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Unplug and curl up with a book! Screen-Free Week is May 1-7

Did you know that Children’s Book Week is celebrated in partnership with Screen-Free Week? Screen-Free Week is the global celebration of unplugging, where schools, libraries, businesses, families, and even whole communities pledge to unplug from entertainment devices! Celebrate both Screen-Free Week and Children’s Book Week from May 1-7 this year! 

Screen-Free Week looks different for everyone. Some people choose to unplug for the whole week, while others will log out of their social media accounts or pledge to keep phones away at dinner time! Neighborhoods might host a block party and museums may offer free admission! The possibilities are endless.

We love the idea of taking a break from screens during Children’s Book Week! And, of course, one of our favorite Screen-Free Week activities is reading! 

Books to inspire healthy screen use

Each year Children’s Book Week and Screen-Free Week pair up to curate a list of books that inspire kids and teens to unplug and have healthy relationships with technology! This year, we added 6 awesome new books to our list! We love so much about them, but here are the highlights, below:

Book by David W. Miles, illus. by Natalie Hoopes (Familius)
What we love: Simple words and soft illustrations celebrate the idea that books, with no off switch and no need to charge, hold amazing worlds! (AGES 4-8)

Climb On! by Baptiste Paul, illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara (NorthSouth Books)
What we love: This multilingual (English and Creole) book tells the story of a child who pulls her dad away from the TV to go for a hike. The two bond as they encounter little adventures on the way to the top!  (AGES 4-8)

Peacock and Sketch by Allan Peterkin, MD, illus. by Sandhya Prabhat (APA Books for Children and Teens)
What we love: Kid-friendly commentary on influencers and fast fame! We love the illustrations, the quirky Peacock character, and the message of the importance of real friendship.  (AGES 4-8)

Connor Crowe Can’t Let Go by Howard Pearlstein, illus. by Stefani Buijsman (Clavis)
What we love: It’s hard to put down the screen; this book adds humor to the problem when the screen literally sticks to little Connor! (AGES 5-9)

Treasure Hunt by Stephanie Wildman, illus. by Estefania Razo (Lawley Publishing)
What we love: A big brother leads younger siblings away from video games and toward a fun treasure hunt! We love to see siblings guiding siblings in healthy screen habits. (AGES 5-12)

Timmy’s Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress (But I Tame It, Big Time)  by Dr. Raun Melmed, illus. Jeff Harvey (Familius)
What we love: This book was written by an ADHD expert for children who need support with device use. We love that it offers concrete tactics for managing screen time, a suggestion made by a peer to Timmy the monster who finds success and a happy balance in the end. (AGES 7-11)

The list also features past winners, which include books for readers ages 0-18! Get the full list at screenfree.org.

Literacy Activities for Screen-Free Week

In addition to checking out those books, we put together a list of 100 Awesome Ideas for Screen-Free, Reading Fun. Some of our favorites include:

  • Read to your pet!
  • Fill out a Mad-Libs story.
  • Write to your favorite book author. 
  • Find a book about astronomy, then head outside to identify the Big Dipper and other constellations.
  • Find a new cookbook and try a new recipe together for family dinner night. 
  • Host a book swap with friends.

And the list goes on! There are so many fun ways to engage with reading, writing, and books that give us balance when it comes to how much we are using our devices. Try these today!

Take the pledge for Screen-Free Week

If you’d like to create better boundaries with your screen time during Children’s Book Week, take the pledge to go screen-free! Pledging is free, and you can commit to whatever makes sense for you. Maybe your pledge involves reading a book or visiting the library. The choice is yours! Take the pledge here.

Want to make Screen-Free Week even more fun? Plan and register an event involving your school, library, community organization, neighborhood, or workplace and celebrate as a group! Check out our resource library for more information.

When you pledge or register an event, you’ll receive more resources and exclusive access to our book giveaway in the coming month. 

We can’t wait to celebrate with you during Children’s Book Week and Screen-Free Week, from May 1-7, 2023. Read on!

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