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Resources to Inspire Your Screen-Free Week

From contributor Megan Tietz of SortaCrunchy

Later this month, individuals and families around the world will be invited to participate in Screen-Free WeekThe Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood will encourage us to go screen-free from April 18-24 so we can discover all the things we might be missing when we are connected to our various screens.

I know many in the organic/natural living community make little to no screen time a reality in their homes year “round.  To be very honest, our boundaries with screen time are fairly lax.  Every year, Screen-Free Week offers me the opportunity to get a reality check on how much all four of the people in my family are connected to a screen of some kind.

Through the years, I”ve collected some resources to help guide us through a screen-free week.  I wanted to share some of our favorites with you today, as well as ask you to help me create my plan for this year”s Screen-Free Week!


Photo by Nina Matthews Photography

Screen-Free Week is perfectly timed to encourage all of us to get back outside and enjoy nature in full bloom.  Some of our favorite resources to guide our time outside are:

  • by Richard Louv –  I almost hesitate to mention this one because it”s become such a standard for natural-minded parents.  If you haven”t read it, I highly recommend picking up a copy!  You will find in its weighty but hopeful pages all the inspiration you need to soak up time outdoors as much as possible!
  • I Love Dirt!  52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward – Granted, this book is geared toward younger children, an age group that usually doesn”t need much guidance in how to play outdoors, but it is a great help for parents who aren”t naturally at ease in nature.  It”s the perfect springboard for imaginations young and old!
  • The Nature Activities Archive at 5 Orange Potatoes – Parents today are blessed with an abundance of resources for all things creative living.  I”m sure you have your favorite activities blog; 5 Orange Potatoes is a long-time favorite of mine.  Lisa encourages lots of outdoor time just enjoying nature, and her nature activities are not too complicated for little hands and always yield fun results in our family.
  • Not surprisingly, Simple Kids is one of my favorite go-to resources for activities indoors and out.  Just last month, contributor Catherine wrote on Elements of a Child-Friendly Garden, and last April, contributor Christen demonstrated how to create egg carton gardens.  Keep an eye on Simple Kids articles this month – I am confident there will be more inspiration there!
  • What about families in more urban settings? I can”t speak to that experience myself, but perhaps city-dwelling families might be inspired to reclaim an urban space by planting alley gardens.  Last spring, Sweet Juniper published an article showing how they created seed bombs to “bomb” their city with wildflowers.  Even though we don”t live in a big city, I couldn”t help but to be inspired by that!


Photo by kodomut

In an ideal world, Screen-Free Week would be full of blue skies and temperatures in the seventies for everyone.  From our little house here on the plains, however, we know that spring often brings unpredictable weather.  It”s good to have a game plan for screen-free hours spent indoors.

One of my very favorite things about being part of the Simple Living Media family is the spirit of community and sharing resources; so now, I would love to hear from you!

Is screen-free life a challenge for you? What resources would you add to this list? What are your favorite sources of inspiration for screen-free living with children?

Reading Time:

3 minutes





  1. melissa

    Love this list of books. my little one and i are plannig a trip to the library this afternoon and we will be looking for several that you mentioned. she is not totally pumped about the screen-free week (even though tv is always a treat anyways) but i am going to do my best to turn that around:)))

    great post.

    • Megan

      There is always resistance from all four of us when we unplug, but we find our rhythm pretty quickly. I bet you will, too! Happy reading and happy screen-free!

  2. Rana

    We have been cable free for almost a year in June. I just found this book at our library last week : 365 Nature and craft activities by Karen E Bledsoe and Candace Norvell. It has some great outdoor and indoor fun activities to do. We are all excited to try some of these out.

    • Megan

      How have I missed that book? It looks AWESOME. Thanks, Rana!

  3. Kara @Simple Kids

    Wow, what a round-up of ideas! I hear TV sets clicking off right now 😉

    And, thank you for your kind words about Simple Kids. Very kind.

    • Megan

      Friend, you never fail to bring the GOOD STUFF. Looking forward to what we’ll learn together this month!

  4. Simple Homeschool ~ Jamie

    Love this comprehensive list, Megan. We’ve never gone totally screen free before, but it’s pretty close.

    Many of the resources you’ve mentioned have been an inspiration to me as well. Kindred spirits. 😉

  5. Alissa

    Thanks for this post well in ADVANCE of Screen Free Week. I need to mentally prepare to make it happen this year!

    The link to your post with ideas to replace the morning TV time is just what I needed. I’m frankly just scared to try and motivate my 3 year old to get ready for “school” without the bribe of watching a show once he’s dressed. I need to toughen up, and your readers had some great ideas – music, making a special breakfast, etc.

  6. Christine

    I loved your post about no TV in the morning. This is our tough spot too. My son and daughter are up by 6:30 at the LATEST. I am not morning person and even when I get up early, I have a need for at least 45 min of quiet. GEtting up before them is not an option. I’ve compromised my quiet time by getting them breakfast and me breakfast and turning on the TV and letting them eat while I get my coffee. I’ve tried to eliminate it, but the mornings are not pretty – and by that, I mean I am a grumpy not fun mommy. Thanks for at least letting me know that I’m not alone.

  7. Kellie

    Thank you for the article. It seems that my children’s screen time has been slowly getting longer and longer over the past year. I’ve been wanting to re-vamp our family’s rules and know that it will not go over well! Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. renee @ FIMBY

    Does no screen time include the computer monitor? If so I think the only way we could go screen free is to be backpacking for a week but that is in our near future anyway.

  9. Amy Sullivan

    I haven’t heard about Screen Free week! Thanks for the heads-up and all of the fun resources. It’s posts like these that I love, love, love. It takes all the clicking out of discovering great ideas.

  10. jessica

    i have to admit, screen-free is pretty much what we already are, but my son is only 2 1/2 so it will probably get harder as he gets older and exposed to more media.

  11. Magic and Mayhem

    I still haven’t decided if we’re going to do screen-free week, but I love lots of the books you listed. Luckily, now that it’s spring the kids want to be outside and running around most of the time anyway. 🙂

  12. Michelle

    Thank you for all the book recommendations. I’m not sure if we will do a 100% screen free week this year or not. A lot of it will depend on how pregnancy is treating me and/or if we have had the baby. I’m due 5/1. Anyhow, I really want to work away from all the screen time my daughter and I have been taking in over these last several months. Fatigue and winter have made it all to easy for me to just let her watch cartoons all morning and me lying around or on the computer. So, I will definitely be checking out these resources. Thank you!!!

  13. Kate

    Your blog is great, I’m really enjoying it. You just got a new subscriber. I like the idea of the screen free week, I’m going to try it with my family this year. I think it will be the toughest for me to complete, I think my 2 girls will hopefully find plenty to do without the screens.

  14. Courtney

    Hello! I am glad I am not the only one participating. Please feel free to link up at my blog so we can get lots of ideas/crafts for the week!


  15. KatyBuchanan33

    I propose not to hold back until you get big sum of money to order all you need! You can get the business loans or just short term loan and feel free

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