Posted on September 21, 2017 at 3:57 PM by Jump IN for Healthy Kids
What can you—as an employer, a school, a child care provider, or another community-based organization—do to help families unplug at home and limit recreational screen time to a maximum of two hours per day?
Educating parents, children, and families about what is healthy—and what the consequences of excessive screen time are—is one strategy. But you can also support their efforts to reduce screen time by making alternative activities available. Try offering activity kits.
What's an Activity Kit?
Create a take-home activity kit by filling an inviting bag or box with new and different activities for kids and families to do at home. Include special items that children like but may not have access to every day. These might include floor puzzles, board games, story books, activity dice, snow block markers, directions and supplies for special arts and crafts, jump ropes, seeds to plant a garden, or an animal tracks book.
How will you provide them?
Develop a check-out system that makes sense for your oganization. Who will be responsible for the bags—the nurse, librarian, front desk staff, human resources personnel? How long will families be allowed to keep them—two nights, one week, two weeks? How will you handle any lost or broken items?
How will you promote them?
You'll need to advertise the activity kits to families. You might send emails, put information in newsletters, create flyers and signs. You can add a simple statement to existing communications:
Attention families! We now provide Take-Home Activity Bags available to check out overnight for a fun alternative to screen time. If you'd like to enjoy a screen-free evening activity with the family, contact ____.
How will you sustain them?
You'll need to keep the bags updated and ensure that contents are in good condition. Swap out some toys and crafts seasonally. Make repairs or replace items as needed.
Adapted from Let's Go! and West School in Portland, ME.