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When it comes to managing screen time, each family has a different approach. Some families set strict limits, others let kids have as much screen time as they want.
In our home, we have rules that help us limit screen time, because I think there are many other activities that are a lot more beneficial for my son than spending time in front of screens.
But I also think that we shouldn’t only focus on how much screen time our kids get. Because not all screen time is equal.
Spending one hour a day playing violent video games is not better than spending two hours watching documentaries.
Spending 3 hours a week binging videos on Youtube (without having any control over the content) is not better than spending 5 hours a week using an educational app or reading stories on a tablet.
Managing screen time for kids is not only about quantity, but also about quality.
This is why I want to share with you 5 easy ways to offer your kids quality content for screen time.
1. Use screen time to encourage kids to learn new things
We tested many educational apps in the last months, but many of them were disappointing. Either the quality of the content was bad, or the app was not fun enough to offer the kids an engaging experience.
Luckily, last year we discovered two educational apps that both my son and I loved!
⭐ Our favorite one is called Epic! – the leading digital library for kids 12 and under.
Inside the app, kids can read tons of books, watch videos, and listen to audiobooks.
I love the idea of holding a book in my hands and reading it to my kids while cuddling on the couch, but this app is a great addition to our regular storytime.
Kids can use the app to read the book on their own or listen to someone reading them. This is great for both practicing reading and discovering awesome new stories.
The audiobooks are also great (and they are not even screen time because kids just need to listen to the story).
⭐ You can try Epic! for free for 30 days using this link.
Another great educational app is Reading Eggs.
We discovered it when I was looking for ways to help my son learn to read, but this app has much more than this!
Actually, he is now using the section dedicated to math (called Mathseeds) almost every time he plays on the app.
⭐ You can try Reading Eggs for free for 2 weeks using this link.
2. Choose interactive experiences and get the kids actively involved
One of the best ways to do this is to use hands-on learning games.
We use Osmo, and my son loves it!
The games are fun, and they include hand help pieces (like a drawing board, tangram pieces, or number and letter tiles) that turn to life using the tablet.
It was one of the best investments we made when it comes to digital apps and games!
If you want your kids to play on the tablet without staring at the screen passively for hours, Osmo is the perfect solution.
3. Invite kids to watch documentaries and inspirational movies
This is a great way for them to discover new things, get inspired, or explore topics they are interested in.
Here are some ideas:
⭐ documentaries on Netflix
- If I were an animal (a wonderful series for young kids)
- Expedition China
- Our Planet
- Oceans (by Disney Nature)
- Growing Up Wild (by Disney Nature)
⭐ documentaries on Disney+
- Wings of Life
- Wild Yellowstone
- documentaries created by National Geographic
⭐ documentaries on Amazon Prime
4. Turn screen time into an opportunity to get active
Instead of sitting on the couch with a tablet in their hands, kids can also have an “active” screen time.
There are several apps and games that get kids moving or dancing, and this is a great way to burn off their energy.
We have the “Just Dance” game for Playstation, and we always have a lot of fun when we use it.
I also heard a lot of positive feedback about the GoNoodle app for kids.
5. Join your child for screen time
I know that many times we use screen time as a way to keep kids entertained while we take care of other things. But screen time can also provide great opportunities for family bonding.
Here are some ways to do this:
- show interest in what they are doing or watching
- participate in your child’s screen time and have fun together (e.g., play multi-player games, use an app that you both like, etc)
- watch movies or documentaries with your child, in a cozy place of your home (here is a list of movies that are perfect for family movie night).
Bonus idea: Use screen time as inspiration for screen-free activities
A great way to keep kids busy without screens is to use screen time as an inspiration for other activities that will keep them entertained.
For example, after watching a movie or playing a game, you can invite them to draw something they liked, build something inspired by the movie, or write a story about the main character.
Also, you can look for printable activities with your child’s favorite characters and use them to keep the little ones busy without using technology.
More ideas about managing screen time for kids
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