Artsy Thursday

Teach that Less Screen Time is really “more” by Engaging Creativity.

TV viewing among kids Boy using digital tablet while lying on rug at homehas reached a new high.  On average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and even using a game console.  While watching TV, kids are bombarded with messages encouraging them to eat unhealthy foods.

Child care providers can make a difference by limiting or eliminating screen time and providing other fun activities to engage each child’s mind.  Children under 2 years old do not need any screen time.  Those 2-5 years of age need less than 2 hours in front of the screen, and should limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes at a time.

Try This!

Children can explore their artistic side in this fun and active game of Screen Time Charades Game.

Screen Time CharadesIMG_2623

Space Needs: Any indoor or
outdoor space

Time Needs: 15 minutes


  1. Have all participants gather around in a circle.
  2. Talk with children about sitting in front of a screen and ask them to think of other fun and things they could do instead of being in front of a screen (TV, games, movies, etc.). Ask them what activities might be better for their body than sitting in front of a screen for too long.
  3. Tell them that they are going to play a game about all the things they can do instead of screen time.
  4. Select a child to be the “actor”. Explain to the group & actor that you will give the actor an activity that children could do instead of screen time. The actor will act it out for the group to guess. The actor cannot talk, only move.   Alternatively for older children, let them think of an activity without saying it.
  5. Ask them to act out what activity they like to do instead of screen time.
  6. Have other participants raise their hand and take turns guessing what the other participant is acting out.
  7. Once a participant guesses right, bring them in front of the group to act out their favorite activity.
  8. Activity ideas: Swimming, reading a book, soccer, coloring a picture, riding a bike, walking, cooking, playing a musical instrument, dancing, throwing a Frisbee, playing catch and more!
  9. When all children have been able to “act” out a suggested or favorite activity, ask them if they will try to replace some or all of their screen time with one of these activities and what that activity might be. What was their favorite?


Adapted from:  Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, Go Team Manual

For Parents

Here are some handouts for parents to encourage screen-free zones and activities in the home:

Want More?

Try some of the activities suggested in this informational flyer from the Child and Adult Care Food Program