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The deck goes here

By GreatSchools Staff

Turn off the screen, reconnect as a family

Texting, gaming, watching television, chatting on Facebook: Has your household been overtaken by midsummer screen stupor? With so much free time on their hands, many kids believe summertime means electronics time — and busy parents may find it hard to put on the brakes.

But experts say that too much screen time can be habit-forming. Some believe it may even fundamentally alter the wiring of a child's brain. At the same time, the quality of family time suffers when everyone's staring at a screen. Studies show, for example, that 55 to 78 percent of U.S. families share meals with the TV on.

Instead of nagging or moving the entire family to a remote cabin in the woods, how about simply going screen-free for a week? We've come up with some fun, engaging, and entertaining ways to help your family unplug — and reconnect. Try these screen-free ideas — and be sure to let us know how it goes.

Photo credit: PinkStock Photos!