Summer will be here before you know it and that means the kids will be home 24/7. As you begin making plans for camps and other activities, there are some other things to consider, like screen time.
While some parents battle with their kids over the issue, there are ways to set healthy boundaries so that they’re actually getting something out of their time rather than passively staring at their screens.
Here are five tips to get you through the summer and beyond:
Choose meaningful activities. Your child can choose to watch YouTube videos or actually learn something from their screen time. Researchers found that how children use their devices, not how much time they spend on them, is the strongest predictor of how screen time will affect them. When they choose something active they can avoid many problems associated with passive screen time, like obesity.
Establish summer expectations. During the summer, kids have nothing but time. But that doesn’t mean they should be spending their entire summer in front of a screen. Sit down with your child and discuss what is acceptable and what is not. If your child is active and working on a project that requires more screen time than you would usually allow, then you can be a little lax. The goal is to have your child’s screen time be productive, not a time when they veg out for hours. Everyone can still have fun even when rules are in place.
Get involved. Many parents treat screen time as a babysitter. But, if you get involved instead, you can help your child learn (and you might learn something in the process!). More and more studies are finding that the involvement level of the parents affects how much their child learns. Ask what they’re doing, how their game or app works, and if you can try it too. They may be surprised at your interest at first, but they’ll love it in the long run.
Set parental locks and check user history. If you’re worried about the sites your child is visiting, set parental locks to limit access. This technology has proven to keep kids off of sites they shouldn’t be on. You can also check user history so that you can see exactly where your child is spending their time. There’s also an app you can download to help you not only check the user history right from your phone, but also control your child’s online usage in other ways. The Screen Time app also lets you set time limits on your child’s device and even pause it for activities like family dinner.
Explore new activities. There are 8 weeks to make the most of the summer. This is a great time to try something new, like a coding or robotics camp, or a DIY maker project. Don’t let the summer pass you and your child by. Spark new passions with the freedom and time to explore throughout the summer.
At MakerKids, we’re all about introducing new ideas to introduce new worlds to your child. We offer a summer camp program for kids in grades 1-8 where they learn skills like coding, robotics, and even the ins and outs of Minecraft. To find out more about our summer camp and our other programs call us today at 1-844-MAKERKIDS. Make this a summer to remember!