With screen time being incorporated into nearly every aspect of our lives during this pandemic, balancing out the use of electronics has become a task for parents. Excess usage of electronics not only has negative health effects but also takes away time from kids to engage in hands-on learning and exploring their interests and hobbies. So how do you reduce screen time for kids?
Young kids have curious minds and in order to ignite their curiosity and keep them engaged, finding something that interests them and makes them want to learn is important during times like this where we are demanded to stay at home. Even though kids may be tech-savvy, sometimes even more tech-savvy than us, explaining to them the adverse health effects of gadgets is important. Reducing screen time for kids does not only have to be limited to setting time slots to use gadgets, but also about teaching your kids ways to stay entertained without gadgets or electronics.
Ways to Reduce Screen Time for Kids Without A Fight
Set a schedule: A routine helps your kids stay focused. Plan your kid’s day and incorporate screen time within this routine. Kids will then look at screen time as something rewarding and not a necessity throughout the day.
Set the example: Be a role model to your kids and ensure you limit your screen time too. Try to avoid scrolling on social media or even watching excess television in front of your kids as they will pick up on this habit. Trading out your phone after dinner for a book instead will show your child that books can be just as entertaining. Learning never stops.
Create “technology-free zones”: A starting point for this could be having gadget-free family meals. Establish places in your house where the use of technology is simply not allowed. Try to keep your gadgets in places where your kids cannot see them. By not having gadgets in front of them constantly, it will be easier for them to forget about it and in turn limit screen time.
Encourage other activities: Keeping your kids on their feet and channeling their energy into something productive is essential. Engage your kids in household chores, gardening, encourage them to read, do arts and crafts with them. STEM learning kits are a great way to keep kids interested, encourage independent play and at the same time help them learn, assess and innovate.
Encourage family time with kids: Have family planned activities in your schedule for the day. Play board games as a family, put on a play at home, solve puzzles, organise an in-house book club, anything that will help your child learn and create.
Exercise together as a family: Do fun exercises during the day to keep your kids fit and help them have fun. Indoor activities such as skipping rope, fun stretching exercises are a great way to keep your kids on their feet. Exercise helps you and your kids relieve mental and physical stress. You can even try some simple yoga poses with your children. Yoga not only engages their physical body but also helps to relax the mind specially before bed.
Encourage reading as a hobby: Reading to young children is proven to improve cognitive skills and help along the process of cognitive development. Reduce screen time for kids by encouraging them to read and learn. Ask your kids what interests them and buy them books that they would look forward to. For young kids, we have a great collection of engaging storybooks that will make your kid want to learn.
Ban screens from the bedroom: Unplug all gadgets in the bedroom. Having devices in the bedroom can interfere with your kid’s sleep cycle and make it harder to sleep at night. If your kid does not get a good night’s sleep, that means they won’t be able to focus on tasks during the day.
Surprise your kids: Find fun ways to keep your kid entertained during their free time. Plan treasure hunts or any indoor activities that do not give your kid’s a chance to say that there’s nothing to do.
Stand your ground: Limiting screen time is sure to bring up some conflicts with your kids, but the important thing is to stand your ground. Being consistent with rules will help your child better understand the consequences of their actions. If a conflict arises, take a step back and explain to your kids why these limitations are better for them and their health.
Like we mentioned in the beginning, setting time limits won’t just do it. Kids can be pretty selfish so make sure they realise that they have some control too. Let your kids choose what they want to watch and when, as long as it is established within the time limits. The overall goal here is to build a healthy relationship with screens as early as possible. This will help create a great foundation for your growing child in the future.
If you are looking for ways to engage your kids at home and at the same time enhance their learning environment, our STEAM kits are your best bet. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. This interdisciplinary approach to learning demonstrates how these five disciplines work together in real-life situations. Our STEAM kits not only help reduce screen time for kids but also helps your kids engage in problem-solving activities, encourages critical thinking, gives them an opportunity to create and innovate and also ask the right questions. At Banyan Tree Kidz, we believe hands-on learning is the way of the future for our kids. It’s not only about textbook learning anymore but how our kids use their learning and apply it in the real world. With our researched and curated learning kits, we want kids to be excited to learn. Create a fish tank, build an erupting volcano, craft colourful chameleons, travel to space and more with the help of our DIY kits for kids.
Reduce screen time for your kids while also helping them stay engaged and making them eager to learn. Banyan Tree Kidz has got you covered in the fun learning area.