Fairplay is committed to helping families, schools, and communities navigate the overwhelm and confusion of technology during quarantine. We’ve created this curated list of recommended, evidence-based resources to help you sort through all the information with peace of mind. To access any resource, simply click on the title.


Managing Screen Time

Source: Fairplay’s Children’s Screen Time Action Network
Description: What do young children really need during these difficult times? What can parents do to ensure that their young children are getting the sleep, play, and exercise they need while confined to the house and separated from their friends? How can parents get their work done without using screen time to keep kids busy? This unique Q&A event, moderated by Action Network Live!’s Jean Rogers, features Nancy Carlsson-Paige and Dr. Mark Bertin. Child development expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige, EdD was a teacher educator at Lesley University for over 30 years, is co-founder of Defending the Early Years, and a writer, speaker, and activist. Dr. Mark Bertin is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, an assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College, and the author of two books on how children thrive.

Source: Fairplay’s Children’s Screen Time Action Network
Description: During this period of social distancing, how can parents engage their children to develop meaningful routines, and ensure they get the exercise, sleep, and emotional connection they need? As schools require children to be online more than ever, how can parents ensure that children get the offline time they need to learn, play and thrive? How can parents guide their children to use screens in a limited and intentional manner? This unique Q&A event, moderated by Action Network Live!’s Jean Rogers, features Teodora Pavkovic and Dr. Mark Bertin. Teodora Pavkovic is a psychologist, parenting coach, and speaker with international experience helping children and adults improve their emotional and mental wellbeing. Dr. Mark Bertin is a developmental behavioral pediatrician, an assistant professor of pediatrics at New York Medical College, and the author of two books on how children thrive.

Source: Fairplay’s Children’s Screen Time Action Network
Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has erased old boundaries between work, home, and school life, upended efforts to minimize tech use, and increased stress levels across the country. However, this situation presents parents with an unprecedented opportunity to find meaningful and creative ways to promote family flourishing and wellness. In this webinar specifically for parents, grandparents, and caregivers, Nina Hersher and Criscillia Benford offer strategies to develop healthy digital habits, create conditions for connection within households, and help you use design-thinking inspired approaches to cope with challenging emotions and create reassuring structures. Nina Hersher, MSW is co-founder and CEO of the Digital Wellness Collective, a global trade association of digital wellness experts and organizations collaborating to enhance human relationships through the intentional use and development of technology. Educator, communications consultant, and Action Network Advisory Board Member Criscillia Benford, PhD is currently writing “The Tech Between Us,” a book manuscript-in-progress that leverages her work in Human-Computer Interaction and the Psychology of Interaction Design to help readers use tech in ways that reduce social anxiety and strengthen personal and professional relationships.

Description: The Children’s Screen Time Action Network is a project of Fairplay. If you’re a practitioner, educator, advocate or parent interested in reducing children’s screen time, join our Network for weekly News You Can Use emails, and opportunities to collaborate on and share resources. Membership is free.

Source: Thrive Global
Description: Problematic screen use involves low-quality, frequent technology use that can be prevented by these 5 strategies: reduce the extra use, rethink the devices, reclaim your child, and reconnect your family.

Source: Durable Human
Description: Action Network member Jenifer Joy Madden offers empathetic encouragement to those of us faced with endless suggestions around children’s screen time during COVID.

Parenting during Quarantine

Source: Jan Eby, Laurie Mobilio, Lynne Noel, and Cindy Summers on the Fairplay Blog
Description: For grandparents practicing social distancing, they can spend time with their young grandchildren and help stressed out parents by “supervising” play time in a safe space over video chat!

Source: Defending the Early Years
Description: Child development experts created this guide for helping young children process the pandemic, stay engaged during a stay-at-home order, and navigate many families’ questions and concerns.

Source: The Conversation
Description: For children ages under 9, play is the ultimate form of learning, self-regulation, and skill-building. Parents can give themselves permission to decrease academic pressure and create room for play during quarantine.

Source: The Hechinger Report
Description: Fairplay Executive Director Josh Golin explains why parents shouldn’t feel the need to entertain their kids 24/7 during social distancing. In fact, letting them find their own fun or be bored is good for children!

Source: YES! Magazine
Description: How can we think about having our children at home as a tool for developing cultural responsiveness and equity? YES Magazine invites us to think about stay-at-home orders as a way to disconnect socially and culturally from oppressive systems, which often align with children’s media use and access.

Source: PBS SoCal
Description: Five parents describe their experiences shifting to technicians, teachers, administrators, and entertainers during quarantine with an emphasis on following children’s leads, building in family time, and tending to children’s social emotional needs.

Offline Play and Other Activities

Source: Fairplay’s Screen-Free Week
Description: A full resource library of screen-free ideas, planning support, and printables. Fairplay has also created Screen-Free Saturdays to help you find balance while working and learning from home. Subscribe to screenfree.org/pledge for monthly emails with activities, tips, and encouragement for going screen-free one day per week.

Source: Screen-Free Parenting
Description: Hands-on screen-free activities that require light supervision are great for many different ages.

Source: Sierra Club
Description: “You can reap many of the benefits of nature without traveling, and the best way to observe public health guidelines right now is to stay home, visit the local parks and trails in your community (if they are still open), and bring nature inside.”

Source: Big Dreams, Little Footprints
Description: One opportunity in times of crisis is helping our children develop skills for independence and teaching them ways to be creative and resourceful, while also reducing waste and demonstrating the difference between wants and needs.

Online Schooling and Edtech

Source: Fairplay’s Children’s Screen Time Action Network
Description: In the face of growing edtech overuse in schools across the United States, the Screens in Schools work group of the Children’s Screen Time Action Network created this Action Kit. The Kit is a resource to help anyone engage in meaningful activism against edtech overuse, whether you’re a seasoned activist or just getting started!

Source: Fairplay’s Children’s Screen Time Action Network
Description: As education moves online to support social distancing, early childhood educators are facing a unique challenge: early education is an entirely social experience! In this webinar specifically for teachers of young children, educators and advocates Kisha Reid and Nancy Carlsson-Paige will answer your questions and offer strategies to help maintain connections to students and families, encourage play-based learning, and support children’s – and your own – wellbeing in this challenging moment. Child development specialist Nancy Carlsson-Paige, EdD was a teacher educator at Lesley University for over 30 years, is co-founder of Defending the Early Years, and a writer, speaker, and activist. Kisha Reid is an early childhood educator, education consultant, and the owner and director of Discovery Early Learning Center, a play-based preschool where she also teaches.

Source: Fairplay’s Children’s Screen Time Action Network
Description: This guide from members of our Screens in Schools work group helps kids think of fun, educational activities if they’re stuck inside.

Source: The Boston Globe
Description: Featuring the new daily routine of 12-year-old Boston Public School student Malaki Solo, the inequities and realities of our children’s education both before and during the pandemic are brought to light.

Source: Illuminara Services
Description: Author Dianne McGaunn encourages us to see how the pandemic shines light on the inequities of our educational system and proposes reforms, including on how we approach education technology.

Source: Parents Together
Description: Parents Together’s survey reveals that 85% of parents are concerned with their children’s tech usage and calls upon Congress and Big Tech to prioritize children’s safety and privacy.

Tech Safety and Privacy

Source: FoolProofMe
Description: FoolProofMe provides kid-friendly information on COVID-19, financial literacy strategies during the pandemic for kids, and encouragement to stay observant of advertisements and other consumerism schemes.

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Description: “How might we integrate complex topics like AI, privacy, and security in relatable ways that empower children to be conscientious consumers of these platforms and technologies?”

Source: Student Privacy Matters
Description: Provides an example of how student privacy must be prioritized in education technology and online platforms accessed by children.

Source: Common Dreams
Description: 33 human rights and consumer groups from all over the world, led by Fairplay and Defend Digital Me, called on governments to hold organizations accountable for implementing better privacy and safety concerns.

Source: ACLU
Description: Although many apps are free for students during the pandemic, they also have a tendency to inappropriately collect data, information, and even photos of your child.


National Day of Unplugging is offering regular online gatherings for folks thinking about screen time during the pandemic.

Dr. Susan Linn, founder of Fairplay, has created these videos with Audrey Duck to explain the pandemic to young children. And, Susan is offering video chats for kids with Audrey Duck to talk about COVID-19. To set up a chat, email [email protected].

Children & Nature Network has created Finding Nature, which hosts resources, events, and strategies for connecting with nature during COVID-19.

Action Network Advisory Board member Tiffany Shlain, author of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, has offered a Facebook Community for those working to establish screen-free time for them and their families. Find out more at 24sixlife.com.

The Digital Wellness Collective offers tools to analyze your Digital Wellness and opportunities to connect to organizations who contribute to a technology balance.

Learn more about our Action Network members and the communities they offer at www.screentimenetwork.org.