Students can bring the learning home with these fun activities for classrooms and families.

family dinner without devices

#DeviceFreeDinner sends a simple but powerful message home to students and families: Part of being a good digital citizen is knowing when to take a break from media and technology to spend time with the people we love.

Everything from better grades to a healthier lifestyle have been credited to eating together as a family. But phones at the table can block those benefits. Though the majority of parents agree that devices aren't welcome at the dinner table, a 2016 Common Sense poll found that phones and other media are often present anyway.

The connection between classroom lessons and home life is essential when it comes to supporting students in learning how to have a healthy relationship with media. Whether families are reinforcing the skills, or students are teaching the adults in their lives how to have media balance themselves, #DeviceFreeDinner can be a fun way to engage your students' families in digital citizenship.

Check out this collection of tools and activities to get started with #DeviceFreeDinner in your classroom or school community. And kick things off with this sweet message from our furry friends at Sesame Street (great for students of any age)!

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1. Use these fun, age-appropriate #DeviceFreeDinner handouts as a hook or an extension for your media balance lessons:

2. Share these resources with students' families to encourage #DeviceFreeDinners:

3. Plan a #DeviceFreeDinner Day for your school community:


Erin Wilkey O.

Erin’s work has focused on supporting students, teachers, and families for over a decade. As content director for family and community engagement at Common Sense, she provides parents and caregivers with practical tips and strategies for managing media and tech at home, and supports teachers in strengthening partnerships with families. Prior to her work with Common Sense, Erin taught public high school students and adult English learners in Kansas City. Her time as a National Writing Project teacher consultant nurtured her passion for student digital creation and media literacy. She has bachelor's degrees in English and secondary education and a master's degree in instructional design and technology. Erin loves to knit, read, hike, and bake. But who has time for hobbies with two young kids? In her free time these days, you'll find her hanging out at playgrounds, the zoo, and the beach with her family.