by planning outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy together. This is especially true in North Dakota where we have days during the winter where it’s nearly impossible to play outside. Take advantage of beautiful weather, changing scenery, and dress appropriately if it’s not the perfect day so the family can still get some outside time.

Tip #6: Create activity kits
Make activity kits using supplies you already have to keep children busy during transition time between one activity and the next and other tricky times of the day.

Tip #Limit your own screen time
Take a break from your smartphone and other screens during periods of the day to give your child your uninterrupted attention. Remember - what they see modeled is what they do too!

Are you or your family doing a screen-free week, weekend, or day? Share your experience or story with us on Facebook as we recognize national screen-free week. Follow us on Facebook @NDSUExtensionPRCRegion7

These tips found at www.screenfree.org and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood www.commercialfreechildhood.org/tip-7-limit-your-own-screen-time

For more information or resources contact Liz Larson with the NDSU Extension Parent and Family Resource Center | Region 7 at 701-667-3342 or Liz.Larson@ndsu.edu 

 

 

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