Screen-Free Turn Off TV WeekMay 1st, 2012
Educational Therapist Bonnie Terry
Why Turn Off TV Week?
Why Screen-Free for a Week?
Recent studies show that the amount of time American children and teens spend watching TV, playing video games or surfing the Internet has increased to almost eight hours a day. And that doesn’t include facebook time! So this week is a concentrated effort to pay attention to the amount of time you are on screens and to get a bit more balance in your family life.
Alternatives to Screen Time During Screen-Free Week or Turn Off TV Week
Turn off TV: Several family activities improve memory skills, perception skills, and comprehension skills while being screen-free
- Be screen free and improve memory skills: Add on Stories-improves comprehension and memory skills. You’ll need a flash light for this activity and a bit of imagination. Your family sits around the kitchen table or in the living room. Take turns holding the flashlight. The first person that holds the flashlight starts the story. When that person says ‘what happened next,’ the next person adds to the story. For example: Once upon a time a family went to the zoo and the two brothers went off to see the monkeys…and what happened next…pass the flash light on.
- Spend an evening going through your family photo albums or putting one together. That was one of our families favorite activities!
- Turn off TV and go on a scavenger hunts – give a list of items…they can be done in the house, in the yard, around the block, at the park, even at the mall — several areas of perception including figure ground and visualization which improves comprehension. The key here is to write down where you saw the item rather than collecting the item. Then when you get back home, describe where you saw the item in great detail. That will improve visualization skills (ability to make pictures in your mind) which improves comprehension skills.
- Play board games as a family: Some of our favorite games are The Sentence Zone and The Comprehension Zone. These games are fun activities to do in an evening with the whole family. You never know who will win and you are improving writing skills, grammar skills, and comprehension skills while playing. Definitely a win-win!
We have over 80 fun family activities in our family activity book you can download. The activities include:
- things to do around the house
- outdoor activities
- field trips to take.
What if I can’t unplug all week What if I just can’t turn off TV for a whole week?
Don’t be hard on yourself-set limits and stick to them. Planning ahead helps, but don’t feel guilty if you don’t make it the whole week. What you do do will still make a difference! Turn off TV week, even if you go from 7 hours a day to 5 hours a day will make a big difference!