Screen-Free Fun

April means spring is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate then by turning off the TV and computer for a bit each day and doing something fresh and different?  April 18-24 is Screen Free Week, and here are some ideas on how to make the time pass.  We think you’ll find that the time really will fly by, and you may not even miss that screen.

For more information on Screen Free Week, visit

http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/screenfreeweek/index.html

For more information on activities that promote physical activity and nutrition, including great, practical tips for families and free lesson plans for teachers, see

http://www.energybalance101.com/

7 Ways to Celebrate Screen Free Week:

Try a new recipe.  Each week, have a different member of the family choose a new, healthy main dish, side, salad or snack, and have everyone pitch in to help make it.  Visit www.cookinglight.com , and type “kid friendly” into the search terms box to find healthy fare that everyone will enjoy.

Plant an indoor herb garden and enjoy adding new flavors to your meals year round.  To get started, visit www.garden.org , and type “indoor herb garden” into the search terms box for details on how to grow herbs in your kitchen or classroom.

Get a pedometer (about $6 at Target), and start a walking club with friends and family.  Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day per person, and track your progress.  Assuming there are about 2,000 steps per mile, trek across the United States by converting your steps to miles and using a map to chart the miles walked and your progress across the country each day.  Research the states you cross as you reach them to learn more about their history, and see who can cross the country first.

Plan a wellness scavenger hunt.  See which team is the first to find specific foods (e.g. a beverage with less then 100 calories, a low-fat snack that is a good source of calcium, etc.) and complete activities (e.g. 30 seconds of jump rope or hula hoop) spread throughout your home/classroom.  Hide the directions for each item to find or activity to do so that players must search and move constantly to complete each task or find each food.

Visit a new park in your area.  Check out http://www.nps.gov/index.htm to find a list of local parks and activities in them.

Volunteer a random act of kindness.  Help your neighbors by offering to wash their car, rake the yard or walk their dog, or check your local newspaper for volunteer opportunities in your community.

Have a game night.  Serve low fat popcorn, fresh veggies and fruit with dip and toasted pita chips for snacks.  Have a variety of fast board, card or other games to play and have players switch activities every few minutes so that each person plays all of the games.

 

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