Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

Disconnect & Reconnect: Screen Free Week 2021

We've all spent so many hours in front of screens in the past year - let's cut the cord and break free!

Screen-Free Week is observed during the first week of May; this year it's May 3 through 9. Obviously you can't quit school or work for a week, but outside of necessary working hours, take advantage of the time you don’t HAVE to be on screens to do whatever it may be that brings you joy! Check out some staff favorite screen free activities below.

Go outside

  • Explore F. Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxboro. Put away your phone and grab a map at the entrance!

  • Go outside and complete a nature themed scavenger hunt, like these from the CBC.

  • Plant seeds of leafy greens like arugula, lettuce or mustard in your garden.

  • Look for cinnamon fern “fiddleheads” (unfurled fronds) on a walk at Wheaton Farm.

  • Hang a variety of bird feeders in your yard and use a bird identification guide (or guides) to find out who comes to visit! Which type of bird food does each bird eat? Try hanging feeders for suet, sunflower seed, and Nyjer (thistle) seed.

  • Take your dog for a walk in “that place you’ve always wanted to try.” He needs a change of pace too, and will appreciate the exercise!

  • Do your best cat impression. Find a lovely spot of sun & nap in it. (Don’t forget your SPF!)

  • Pull that bike out of storage, lubricate the chain, pump up the tires, don the helmet and hit the road/trails. Long Pond, Borderland State Park in or  near to Easton. Head to the Cape Rail Trail or East Bay Bike Path (Rhode Island) if you wish to go farther afield.

  • Grab an inkpad, a notebook, and a rubber stamp to go Letterboxing.  Follow printed clues to find “Love” at the Governor Oliver Ames Estate Park, Waldo at the Clifford C. Grant Reservation, or a drum set at Borderland State Park.

  • Tip: Borrow the Massachusetts Parks Pass to get free parking at a DCR site.


  • Bake your favorite brownie recipe. Use a box mix, pull out Grandma’s handwritten recipe card, or find a new twist in a cookbook from the library!

  • Make origami. The library has books which can show you how!

  • Bake rhubarb pie (or crisp or bars)

  • Even if you don’t have much “artistic ability,” cross stitching is fairly easy and helps you pretend that you do! Check out a cross-stitching book from a SAILS network library and have fun picking patterns and colors.

  • Pick a room in your house to deep clean. What’s that, you say? It’s not fun? Well no, but a) it’s spring and it could use some freshening up and b) even if you think it’s clean, there are plenty of things that you don’t do on a weekly basis that have been overlooked. Turn on music to listen to and get to it! When you’re done, survey your work and give yourself a pat on the back. It’s definitely satisfying when you realize how much you accomplished.

  • Start a Reading Journal!  Draw a bookshelf with a bunch of blank book spines. Then, as you finish books, fill-in the titles on the spines. Come December, you’ll have a bookshelf that reflects your reading year. Here is a blog post on Archer & Olive that will help provide more of a visual. Tip: check-out a book on hand-lettering to give your journal more flair! It also helps (but definitely isn’t required) to have watercolor markers & washi tape.


Don’t forget that screen free time can be fun for the whole family!

Take some time to disconnect from your devices and reconnect - with yourself, your family, and the world around you.

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