Power Off and Play!

Our final theme of the Challenge was ‘Power Off and Play!’ The focus of this theme was to encourage children and families to reduce recreational and sedentary screen time.

Why ‘Power Off and Play’?

Screen time refers to any time spent using a screen-based device, such as a smartphone, tablet, computer, video game or television. More often kids use screens for recreational purposes such as watching movies, playing games, or scrolling through social media. They may be sitting, reclining or lying down the whole time they are on their device. This is called sedentary screen time and many children are getting too much of it. Recreational and sedentary screen time can take away from healthy activities in a child’s day. It can also negatively affect children’s early development, physical and psychosocial health. When children spend time in front of screens, they have less time free for other healthy activities.

You can help decrease you and your family’s screen time by using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Being screen free during important times of the day (sleep time, and meal and snack time)
  • Limiting screen time using recommended guidelines: under 2 years of age – no screen time; 2-4 years of age – less than 1 hour a day; and 5-17 years of age – no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time a day
  • Replacing some screen time with other activities (active play, face-to-face interactions, and fun and educational activities)

Check out our campaign videos for more information:

Refer to the ‘Power Off and Play’ Toolkit for more information on and resources for this theme.

Did you know? The percentage of children in Ontario who meet the guidelines for screen time is low:

  • Age 1-4 – 15.3%
  • Age 5-8 – 54.5%
  • Age 9-12 –37.7%
  • Age 13-17 – 29.7%