Five Ways to Enjoy Screen-Free Week as a Family

During the first week of May, get your kids off their screens and having fun!

By Toni Hill, publisher of Macaroni KID Everett-Marysville-Snohomish-Lake Stevens-Mukilteo, Wash. April 24, 2024

As parents, we often find ourselves in a delicate balancing act between the benefits and drawbacks of screen time for our kids. With Screen-Free Week coming up during the first full week of May, it's the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button and explore alternative activities that promote creativity, imagination, and connection.

One of the biggest challenges during Screen-Free Week, when organizer Fairplay encourages families to take a break from entertainment screens, is keeping our children engaged without the allure of screens. However, with a little creativity and planning, we can turn this challenge into a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. Here are some ideas to get started:

Outdoor Adventures

Take advantage of the spring weather and plan outdoor adventures like nature walks, picnics in the park, or family bike rides. Not only does spending time outdoors encourage physical activity, but it also provides endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Try out local parks, trails, and outdoor attractions you haven't been to yet.

Arts and Crafts

Dust off the art supplies and unleash your child's creativity with a variety of arts and crafts projects. From painting and drawing to DIY crafts and homemade slime, there's no shortage of artistic activities to keep little hands busy and minds engaged. One project that kept our littles entertained for hours was making different shapes out of masking tape on the concrete and then letting them color in each area with different colored chalk. Don't forget to check our archives for crafts and activities!

Family Game Night

Rediscover the joy of old-fashioned family game night with board games, card games, and puzzles. Not only are these activities a great way to bond as a family, but they also promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and social skills. Currently, some of our favorites are UNO Attack, Pay Day, and Yahtzee. We also recently discovered Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition. It is a great way to get our son practicing his reading, sparks great discussions, and also makes the whole family laugh!

Cooking Together

Get the whole family involved in meal preparation by cooking together. Let your kids take the lead in choosing recipes, measuring ingredients, and helping out in the kitchen. Not only does cooking together promote healthy eating habits, but it also teaches valuable life skills. If your family is competitive like mine is, you can even make a competition out of it!

Reading Time

Encourage a love of reading by setting aside dedicated time for family reading sessions. Whether it's diving into a favorite storybook, exploring new genres, or visiting one of our many local libraries, reading together is a wonderful way to ignite imagination and foster a lifelong love of learning. My eight-year-old son's favorite books right now are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

The idea of going screen-free for a week may seem daunting at first, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. By disconnecting from screens and reconnecting with each other and the world around us, we create space for meaningful interactions, creativity, and genuine connection. So, let's embrace Screen-Free Week with open arms and make lasting memories together as a family.

Toni Hill is the publisher of Macaroni KID Everett-Marysville-Snohomish-Lake Stevens-Mukilteo, Wash. All photos, unless otherwise indicated, were taken by the author.