Young eyes are bombarded with technology at every turn, but local librarians are challenging families to engage in activities that encourage community service instead of video voyeurism.
TV Turn Off Week – a national effort to combat the inactivity that comes with time spent in front of screens – continues through Sunday. Locally, the Forest Park Public Library is working with the Oak Park and River Forest libraries and the Collaboration for Early Childhood Care & Education to host TV Tune Out, a series of events to give kids alternatives. The series started last Sunday, April 11.
“We got off to a great start with over 100 people at the Mr. Dave concert at River Forest Library, and we had a great turnout for our Blue Max storytime. We read stories on the deck and then had a parachute story and playtime on the lawn,” said organizer Ellen Cutter, children’s outreach coordinator at the River Forest Public Library.
“Blue Max enjoyed it, too. They invited us to come back on a regular basis, and we hope to do that,” Cutter said.
The focus is on children tuning out of television and tuning into the community by engaging in alternative activities with their families.
The event falls in conjunction with National Library Week, as well as National Week of the Young Child. Cutter has taken this as inspiration to expand the activities to each of the communities.
Rather than simply prohibiting children from watching television, TV Tune Out’s goal is to interest them in other activities. The librarians have compiled a list of 25 alternatives, including doing puzzles, planting a garden, cooking and eating with family, watching the night sky and looking for constellations, reading, painting, starting a journal, tutoring and learning sign language.