Family activities for Screenless Week 2021 | Featured columnists



For over a year now, families in Guam have relied on their electronic devices for care, entertainment, and sane health. However, this week is National Screenless Week, an annual event where families are encouraged to turn off screens as much as possible. From May 3-9 you and your family have the opportunity to read, explore, enjoy nature, spend more time with each other, do some things around the house, and do some of the things you thought you were doing. Below are 20 suggestions you and your family can make instead of looking at the screen:

1. Prepare breakfast, lunch or dinner together. It’s a great way to spend time with your kids and teach them how to cook at the same time.

2. Declutter and organize your closets. Have each family member go through their clothes and dispose of or donate any that do not fit or no longer suit them. Try Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method which is described as a system for organizing your home by getting rid of things that do not bring joy into your life. Visit his website at

3. Play board games. There are many great board games you can play as a family – Monopoly, Clue, Chutes and Ladders or Charades to name a few.

4. Take a nature hike. Observe and take photos of the different types of land formations and plants that grow in different areas of the island, such as around rivers, ocean, inland or wetlands. When you get home you can watch and talk about what you saw.

5. Observe the night sky. Get a book on the different constellations and see if you can identify them. You can also observe the moon.

6. Organize your photos in real albums or electronically.

7. Send “Hello” cards to friends or relatives you haven’t been in contact with – for some time.

8. Learn to cook a new dish or a copycat recipe.

9. Go camping – even if it’s out front or in your backyard.

10. Learn to say simple sentences in several different languages.

11. Take a long walk with a friend or family.

12. Declutter and organize a garbage drawer, your children’s toys or the garage.

13. Organize your family recipes in a family cookbook.

14. Make small DIY projects around the house.

15. Bake cookies, cupcakes or bread.

16. Prepare a basket and have a picnic.

17. Prepare a family emergency preparedness kit.

18. Drive around the island.

19. Visit the historical sites of the island.

20. Do something you’ve never done before.

Turning off the screen is a difficult thing for many families to do. If it’s absolutely impossible for your kids to stay tuned for an entire week, just try to turn off screens as much as possible or limit screen time during the week. You’ll be surprised at how many more things you can do as a family when your kids aren’t tethered to a screen.

Elizabeth Hamilton, ME, MA, is a teacher with 31 years of professional experience. You can write to him at successful [email protected] with your questions or comments.



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