Occasionally, I have to disconnect and unplug. The lights and constant barrage of information can become overwhelming. After spending hours typing or peering at a screen my eyes will begin to hurt. If this happens to me as an adult, imagine the effects of too much screen time for children. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have to use our imaginations to understand the aftereffects as they relate to children and screens because during this pandemic we see the outcomes daily. Therefore, I’d love to identify some solutions on how we can help our kids unplug.
Are you a parent, educator, or guardian looking for non-digital activities that will engage children and keep their attention? Then please watch this video:
The American Academy Pediatrics Guidelines are clear too much screen time can cause issues such as:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Poor grades
- Poor Posture
- Lack of self-control
- Overstimulation, etc
Remote Learning has become a necessity
Like many families, my children are taking online classes to help them learn. I love that they are able to enjoy different classes with their friends, but I also want them to enjoy fun times once they put their electronic devices away.
Similarly, families nationwide are faced with deciding what to do with students who are home after relying on technology for their academic needs most of the day. Then parents worry that allowing them to have additional hours of digital time to socialize with friends and entertain themselves is just too much screen time.
Develop a Screen Time Plan To Help Your Kids Unplug
The first step in the right direction is to set healthy screen time habits by creating a screen time plan, next implement parental control features, using apps to control wifi, and then monitor screen time content. If you’re interested in creating an easy to follow family media plan check out healthychildren.org, the website has an easy-to-use template for parents to complete.
Non-screen Time Activities
So what activities can families do together that will be just as entertaining and won’t continually overstimulate their minds?
In my home we’ve enjoyed completing puzzles, painting, throwing darts, playing card games, hiking, and so much more. Sometimes, it is helpful to try something new with your kids even if it isn’t something that seems interesting at first. For example, we started a small garden and in the past, my gardens were not successful, this year was different and the items I planted grew and we were able to harvest vegetables and herbs.
Here are a few favorite non-screen time activities I recommend:
- Board games
- Make music together
- Listen to audiobooks together
- Do some family icebreakers
- Bird watching
- Go to a National Park/ recreational park
- Listen to music
- Teach each other your hobbies
What are you to help your kids unplug?