Too much screen time can be harmful for your children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of two should have no screen time. For children between two and twelve, only one hour of screen time is recommended. Teens and adults should have only two hours a day.
In our technology-driven world, we sometimes forget how good it is to get away from our screens. Parents work hard to provide everything for their kids, and this often means limiting their screen time. If you’re struggling to find ways to limit your child’s screen time, the eight tips below will help you make a big difference in your child’s routine.
- Don’t allow screens at the dinner table.
If you’re not sure where to start limiting your child’s screen time, the dinner table is a good place to start. Have your children put away their phones and tablets at the dinner table. To reinforce the importance of family time, make sure the adults are putting their tech away, too.
- Have clear limits about screens.
Make sure your children know the rules about screens. When possible, make the limits as clear as possible. The following are some suggestions for house rules about screen time:
- Only one hour of screen time a day.
- No screens for an hour before bed.
- No screen time until chores are done.
Make your rules and limits as clear as possible. It’s also important to make the rules age-appropriate. Your teenager might have different rules about screens than your preschooler, and that’s okay.
- Give your child a better choice.
Your children will spend less time on their devices if they have better options for entertainment. Provide them with plenty of entertaining activities to keep busy. For example, offer a number of fun activities and puzzles for your child to enjoy. ExploraToy’s Wooden Knob Puzzles are great for preschool and early elementary children.
Crafts, books, activities, and playtime are all great alternatives to screen time. For older children, it might help to create a list of activities for them to enjoy when they aren’t spending time on their screens. When they complain that they’re bored, suggest an item or two from that list as an alternative to screen time.
- Limit your time online when your child is present.
Adults are supposed to limit their screen time, too! When your child is present, model the importance of time away from screens by putting away your own technology. If your child regularly sees you playing or doing work on your phone, they’re likely to learn that screen time is the easiest way to stay entertained.
- Encourage your children to spend time outside.
When the weather permits, encourage your children to spend time outside. Whether they’re playing games or using their ExploraToy garden tool toys to dig around in the garden, time outside is a great way for your kids to spend time away from their screens.
As they play outside and enjoy the fresh air, they’re less likely to miss the time behind a screen. Best of all, this time also provides them with physical activity that promotes their mental and physical health.
- Give them your undivided attention.
Giving your child one-on-one attention is a great way to reduce their desire for time behind a screen. Spend time enjoying parent-child play or go for an outing together. Giving your child undivided attention is a great way to learn more about what they enjoy.
When you learn about the things they love, you’re better equipped to help them invest in hobbies away from their screens. Your child will feel loved and you’ll successfully reduce their screen time. Win-win!
- Take them to the library.
Once your child can read, books can provide them with hours of entertainment. Take regular trips to your local library and let your children pick out a few books to read. Encourage them to spend a certain amount of time reading each day.
Encouraging your child to read when they’re young will help them to develop a love for reading. This will help them over the course of their schooling.
- Provide screenless toys.
For younger children, toys are a great way to stimulate their minds and give them much-needed time away from their screens. Invest in some great toys to help your child enjoy time away from their screens.
We have a wide selection of wooden toys, perfect for your child. Our wooden toys are durable enough to withstand years of play. Best of all, we have a great selection of puzzles to help stimulate your child’s mind while keeping them entertained for hours!
Too much screen time is harmful to your children. If you’re struggling to find ways to cut down on your child’s screentime, the eight tips above will provide you and your children with great alternatives to time behind a screen. Whether you spend more time outdoors or spend time indoors at play, there are endless alternatives available to help your child enjoy time away from technology.
Are you looking for new toys to offer your child an alternative to screen time? At ExploraToy, we believe that the best toys are those without a screen! Our selection of wooden toys and puzzles will keep your children entertained for hours. You can find our full range of products here.