CCFC Blog

Worried about how to pass the time without TV, computers, or video games? Never fear! We have compiled a list of fun and creative ideas for screen-free fun all year-round. Turn off screens, turn on life and enjoy learning and creating with your family. Outdoor Activities Go on a bug hunt.Go for a hike.Create a crayon melt with your broken crayons.Have a treasure hunt.Create a nature mobile.Make an outdoor fairy dwelling.Visit a creek and find some aquatic critters.Fly a kite."Investigate" the yard with a magnifying glass.Plant a garden.Have a toy car wash.Go on a bike ride.Play hopscotch.Make a nature collage.Have a lemonade stand.Make a homemade slip 'n' slide.Learn how to roller-skate.Go on a picnic.Build a sand castle at the beach....
Hi, I’m Koa Halpern. I am 15 years old, and I started my own nonprofit when I was 10. My nonprofit is called Fast Food Free, and its goal is to get people to eat less fast food through education and community awareness, which results in healthier people and a better world. In the United States, kids spend tons of time watching television; many kids watch TV over 4 hours every day. Much of this time is spent watching commercials. Fast food products are mainly advertised through TV. Food products and fast food commercials are shown more than any other type of advertisement. If kids reduce the time they are watching tv, they see less commercials. Less commercials leads to a reduction in fast food, resulting in healthier kids.  Additionally,...
I don’t have a TV. There. I said it. I can picture your face, blank stare, uncomprehending.  I’ve seen it hundreds of times. And then I have to launch into explanations. No, no television anywhere in my house. No, I’m not Amish. No, my parents aren’t hippies or Quakers or Nazis. Yes, I know what a TV is. And on and on and on. But the real explanation is not even really an explanation. I simply don’t have one, never have, maybe never will. I just looked it up—99% of Americans own at least one television set. Along with this statistic I found several articles, all speculating about the true nature of those radical enough to go TV-less, one even going as far to say that TV occupies a spot among food and shelter as one of the basic necessities...
I don’t usually admit this to people, but my kids don’t watch much television. I tend to keep this fact about my family quiet because I’ve found that people generally react in one of two ways: 1) they get defensive and feel the need to justify their TV choices to me, or 2) they completely dismiss me as a modern-day hippie who just doesn’t get what it means to live in the 21st century. But I’m outing myself now because, as my kids get older, I’ve learned something that seems completely counter-intuitive: my life is actually easier these days because we have enforced strict television rules in our home.   I originally made the decision to limit TV in our home before my oldest daughter (now nine) was even born. I had come home from one of my...
Wendy Fiore is a language arts consultant at a Connecticut elementary school and a veteran Screen-Free Week organizer. We asked her about her experience planning over the years. How long has Chester Elementary been doing SFW? How has the school been able to keep it going for so many years?  I am the Language Arts Consultant for CES, a K-6 school. I believe I started with TV Turnoff Week in 2007. At first I informed the students & the parents about it, suggesting they participate, sharing some statistics with them, but by the next year I had developed a core group of staff members to help out with the week. I try to do one new activity or bring in one new element each year combined with what I’ve done every...
Phoenix Books in Essex Vermont has a wonderful lineup of events planned to celebrate Screen-Free Week. We asked the organizers to share their wisdom. Why did Phoenix Books decide to coordinate events for Screen-Free Week? It seemed like a natural choice for a book store!  Screen-based media have so much potential - and we do sell Kobo eReaders and eBooks here at Phoenix - but screens can also be addictive, and we love the idea of this opportunity for families and individuals to take a break from screens and spend time face to face, outdoors, being active, and, of course, reading! How did you decide on the program that you did? Our goal was to have something happening at the store everyday during Screen-Free week...
“Children are such a precious resource, and if anyone knows how to exploit a resource, its a petroleum engineer.” Colbert Report (April 1, 2013). Sadly, satire usually speaks truth.  Parents in Utah were shocked to discover that the Utah Department of Natural Resources was sponsoring an Earth Day poster contest in Utah’s schools, with the theme “Where would we be without oil, gas, and mining?” Students were being asked FOR EARTH DAY to design posters celebrating polluting fossil fuels.  This year the Society of Petroleum Engineers cosponsored the contest. Last year’s sponsors look like a roll call of big, corporate polluters: Rio Tinto, Bill Barrett Corporation, Newfield Exploration, Arch Coal, Inc., among others.  Cash prizes will be...
Christine Kaufman is a first-time Screen-Free Week Organizer. We asked her about her experience planning a Screen-Free Week in Spring Garden Township, Pennsylvania. How will Screen-Free Week be celebrated in Spring Garden? Spring Garden will be working with local businesses to provide an activity each night for the kids to participate in. This flyer lists the free events we have planned and how kids sign up: Monday, April 29: CrossFit, 5-6 p.m.Tuesday, April 30: Body Rhythms, 5:45-6:15 p.m.Wednesday, May 1: ThunderFITness, 6-7 p.m.Thursday, May 2: Roll R Way, 6:30-8:30 p.m.Friday, May 3: Kids Fun Run at Tri Hill Park, 5:30 p.m.  Why did you decide...
With the passage of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010, in addition to improving school meals, Congress required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update nearly non-existent nutrition standards on so-called competitive foods. These are foods sold outside the school meal program, including fast food items sold alongside the reimbursable lunches, and soft drinks and junk food sold in vending machines, school stores, fundraisers, and the like. As I wrote about in my book, the issue of unhealthy beverages and junk food in schools has been a contentious one for years, mostly being fought at the state and local levels. While it’s commendable that the federal government is now taking up the issue, I have some serious concerns about the...
Last spring, as part of a discussion series at my daughters’ school, I went to a forum on screen time.  It turned out to be centered on the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s Screen-Free Week, which I’d never heard of.  I decided to accept the challenge on behalf of my family. We were fairly screen-lite already at that point.  We don't watch a lot of TV to begin with – my husband watches the Red Sox, and we love Mad Men, but that’s pretty much it - so turning off the TV wasn't hard.  It was more difficult for the kids to cut out Rainbow Fairies and Super Why games on the computer, and for me to leave my iPhone in a different room.  But we did it - with practically no complaining.   Involving the kids in the decision making process...

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