From contributor Megan Tietz of SortaCrunchy

Later this month, individuals and families around the world will be invited to participate in Screen-Free Week.  The 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?