Year-round initiative helping families achieve “a balance, not a ban”, launches on April 17 at KeepingTechinCheck.com McLean, VA, April 17, 2017 – More and more, contemporary parents feel “tech shamed” over the amount of time that their children spend consuming electronic media. Research released almost daily warns of the mental health value of unplugging and the dangers of unrestricted time spent in front of a screen for kids of all ages. While parents recognize that today’s technology offers numerous developmental and educational benefits, parental anxiety over the tech takeover of family life is real and growing—but it’s time to reframe the conversation. This April, Cricket Media, the most award-winning children’s magazine publisher in the marketplace and Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys, will launch the KEEPING TECH IN CHECK campaign. With the tagline, “a balance, not a ban,” KEEPING TECH IN CHECK offers families across the country a wealth of tools, tips and resources to help them find the right balance between technology and real-life experiences at KeepingTechinCheck.com. Unlike similar efforts that focus only on “unplugging,” KEEPING TECH IN CHECK recognizes that screens are a mainstay in our 21st century lives, and this initiative is being launched to help parents mindfully manage screen-time as an intentional part of a daily “diet” of activities. “Technology is here to stay, offering a wealth of resources,” says Stephanie Sharis, CEO of Cricket Media. “Our magazines have always promoted active learning, acting as catalysts for children’s curiosity and creativity. And with the Keeping Tech in Check initiative, we hope that we can help that play out in real life as much as online.” The KEEPING TECH IN CHECK hub has been thoughtfully designed to give parents the information they need to navigate and manage technology guilt-free in ways that work for them. Drawing from Cricket Media’s deep archive of award-winning magazine content, the site includes stories and downloadable activities, as well as news and current research. A dedicated blog will feature expert advice and real-life ideas for activities that shine the spotlight on balancing tech mindfully. Starting on April 17, families everywhere are invited to join the KEEPING TECH IN CHECK community at KeepingTechinCheck.com. Among the site’s features at launch will be:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics Media Use Planner and Media Calculator (both kids and parents will be able to monitor their tech use with these planners).
- Downloadable content from Cricket Media’s award-winning magazines, designed for ages 3 mos. to 14+.
- Advice from experts and peers, including a regularly updated blog written by Cricket Media editors, parents and other experts, sharing seasonal and topical ideas for screen-free activities, including “Out of the Box” ideas to unplug. Guest bloggers offer real-life examples of unplugged fun for various ages.
- Programs designed to focus families on achieving their goals together, including a summer reading program; the Smithsonian Institute sponsored Folklife Challenge and Invent It Challenge; and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Yang’s Reading without Walls Challenge.
- Mini printable books –colorfully illustrated tales by top authors and artists, aimed at a variety of age levels.
- Printable activities – enjoy conversation starters, scavenger hunts, recipes, party ideas, ad-lib word games, writing prompts, and brain teasing games for the whole family.
- Parents’ Choice Family Adventures Map.
- Subscription discounts to the 11 ad-free and multiple award-winning Cricket Media magazines for various ages and interests: ASK, BABY BUG, CLICK, CICADA, COBBLESTONE, CRICKET, DIG, FACES, LADYBUG, MUSE, and SPIDER .