Screen time gets a bad rap, and I totally get it. Here are screen time activities your kids can enjoy and you can feel good about too!
Young children need physical activity in their day and sitting in front of a screen playing video games isn’t great for your child’s mental health or physical health.
Raising children is all about building healthy habits that will carry your children through their adult lives. We want to encourage working on communication skills, unstructured playtime, quality time, and overall healthy screen habits.
But this doesn’t mean that screens are bad and we need to stay away from them at all times.
Here are kids screen time activities that can have a positive effect on your child and can even help with language development while helping create a healthy relationship between electronic devices and responsibilities!
All Screen Time Isn’t Created Equal
Screen usage has been shown to lower a child’s performance on language and cognitive exams.
Certain sorts of screen time activities might have all of those bad consequences, while others can protect your child against a zombie apocalypse.
Fast-moving animation or video, for example, has been shown to cause attention problems in children. Educational and slower-paced screen time, on the other hand, does not have the same harmful consequences.
In other words, a youngster who spends an hour playing Fortnite will be much angrier than a child who attends a one-hour nature documentary.
Getting Kids Outside and Off Screens (side note)
One of the risks of screen time for children is that it takes away time from things that will boost their wellness and happiness, such as regular physical activity or time spent outside.
Here are some resources for you:
- Wellness Activities For Kids This Year
- Kids Need The Outdoors, And Here’s How To Get Them Off The Couch
Activities for Your Child’s Screen Time That Are Actually Beneficial
In today’s society, many parents, like myself, consider screen time to be a necessary. We can’t constantly supervise our children’s every waking moment 12+ hours a day when we have work to do or families to manage (or both). As much as I’d love to play board games all day and bake cookies with the kids, the laundry list of mom life to do’s are just too demanding.
Putting our kids in front of electronic screens for several hours a day isn’t the ideal solution, either, because it can prevent them from getting enough sleep, getting enough active play time, and having the types of experiences they need to flourish. The impact of screen time when used in excessive ways can be detrimental and we want to build healthier screen time habits for ourselves and our kids, don’t we?
However, when it comes to the correct type of screen time, we may utilise it in moderation and try to avoid excessive screen time. That is, the sort that will not turn our children into zombies. The sort we don’t have to feel bad about since it not only avoids the detrimental impacts of screen time, but it also allows our children to learn something.
Below, you’ll find a list of the best screen time activities for kids so that you can get things done – whether that means working from home with kids or simply sneaking away to raid your secret chocolate stash so that you feel recharged and ready to tackle whatever parenting life throws at you next.
Documentaries For Kids
Documentaries for kids are a great way to get a little learning into your day while keeping the kids occupied. Admit that you can feel good staying away from violent content and learning about sweet animals in the wild or deep in our oceans.
Visit A Virtual Safari
Set up a few different live webcams from zoos and aquariums for your child to attempt to find the animals and watch what they’re up to if your youngster like animals.
Visit an Educational Website
Feel good about screen time with these educational websites, interactive games and other online resources for kids of all ages.
It makes no difference if your little Einstein is a quick learner or needs a little more help with their ABCs. Websites like the Khan Academy and Scholastic are great places for your child to explore in the online world.
Your child can learn new skills and on whatever form of digital media you have available, and while it’s not as good as outdoor play, these kinds of educational websites can stimulate the brain in healthy ways. These are a great way to get your child off of other social media platforms and are a perfect opportunity to get in some new learning for school-age kids.
Do An Outschool Class
Your child can browse the online programs available at Outschool and choose what they want to learn about, from ASL to chicken farming to video game creation – pretty much everything you can think of!
Teachers are specialists on the field they’re teaching, and classes are small groups of students that meet through video chat on a regular basis for a length of time.
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
If your child has never watched Mister Rogers, I recommend viewing an episode with them for the first time, or you may play LEGOs or produce art together while the episode is playing in the background as passive screen time.
After then, pay close attention to your child. Many youngsters are thrown into a quiet trance by this slow-paced children’s programme, and after the episode is finished, they aren’t as moody as they are after watching other types of television. Screen time that’s guilt-free? Check!
Watch Science Experiments
Save a few Youtube channels with kids’ science projects to your child’s favourites so he or she may go through them and do an experiment at home.
Watch Videos With A Purpose
When your child wants to watch youtube videos, skip the scary Paw Patrol knockoffs and instead watch one of these powerful videos for kids.
Your child will learn how to be a nice and thoughtful friend by watching the videos on that list. Your youngster will learn tried-and-true techniques for dealing with huge, terrifying emotions. They’ll discover key life skills such as why we should embrace people regardless of their differences – and much more.
Learn A New Language Online
Learning a second language boosts your child’s memory, improves their ability to focus, and improves their reading comprehension and vocabulary in their native tongue, according to research. Setting up a language learning app for kids is the simplest method to get your child started learning a new language.
How It’s Made
I used to love to watch “how it’s made” when I was a kid. I learned so many interesting things that I didn’t even know I wanted to know! Like, how are toothbrushes made, or gummies or eyeglass lenses. The possibilities are endless here.
Work On Typing Skills
Touch typing is a valuable life skill that will benefit your child far beyond their school years. Set up a touch typing application for your youngster, such as the award-winning Keyboarding Without Tears. This application has taught touch typing to three of my children, and I strongly recommend it.
Google Earth It
Exploring the planet with Google Earth is entertaining in and of itself, but if your child needs a little more structure, you can set him up with a Google Earth-based educational software, such as the Where on Google Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? game or their Flight Simulator. Check out these projects on the Google Earth teaching portal for further inspiration.
Find A Learning App or Game
Kids may create and share their own music at the Chrome Music Lab. Begin with the Song Maker exercise and then let them go from there. If your child loves it, they can go to an app with additional functionality, such as GarageBand.
Design A Comic Book
Kids may create their own comic strip using their own images with the Strip Designer app. This is an unique and enjoyable method to begin kids blogging about their memories and experiences, such as a memorable family trip or their first day of school, which is great since journaling helps kids cope with emotions, especially unpleasant emotions.
Create A Movie
By drafting a story, constructing a set, putting together the clothes, and shooting the video, our youngster may pretend to be a filmmaker. They can make a one-person performance if there are just a few youngsters, but if there are more children, the entire crew can participate. The GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine app teaches youngsters how to produce a stop-motion movie if they need a bit more structure to get started.
Listen To A Book Aloud
You may see free videos of actors reading children’s books aloud on Storyline Online.
Start A Digital Journal
Journaling is an effective strategy for assisting children in coping with emotions because it puts you in a state of mindfulness, where your bad experiences don’t appear as traumatic. In addition, the emotional release you get from journaling might help you sleep better and reduce worry and tension. Try the Day One journaling app.
Facetime A Friend
Face-to-face video chats have been shown to benefit children, therefore the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends them even for toddlers! Video chatting can help younger kids with learning social skills, especially if they have not yet started school. It’s also active enough of a n activity where there is no eye strain or other health issues to worry about.
Get Moving With Yoga
Is it still screen time if your kids are doing yoga in the living room with a virtual instructor? I guess so. It is so great to get kids moving, even if a little screen is on, that’s ok! I like Cosmic Kids Yoga channel for my children.
Geocaching is a game in which you use your smartphone to search for “treasures” concealed in the real world by other geocachers. You check up the coordinates of hidden caches near you on the geocaching site or via the app, then go out to locate them.
When you uncover a cache, you update the log book (bring a pen!) with the names of everyone who has visited it so far, and then you can switch a trinket in the cache for one you brought. Coins, toy cards, art tools such as markers or pens, key chains, tiny books, and other items may be found.
Keeping Screen Time Healthy
Every time I turn around, a new article appears with additional screen time guidelines for families to follow. To give myself grace as a parent, I prefer to think of this as my family’s “screen time guardrails.” In other words, what are the fundamental principles that will keep us on track?
Healthy children talks about setting up boundaries and consistent limits around screen time at home.
Harvard medical school goes on to talk about the important of balancing screen time with other activities. Going on family bike rides, rock climbing centers, starting an herb garden, doing a scavenger hunt, playing outdoor games, doing a science experiment and generally getting to the outside world and away from the digital world is important. It’s great to put down your cell phone and join your kids in outdoor activities.