Fun Ways to Limit Kids’ Screen Time
Screen time may be an easy way to keep your child occupied, but too much of it can be detrimental to their physical and mental well being. To effectively limit your child’s screen time, you don’t have to go cold turkey. Instead, find fun activities to keep them busy. It’s all about setting good habits for life, balancing fun between online and offline play.
Statistics show that young kids and teenagers spend an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes a day on their phones. These numbers are worrying, and something needs to be done. Here are a few suggestions to try out.
Create technology-free zones in your home
Select a few rooms in your house where electronics such as mobile phones, laptops, and handheld video games aren’t allowed. This can be the dining area, the kitchen, and bedrooms.
Reserve these rooms for family conversations and resting. Make it part of their and ensure regular routine that you also participate in this to set a good example for your children.
Get them outside
Kids aren’t going out as much as they used to, but a few minutes outside the house will do them a lot of good. Physical exercise increases cognitive function and promotes better sleep, so allow them to run around, ride their bikes, take walks, etc.
A simple drive around the neighborhood is also a great way to get them out of the house for some fresh air.
Play with them
Kids don’t like to feel neglected. Therefore, if you limit their screen time, ensure that you find other ways to keep them occupied. Buy age-appropriate puzzles and board games, and let them play amongst themselves. Toys such as building blocks and dress-up props are also great for young kids. This will keep them busy and entertained for hours on end.
Set up a creation station in your house and let your kids spend an afternoon painting or creating something. Since we can’t see friends and family members right now, challenge them to create cards to send to their friends. After they are done, set up a family gallery and display their pieces.
You can even frame their work and hang it in their rooms. For the older kids, take up a bigger project such as painting, woodworking and redecorating their rooms and do it together.
Motivate them to help around the house
Chores aren’t fun, but they can be depending on how you position them. Children are naturally curious, so take advantage of their “me too” attitude and allow them to help you around the house. When cooking or cleaning, let them participate in the hustle and bustle. Teenagers are not that easy to convince, so create a reward system to encourage them.
Buy them books
Reading can be fun for kids too. Get them age-appropriate storybooks and novels and dedicate a few hours a day where everyone sits down to read.
You can also try storytelling with the younger kids. Stories of adventure and fantasy help boost creativity and imagination in children.
With 53% of UK parents concerned about excessive screen time, you’re not alone. These are only a few suggestions, and there are many more out there you can try, but hopefully this will give you a good place to start.