Oct 26 , 2022
It’s time to power off and recharge!
Screens are now everywhere, becoming more and more complicated to keep off.
Adults and kids are always focused on a screen, whether it’s a tv, computer, iPad, or phone. We either watch a movie, or cartoons, read, play a game, or just scroll on social media. We spend hours looking at screens.
Studies have shown that, on average, teenagers spend almost nine hours on screens (from smartphones to gaming consoles and TVs). And now, with the pandemic, virtual learning is still happening in some places around the world.
Fact: A child under two learns much more from a person than from a video shown.
No matter the age, everyone should take some time away from so much loved and desired screens to minimize health problems, moodiness, body issues, anxiety, or even depression.
We do not deny the fact that screens can teach and entertain kids healthily. Still, too much is just too much and usually leading to problems like sleep problems, less time for human interactions, mood and focus problems, weight and body image issues, poor academic performances, and lack of social skills.
An increased screen time usually means less physical movement during an entire day which is a huge downside for growing kids.
While managing screen time can be challenging, you should keep in mind certain recommendations for the healthy development of your little one:
- No screens during meals and gatherings.
- Avoid using screen time to soothe a child, to avoid a tantrum, or as a babysitter.
- No screens for 60-90 minutes before going to bed.
- Encourage using screen time to spark creativity, connect with dear ones, and learn and develop their skills.
- Explain what they see, which is related to reality, and which is not.
- Preview the tv shows, games, and apps your child will view, play or use.
Create a free tech time
A time and place during the day (preferably before bedtime where no device is allowed. They can come up with ideas to spend time alone or with a sibling/caregiver, playing, dancing, reading, or exercising.
Crazy art painting!
If they are not attracted by painting on white paper, get creative and invite them to paint on unusual things like eggshells, and pumpkins, personalize a white mug, make a book sign, and many more. They can even get creative and find a new item to paint, allowing as much freedom as possible to make this activity much more interesting than any cartoons.
Gardening their way to a healthy environment!
How plants grow raises interest among toddlers. How to plant and grow different plants it’s quite interesting to do and watch each day. This way, they learn more about their environment, how the sun plays a huge role, and how they can participate in the process.
Puzzles and other games!
When doing a puzzle (age-appropriate), kids reinforce their logical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills—choosing games wisely to work on different abilities your child needs to have or work on. Like this Sliding Puzzle Board that helps with matching skills, pattern recognition, dexterity, and problem-solving. A game that can be played alone or with you, training logical thinking and promoting healthy competition (so much needed in adult life).
Outside play is always a good idea (no matter the weather)
From running and moving their body to draw with chalk, jumping into a puddle, or discovering nature, being outside has many benefits. Kids are full of energy that needs to be consumed healthy, and getting active outside is one of them. They should release that energy in a healthy way and in a healthy environment. Make hunts, investigate bugs, play with sand, make bubbles, and play traditional sports. You name it, or they can name it! Just be there, play or observe and keep them safe.
There is no correct answer on how much screen time your little one needs. There may be days when they are just too entertained by other activities, so no screen time is asked for. And there are days when they need just a little bit more. Balance is essential, and good relation with screens is modeled by us, too. Picking up a book or preferring a walk instead of one more TV show it’s encouraging a good habit.