Kids & Commercialism

UPDATE! Our Kids & Commercialism program will soon find a home within the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). CCFC is committed to helping children thrive in an increasingly commercialized, screen-obsessed culture, and is the only organization dedicated to ending marketing to children. Learn more about this transition on our blog. In the meantime, you’ll still find all of New Dream’s Kids & Commercialism resources below.

Let children be children—not merely consumers.

Tired of all the ads, screens, and “stuff” that overwhelm childhood? Looking for ways to reclaim time and space for kids to be kids? 
Our Kids & Commercialism resources are packed with practical tips for creating non-commercial environments and experiences for children, 
helping you make lasting change in the lives of the kids you care about.

Save Money and Go Green by Sharing and Reusing Kids' Stuff

New Dream's Shara Drew offers tips on ways to share our kids’ things, providing great opportunities to help our children learn the value of reusing and making do. 

The Value of Reducing Children's Screen Time: An Interview with Jean Rogers

Jean discusses how screen-time overuse is affecting kids' social-emotional and physical health, and provides tips for parents seeking to reduce screen time.

5 Action Steps to Change Kids’ Screen Time

Here are five steps you can take to help make childhood what it should be for kids: filled with play, quality time with caring adults, and exploration in the natural world. 

10 Great Books to Teach Your Kids About Consumerism

Shara Drew, the director of New Dream's Kids & Commercialism campaign, reviews two recent children’s books that deal with the topic of consumerism in a way that's impactful and fun, and also suggests eight more oldies but goodies.

GUIDE: Family Celebrations: A More Fun, Less Stuff Guide to Life's Joyful Events

Our newest guide provides inspiration and practical tips for you to plan special celebrations that reduce waste and expense, emphasize meaning over material goods, and strengthen relationships. With specific sections on: The Year-End Holidays, Birthday Parties, Baby Showers, and Community-Building Celebrations.

VIDEO: The High Price of Materialism – how our culture of consumerism undermines our well-being (5 min.)

In this short animation, psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being.

Skip the Goody Bags and Embrace Creativity Instead

New Dreamer Rinny Yourman describes how her family ditched goody bags in favor of giving guests at her daughter's birthday and Bat Mitzvah parties a more meaningful experience. 

GUIDE: Kids Unbranded: Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture

Our updated guide provides insight into the excessive advertising that children face today, as well as practical tools to help parents and caregivers push back.

ACTION KIT: Schools Unbranded – simple steps to understanding and pushing back against rampant in-school commercialism

This helpful guide offers simple steps to understanding and pushing back against rampant in-school commercialism.

SoKind – the "alternative" gift registry

Give the gift of more fun and less stuff today by creating an alternative registry for your child's next birthday, holiday, family celebration, and more.

WEBINAR: Starting a Toy Lending Library

This webinar provides guidance on how to start a toy lending library in your community, with a special look at successful initiatives in Minneapolis and Cleveland.

GUIDE: The Family Guide to a (Mostly) Screen-Free Summer

Concerned about screen time taking over your free time? This special resource is chock full of ideas to help you reclaim your summer. 

CATALOG: More Fun Less Stuff Gift Catalog – 100s of fun, low-cost, non- material gift ideas you can use today!

An alternative gift catalog for those who want to wrap their holidays in more of what matters—meaning, connection, and joy—and less of what doesn’t (stuff, stress, and waste). Check out the specific sections on gifts for kids, young adults, and the whole family.

COUPON BOOK: New Dream's Printable Coupon Book – a template for giving customized coupons to family & friends

Give gifts of time, experience, and memories—not more stuff! New Dream's Printable Coupon Book is an easy-to-use template that you can print out, customize, and give to family and friends of all ages.

Community in Action Challenge: Play!

Playfulness contributes to well-being for all ages. So let’s disconnect from our devices and connect more with our children, our inner-children, each other, and mother nature. Take our challenge – and go out and play!