As a parent, I am constantly working to make sure my child has the tools he needs to be successful. Those tools include electronic gadgets from a home computer to an iPad to a smart phone. These are all things my son uses for school work and other projects. However, I was amazed at how quickly these tools became game devices and how all-consuming those games became. All of the sudden, I was seeing the back of his head as he hunched over each device, sometimes playing games on two devices at once. Maybe it’s time to turn off the electronics and take a break. But how do I get my child to take a break and what can we do instead? Then I remembered Screen Free Week, May 1-7.
Screen Free Week (http://www.screenfree.org/) is all about unplugging from digital entertainment and getting back out into the world. Take time for free play, board games, daydreaming, exploring the outdoors, and reading a print book.
The library is great resource for unplugging. We have comfortable seating and early literacy play areas. We have programs for all ages where you can hear stories, be creative and learn new things. And of course, the library has some great books to read if you need something exciting to get your kids off those screens. Some of my favorites include:
I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakité
Dodsworth in Rome by Tim Egan
The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke
Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy
Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Princess in Black by Shannon Hale
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
Winterkill by Kate Boorman
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
So, join the movement and unplug from electronics for Screen Free Week, May 1-7. Find life beyond the screen where you can interact in the real world and batteries are not needed. I know I am going to give it a try.
Youth Services Librarian, North Branch