University of Missouri Extension

F280, Revised March 2014

Play More, Watch Less

National Screen-Free Week, May 5–11, 2014

Did you know?

  • Average U.S. household has 2.5 TVs; one-third of households have 4 or more.
  • Average American watches 36 hours of TV a week.
  • 2- to 5-year-olds watch 25 hours of TV a week.
  • 8- to 18-year-olds watch 4.5 hours of TV a day.
  • 71 percent of 8- to 18-year-olds have a TV in their bedroom.
  • 76 percent of 8- to 18-year-olds have an iPod or MP3 player and 66 percent have a cell phone.
  • From January to March 2012, more iPhones were sold than babies were born worldwide.
UnchainSara Gable
Human Development Extension State Specialist

National Screen-Free Week is an annual celebration of the magic of being unplugged. During this week, parents, children, teachers and others across the country turn off screen media — including TVs, video games, computers, tablets, e-readers, cellphones and smartphones — and get in touch with being unplugged.

Use this time to take a look at your family’s screen-use habits. How many hours are spent using a screen compared to doing other activities? Here are some ways to change these habits:

Screen-Free Week is a program of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood,

Instead of sitting in front of a screen...




Balloons6 to 12 years

Under 5 years

What parents can do

  • Create toy boxes that can be rotated by day or week (adds an element of surprise).
  • Make available plain paper, old magazines, safe scissors, markers or crayons, and tape.
  • Keep a dress-up basket full of clothing and safe accessories.
  • Put a long line of masking tape on the floor to use as a balance beam.
  • Create an obstacle course in the yard.
  • Have lots of books available (board books and picture books). Visit your local library.
  • Provide puppets and encourage children to put on a puppet show.





F280 Play More, Watch Less | University of Missouri Extension

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