Why families should take up this seven day 'screen-free' challenge

Families are urged to ditch on-screen entertainment for one week from May 2 to 8, in a bid to re-discover delights that are anything but digital.

Screen-Free Week is an annual event and ideal opportunity to explore fun activities the family can enjoy away from the  wi-fi.

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This year it’s hoped that thousands of families, schools, and communities around the world will put down their entertainment screens for seven days of connection and discovery.

So an hour once glued to YouTube becomes an hour spent outside; ten minutes whiled away on social media turns into ten minutes spent drawing; a movie on a rainy afternoon is replaced by time spent reading, chatting, or playing games.

Former primary school teacher Laura Steele, now of PlanBee, suggests creating art using different materials set aside for recycling.

Or on a rainy day, why not turn your front room into a fort? Use sofa cushions to create a structure then add in cushions and sheets to make it feel cosy and find a good book to share or game to play.

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Grab a container and go hunting in the garden or an outside space for mini-beasts! Where do little insects live? Go exploring.

Or try creating your own family dance routine - each member of the family could suggest one or two signature moves, put them all together and you may have a result you can be proud of!

Have a rummage in the garage or look in the garden for objects which would make tricky obstacles, then build your own obstacle course in the garden and challenge each other to a race. See who can complete the course in the fastest time.

If you're missing a family member or friend, why not write them a letter or a postcard, rather than an email or a text. Let them know what you have been up to and check in to see how they are.

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Get creative and challenge each member of the family to come up with a menu, including starter, main course and dessert. Take it in turns to ‘host’ a dinner party.

Another option is to choose a book to read together as a family. Take turns in reading pages or chapters out loud. Talk about what has happened so far and discuss opinions of characters and events. Predict what you each think will happen next, and see who is closest.

Have a board-game night with nibbles and drinks, and if you’re feeling competitive, a score board.

Or organise a treasure hunt inside or out - the ‘treasure’ could be a new book or board game to enjoy together.

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Nature activities for families:

Anyone looking for some printable activities can find free puzzles and games from the following website:

Make the most of the time you spend away from the screen. And after this week, why not challenge yourselves to have one day a week screen-free..

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