Turn off the tube and enjoy some quality time with your children during Screen-Free Week (April 30–May 6), an annual event in which families, schools and communities leave all screens dark. Reports suggest that preschoolers spend an average of 32 hours a week in front of the television or a computer screen, and older children spend even more time there. Excessive screen time can lead to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention problems and reduced creative play.

Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is a way to help children lead happier, healthier lives by reducing their dependence on entertainment screen media—including television, video games, computers and hand-held devices. In a press release, Screen-Free Week’s organizers encouraged children and families to unplug and to instead make time to play, connect with nature, read, daydream, create, explore and spend more time with family and friends.

Visit www.screenfree.org to learn more about this event and to download a free Screen-Free Week Organizer’s Kit. It’s packed with fact sheets, suggestions for screen-free activities, pledge cards and more.