Turnoff Week: Ideas to get out and about
This year's "turnoff" week is next week, April 20 to 26. And, instead of being billed as "Turn Off TV Week", the organizers, Center for Screen Time Awareness, is calling the week "Turnoff Week", meaning we unplug from not only TVs, but also videos, games, computers, cell phones, and iPods.
Why turn off?
- Screen Time cuts into family time and is a leading cause of obesity in both adults and children.
- In the US and other industrialized nations around the world, screen time use continue to increase every year.
- The average daily usage for all screens, in some countries, has reached 9 hours per day. This is for recreational use of screens and does not include work time.
- On average, people watch 4 hours of television and then spend another 4 plus hours with computers, games, video, iPods and cell phones
So, what can we do? Here are some ideas to start:
- Hit the playground, and invite school/neighborhood friends. Make it a huge playdate!
- Find out what activities your school may be hosting. Better yet, offer to plan and host an activity.
- Host a session of board game playing at the community center, library, school, or friends house.
- Check out free or reduced-cost swim sessions at the public pools (Columbia on Wednesdays; Buckman on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; and Dishman on Saturdays. Call specific pools for details)
- Gather friends for a short bike ride in the neighborhood.
- Organize a scavenger or treasure hunt.
- Check out the urbanMamas calendar for more ideas for fun. There is something going on every day!
How will you be recognizing Turnoff Week this year? What activities, if any, are planned at your school?
Need more tips or resources? Kaiser has a great run down of sample activities, more information, and a screen-time toolkit to learn fun and healthful alternatives. Check it here.