With school out for the summer, parents and caregivers will be looking for ways to keep children engaged and away from screen time as much as possible.

Lisa Dworak with the Missoula City County Health Department said the goal is activity away from smart phones, TV’s and computer screens.

“We know that kids that are outside playing, reading books and hanging out with their friends and have a healthy balance of screen time will go back to school in the fall ready to learn,” said Dworak. “That’s why it’s really important this summer to ‘unplug and play’. We’re excited for our ‘Unplug and Play’ Summer Kickoff this Sunday from one to four. We’ll be in Franklin Park and McLeod Park and those parks are connected by an Open Streets route so kids can walk and bike between the two parks, It’s only a mile and it takes about 30 minutes to walk and about 10 minutes to bike, and there’ll be tons of activities.”

Dworak said the Parks and Recreation Department has created a high-tech guide to help parents and kids easily and quickly find outdoor activities.

“We upgraded a summer guide that is available at 5210 Missoula dot com and it basically compiles all the free and low cost things that are happening in Missoula, so if your kids need something new and exciting this guide is jam-packed full of exciting activities,” she said. “The other thing is strong consistent boundaries on when and how they can use their screens they respond a lot better.”

Missoula Parks and Recreation says ‘Let’s Move! 5-2-1-0’is a daily recipe for health used nationally to promote healthy lifestyles. The four 5-2-1-0 behaviors are:

Every day:

5 fruits and vegetables

2 hours (or less) of recreational screen time

1 hour of physical activity

0 sweetened beverages


The ‘Unplug and Play’ event is Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Franklin and McLeod Parks.

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