Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Screen-Free a How to



Screen Free Week - April 30th – May 6, 2012 from Media Education Foundation on Vimeo.



Seeds,dirt,pots,crayons,paint,clay,books,bikes,maps........
Just a few things to consider for your Screen-free Week. You do not realize it now but we spend a lot of time with our screens! Now think of all the things you can do, the things that you have been putting off. 
Literacy Action Steps for Screen-Free Week and
All Year Round:

• Books! Books! And more books!
• Visit the library or your local book store.
• Eat screen-free meals together and talk!
• Play word games.
• Tell stories.
• Draw pictures and tell stories about
them.
• Encourage young children to dictate
stories.
• Read poems out loud.
• Make up poems and rhymes.
• Make up songs.

Think before you play. Is it healthy?
More from Screen-Free.org
Play is so essential to children’s health and well-being—and so endangered—that the United Nations lists it as a
guaranteed right in its Convention on the Rights of the Child.
1
Play promotes intellectual growth and critical thinking by providing children with the opportunity to explore,
experiment, and acquire problem-solving skills.
2
 Children play to express their fantasies and feelings, to gain a sense
of competence, and to make meaning of their experience.
3
Play comes naturally to children yet, as a society, we
actually prevent them from playing.

A media-saturated, commercialized culture undermines children’s play
• “Play thrives in environments that provide children with safe boundaries
but do not impinge on ability to think or act spontaneously. It is nurtured
with opportunities for silence. For children who are flooded continually
with stimuli and commands to react, the cost is high. They have fewer
opportunities to initiate action or to influence the world they inhabit, and
less chance to exercise the essential human trait of creativity.”
4
• Children six and under spend about two hours a day with screen media,
about three times as much time as they spend reading or being read to;
heavy television watchers spend less time playing than other children.
 5
• The more time babies and toddlers spend with screens, the less time they spend in hands on creative play.
 6
• Two-thirds of zero-to-six year-olds live in a home where the TV is on at least half the time, even if no one is
watching, thus depriving them of a home environment where play thrives.
 7 Children who play while a
television is on nearby have more difficulty concentrating; this in turn may affect a child’s cognitive
development.
8
The best-selling toys are often antithetical to creative play
• The proliferation of computer chips that enable toys to move or make
sounds on their own renders children passive observers rather than
active participants in play.
9 Toys embedded with screens and
marketed as educational can actually undermine creative play.
10
• With the deregulation of children’s television in 1984, it became
possible to market toys and other products to children directly through
TV programs. Since then, the toy market has been dominated by
media licensed products.
11
 In 2009, brand licensed toys accounted for
$5.4 billion in sales.
 12
• Today’s best selling toys often promote gender-stereotyped play.
13
Toys based on media programs come
with established characters and storylines making it unlikely that children will use the toy to create their own
world. When children play with a toy based on a television character, they play less creatively, especially
right after they have watched a program.
14
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers
www.commercialfreechildhood.org
• Toys like Lego and Play-Doh that once inspired creative play are now marketed primarily in kits, many them designed in partnership with companies interested in selling other products.

 15
• The more play is predetermined by a toy, the more likely that creative and imaginative play and its benefits
will be jeopardized—children will be bored when they aren’t told what to do and be unable to think for
themselves or identify and solve problems.
16
Children spend less time than ever in creative play
• On average, American 9- to 12-year-olds are spending only one
minute a day in creative play, a striking contrast to 15 minutes in
1997—which was already well after David Elkind and Neil
Postman began writing about a diminishing childhood. The
amount of time 6- to 8-year-olds spend in creative play has
decreased from 25 minutes to 16 minutes.
17
For more information visit www.commercialfreechildhood.org.
Other Resources
• Alliance for Childhood is a partnership of individuals and organizations committed to fostering and
respecting each child's inherent right to a healthy, developmentally appropriate childhood.
(www.allianceforchildhood.org
• TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment) produces and provides an annual
guide for teachers and parents to help them in selecting toys that are educationally and developmentally
appropriate for young children. (www.truceteachers.org)


 Let's be the children we once were and PLAY!

1
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (1989, November 20). Convention on the Rights of the Child: General
Assembly Resolution 44/25. Retrieved April 11, 2007, from www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm.
Levin, D. (1998). Remote Control Childhood?: Combating the Hazards of Media Culture. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education
of Young People.
3
Linn, S. (2008). The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World. New York: The New Press. p.2.
4
Linn, S. (2004). Consuming Kids: The hostile takeover of childhood. New York: The New Press.
5
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2003). Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. Menlo Park, CA. Retrieved February 12,
2008, from http://www.kff.org/entmedia/entmedia102803pkg.cfm.
6
Vandewater, E.A., Bickham, D.S. & Lee, J.H. (2006, February). Time well spent? Relating television use to children’s free-time activities.
Pediatrics, 117(2): e181-191.
7
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2003). Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. Menlo Park, CA. Retrieved February 12,
2008, from http://www.kff.org/entmedia/entmedia102803pkg.cfm.
8
Healy, M. (2004, May 24) Young TV watchers may be at risk for later attention problems. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 25, 2008, from
http://www.childrennow.org/newsroom/news-04/cam-ra-05-24-04.cfm.
9
Linn, S. (2004). Consuming Kids: The hostile takeover of childhood. New York: The New Press.
10
Gregory-Thomas, S. (2007). Buy Buy Baby. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
11
Greenfield, P.M et al. (1993). The program-length commercial. Children and Television: Images in a Changing Sociocultural World, eds. Gordon
Berry and Joy Keiko Asamen. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 53-72.
12
Szlai, G. (February 11, 2010). Toys based on sequels take center stage. BrandWeek, p. 1.
13
Linn, S. (2008)The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World. New York: The New Press. P. 159-191.
14
Greenfield, P.M. et al. (1993). The program-length commercial. Children and Television: Images in a Changing Sociocultural World, eds. Gordon
Berry and Joy Keiko Asamen. Newbury Park, CA, p. 53-72.
15
Linn, S. (2004). Consuming Kids: The hostile takeover of childhood. New York: The New Press.
16
Levin, D. (2004). Toying with Children’s Health: How the Business of Play Harms Children. Third Consuming Kids Summit. Retrieved March 3,
2008, from http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/articles/3rdsummit/levin.htm.
17
Unpublished data from two Child Development Supplements to the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics, courtesy S, Hofferth (2007).
2
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers
www.commercialfreechildhood.org

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