Doodle Bugs! Children's Centers is reinforcing its educational philosophy by participating in "Screen-Free Week" May 5-11. Organizers invite families to join in reducing the use of entertainment screen media, including television, video games, computers and hand-held devices.
During this week, children and families are encouraged to discover fun, screen-free activities. Teachers will take time to discuss with students the importance of time with friends and family.
As technology advances and younger generations become more tech-savvy, Doodle Bugs! recognizes the need for devices in certain classrooms; thus, its partnership with ABCMouse.com, which uses ad and commercial-free programing as a teaching tool. However, the core of its curriculum and program is a full day of hands-on learning, including experiences in art, music and dramatic play.
"Doodle Bugs! respects the AAP guidelines for no screen time for children under 2 and considers technology a teaching tool; thus tablets are used with a purpose to supplement - not replace - traditional classroom materials," said Christina Fecio, director of education and training for Doodle Bugs! Children's Centers. "Though we incorporate technology into our curriculum, we want to help children and families recognize the importance of unplugging, and are happy to participate in 'Screen-Free Week.' "
Fecio said there are small changes busy families can make at home to limit screen time, including:
•Don't use it as background noise, especially at meal times.
•Pack a "go bag" for restaurants and car trips with books, toys, drawing materials, card games, etc., instead of resorting to screens.
•When you do allow screen time, encourage active vs. passive (Wii bowling or "Just Dance" vs. "Angry Birds").
•Research family-friendly activities, such as events, craft days, etc., for the weekends or evenings to avoid temptation to turn to a screen.
For more tips and suggestions on going screen-free at home, visit www.screenfree.org/screen-free-activities/.
Doodle Bugs! Children's Centers has locations in Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh. It provides education-based care for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years, including preschool/pre-K and summer camp programs. For more information, call 866-668-5111 or visit www.doodlebugs.com.