Turn off the screens. Turn up the play!

Debate: should toddlers use a smartphone or tablet?

In today’s digitized society, tablets and smartphones are increasingly popular devices across generations – even toddlers. In fact, a survey by Common Sense Media, reported by the Christian Science Monitor, discovered that nearly 40 percent of children between the ages of two and four often found some mobile device in their hands. That seems startling to me – a mother of two kids (now three and five) who have never even touched my smartphone without hearing me yell “put that down”!...

Read more »


Our blog is written by a passionate group of ParticipACTION staffers who live, work and play physical activity every day. Interested in Contributing?

Meet our invited guest writers too!

My Secret Shame: Candy Crush

I have a confession. It’s my dark secret. By day, you would never know it. I devote my professional life at ParticipACTION to getting Canadians to become more physically active – most recently by asking parents to carve out more active play time from their kids’ screen time. But when I am out of the office I hypocritically find myself frequently needing a fix of one of the most shamefully time-wasting curses of the digital app era, Candy Crush. Yes,...

Read more »

Beat the cold and get warm with walking!

 I love cycling to work, and it kills me when the temperature drops, the snow swirls and I tarp up my bike for the winter. I miss the bouts of exercise built into my work day–twice each day–so this year, I decided to start walking.  I don’t have time to walk all the way to work, so each day I walk the 2 kms to the subway station and then hop on. Even this past week, when it was averaging -20 degrees, I...

Read more »

Plan an active March Break

Forget sleeping in and days spent in front of the TV or computer. Canadians already spend far too much time engaged in sedentary pursuits. March Break… a whole week off school (!!) is the perfect time for active fun with family, friends, or to enjoy a March Break camp. Here are 10 suggestions for active fun! 1 – Enjoy the last of winter with some tubing, skating, snowshoeing, sledding, skiing, or fort-building if you’ve got enough snow. 2 – Get the jump...

Read more »

Move well, Age well

Those of you who have read a few of my blogs before may remember that I often lament the topics I write about. Only because they are assigned to me and not voluntarily chosen, I mean seriously, would I have voluntarily chosen to challenge my teens to reduce their cell phone time? It’s all in good fun, but my blogs seem to have a more mature slant.  And, this one is no exception because it is about physical literacy for...

Read more »

Tax blog – gosh, that sounds exciting!

Tax time is never fun, but getting more back is! We won’t pretend tax time is exciting.  But, we think it’s important that all Canadian parents are aware of some changes to the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit that might apply to you!     Did you know that you can claim, to a maximum of $1000 per child, the fees you paid in 2014 relating to the cost of registration or membership for your child in a prescribed program of...

Read more »

How to go on a digital diet

Yes, we know kids need to get off of the screens and get outside.  But, what about everyone else?  That smartphone habit probably isn’t doing your own sleep habits, relationship or healthy lifestyle any favours, either.  Isn’t it amazing how you can “just check your email” and then get sucked into your phone and realize that you meant to go to bed half an hour ago? It’s not just kids who need to #makeroomforplay and get off the screens.  We...

Read more »

Tech-free Date Night!

With the most romantic day of the year on our horizon, many individuals race to make dinner-date plans with their significant others. But once they get to their romantic destinations, phones and other screen devices start to appear, losing all sight of the meaning of ‘date night’. In our tech-driven society, we have forgotten what it’s like to spend a few precious hours together without relying on those tiny little screens. So, this Valentine’s Day we encourage you to leave...

Read more »

Alarming Facts about Kids and Screen Time

Canadian kids spend an average of 7.5 hours in front of screens each day*. That’s right, 7.5 hours. That’s about as much time most adults spend at work each day. Sounds outrageous, right? If you agree, you are not alone. In fact, the response to this statistic is often disbelief. People repeatedly wonder how it is even possible that a child could spend that much time in front of TVs, cell phones, tablets or video games every single day. However,...

Read more »

Unplugging Teens from Technology

  So, what does it take to win mother of the year in 2015? First, call your two teenage daughters, 16 and 17, and their boyfriends to the kitchen for a family dinner. Once they arrive, mention that this is also a family meeting. Then smile a charming smile when the oldest one groans and announces that family meetings don’t usually end so well. And then laugh out loud when you reply that this one is no exception. In your...

Read more »

More posts