Supporting A Screen-Free Childhood

At Shining Rivers Waldorf School in Webster Groves, we get a glimpse into the magical world of childhood. As children grow, the wonder and imagination of the early childhood years evolve into an experience of meeting the beauty and complexity of the world with creativity and curiosity. This foundation leads to a rich academic experience that supports children in realizing their full potentials as students, as unique individuals, and as members of the world community.

One of the tools that allows the success of the Waldorf curriculum is a commitment to a media-free environment. Families with reduced screen-time experience the following benefits:
• inventive imaginative play – free of media characters
• healthy engagement in schoolwork
• greater opportunities for learning and exploration
• enjoyment of the experience of real ‘downtime’
• increased physical activity
• healthier diets due to less exposure to junk food advertisements
• a stronger connection with nature
• increased quality family time
• less exposure to child-directed advertising
• reduced risk of behavioral problems, obesity and poor sleep
On average, preschool children spend four and a half hours a day consuming screen media, while school children can spend seven hours a day in front of screens through a combination of television, computer and video game use. These numbers are against the doctors’ orders! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 and less than 2 hours per day for older children.

When we limit their screen time, children have time for childhood! Their “work” is play. Imaginative and hands-on play encourages intellectual growth and physical development, constructive problem solving skills, impulse control and communication skills.
Join Shining Rivers Waldorf School in celebrating childhood by participating in Screen-Free Week, April 18 – 24. “Screen-Free Week is a much needed respite from the media dominating the lives of so many children,” says Ann Weidemann, Director of Shining Rivers. “Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that we help children discover the joys of life beyond screens.”

Can you commit to a week without screens? What will fill that space for your family if you do? Plant a garden, learn to knit, have a yard sale, go on a picnic or have a potluck dinner with neighbors! Engage children in practical tasks. Explore the beauty in nature as Spring arrives!
To learn more, visit the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood at www.commercialfreechildhood.org.

Learn more about Shining Rivers at www.shiningrivers.com or call (314) 962-2129. Enrolling Pre-K through Grade 5 for children across the St. Louis area.

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