Pledge to take a tech timeout for your family

Pledge to take a tech timeout for your family

October 21st, 2013
Wooden puzzle

A wooden Melissa & Doug puzzle from JCPenney

Tech timeout

Are your kids spending too much time plugged in?

By Aimee Heckel 

Technology affects the way families spend time together, even when they’re in the same room. It puts up virtual walls.

That’s what led to the creation of the Tech Timeout challenge.

Tech Timeout encourages families to take a pledge to disconnect from TV, phones and computers for at least one hour every day, and instead connect with each other in a meaningful, personal way.

Maybe it’s one hour before you go to sleep. A full weekend.

Regardless, the Tech Timeout Facebook page believes it’s crucial for a healthy, balanced family life. Earlier this year, the Telegraph ran an article about toddlers who were so addicted to iPads that they needed therapy. And Twitter and Facebook addicts suffered withdrawal symptoms when they had to go cold turkey. The list of studies and articles about how technology is changing our brains and relationships seems endless.

Want to commit to a tech timeout for your family? Here is the Tech Timeout pledge.

And while your gadgets are off, here are some alternative fun activities to play with your family. No cords required.

1. Melissa & Doug games, such as hangman ($13 at JCPenney). Melissa & Doug products are known for their high-quality, wooden construction and old-school appeal. So it’s no surprise this line also makes Memory ($13).

M&D’s not limited to retro games, though. You can also find magic kits, stamp sets and educational puzzles. Which brings us to the next game.

2. Puzzles. They’re entertaining, but they lend themselves to a little chitchat and teamwork — perfect for relationship-building in the evening after dinner. Help your kids learn geography with this wooden puzzle map of the United States from Melissa & Doug, available at JCPenney for $25.

Want to save money on your JCPenney purchases? Check out these coupons, plus get 7 percent Cash Back from Read more articles about saving money at JCPenney here.

3. Don’t let the classic definition of puzzles limit you. Give a 3-D puzzle a try, especially if you have older kids who like a challenge. Find 3-D puzzles of cities around the world, from Berlin to Vegas.

One more bonus tip: Save money on other babies and kids products by using these coupons.

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Aimee's passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning news articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University. When she's not writing stories for a Colorado newspaper, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees and disadvantaged people in Africa. She's also a mom, a wife and a furious bargain-hunter. Reach out to her at, find her travel board on Pinterest, follow her on Twitter, or ping her on Google+.

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