Screen time refers to any time that our kids spend looking at a screen. This could be playing games on a tablet or computer, watching television or playing on a mobile phone. Spending time on screens becomes part of the normal routine of kids when they start school.
Some screen time can have great benefits for our kids' learning, but too much time spent looking at a screen can impact growth and development. Screen time should not reduce time spent sleeping or time spent being physically active. Screen time should not replace activities such as reading, drawing and social time with family and friends, as these are essential for the child's full development.
How much screen time is too much?
Tips to manage screen time
Eat together as a family without screens
Keep screens out of the bedroom
Take toys or books instead of a screen when going out
Set time limits for screen time
Stop using screens at least 1 hour before bed
Be a good role model - reduce your screen time too
Swap screens for quality time as a family (go for a walk, play card games or board games)
Cook or garden together to develop life skills
When using screens, choose programs and apps that:
Encourage movement, such as dance or yoga
Encourage creativity, such as drawing or making video clips, animations or comics
Require problem solving
Support communication skills, such as language skills
Help develop social skills
Promote positive messages about relationships, family and life – avoid those that display violence and bad attitudes
Encourage kids to take up new activities away from the screen