These days it’s difficult to raise our children without so many technological advances in their face. With social media profiles, computers and video game consoles it’s no wonder the average kid gets consumed into utilizing electronics for their entertainment purposes. It is a challenge when it comes to the question of how to limit screen time for kids. It’s also super easy for parents to get sucked into this trap of using electronics to keep their kids occupied. If parents are working from home, they just want their kids to be entertained long enough to get that work done.
This is a constant struggle in my home too. I have tried different methods to entertain my children without electronics. In the process, I came up with some tips and tricks that I think you may find helpful. It’s actually an easy feat, if only you get in touch with your creative side and remain steadfast in setting some boundaries when it comes to electronic usage.
How to Limit Screen Time for Kids
Following are 5 ideas to steer your kids away from electronics, thereby limiting screen time:
1. Play Outside
Set limits as to where and how far you kids can go in the yard, teach them to play games like tag or purchase bicycles that they can ride up and down your driveway.
2. Stock up on Outdoor Toys
Purchase jump ropes, hula hoops and badminton for your kids to have multiple options of things to do outside on a nice Summer or Fall day. Teach your kids how to play hop scotch using a small rock & sidewalk chalk.
3. Create an Engaging Environment
From day one raise your kids in an environment that engages them beyond the electronics. Have areas in the home setup with toys based on their interests and age levels that keep them engaged for hours.
Most parents will only read stories at bedtime, start reading with your kid throughout the day. Select a time of day that works and read a book during daytime hours when you can be more animated about what you are reading to get your kid to laugh and want to hear you read more. Consider this as your bonding time with little ones. You will see them looking forward to the special Reading Time with much interest! Electronics will be the last thing on their mind if you create a love of reading in your kids early on.
5. Choose Toys Wisely
An engaging environment can entertain for years to come, it’s all about choosing toys wisely. Using toys that allow children to be hands on and create something will easily entertain kids for hours without electronics.
Once you have started to set up your home and put forth boundaries on play without electronics, you then want to establish independent play. This means you have to let go a bit of wanting to help your kid succeed. Trust your kid to decide what to play with, you provide the electronic free environment and they provide the curiosity about which toys they will engage with. Last but not least, if you truly want your kids to be entertained without electronics then do not interrupt them. During individual play or sibling play, your kids feel as if they are doing important work. The moment you intervene with playtime, you interrupt your child’s focus on what they are doing.
With the help of these ideas and tips, electronics will not be in the face of your kids all the time. Regardless of age or personality of your kid, they will need guidance and encouragement from their parents to continue on this path of being entertained without electronics.
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Our Screen Time Policy and a FREE Printable for you!
I also wanted to share with you our screen time policy at home.
With kids ages 8 to 18 spending on average 44.5 hours per week in front of screens, the need to disconnect is growing. As kids started a new school year, I set up a firm schedule for them to earn their screen time online provided they abide by some rules. It is not much, but it is a start. This is also the first time I am introducing something like this in our household, so yeah! there are protests 😉 But I know, it would die eventually.
Stick it up on the fridge as a constant reminder and I guarantee, after some hiccups our kiddos are bound to get in line with these tasks. If not, remind them of the terms and conditions. Not gonna lie, they are pretty brutal 🙂 This must be your kids’ schedule to follow through everyday without fail on school weeks and weekends. As they progress and get better in adjusting to this checklist, feel free to introduce new rules or tweak the existing ones.
This online screen policy is not set in stone, really. You do what works best for your children. At the end, as parents, all of our efforts contribute to taking our kids away from screen time and also to entertain or occupy them without electronics.
Hope you find this post helpful.
If you have tips on how to limit screen time for kids, please let us know in comments.
I would also appreciate if you can share what you learned today in your social media. Knowledge is power, right?