As schools are closed and people are practicing social distancing due to COVID-19, kids are left with a lot of free time on their hands. Parks and public play areas are also closed, leaving many kids to turn to their electronic devices to pass the time and be entertained.
But, how do you manage your child’s screen time during social distancing? Here are some ideas to help us all get through these times.
Help Kids to Make it Social
When your kids are online, you can try to make it social for them so that they’re not just watching videos or playing games. Some parents are setting up Zoom meetings so their kids can see their friends. While it’s not the best playdate, it still allows kids to see one another safely and interact. FaceTime and other video conference tools can also help to keep kids social and manage their screen time effectively.
Keep it Educational
Although your children may be engaging in distance learning as a school requirement, they can also spend time on educational websites. Many of these sites have games that teach while they entertain. You can search for them by age group so that your child is using the right kinds of programs.
Watch Content together
Since all of your activities are canceled too, you can spend time watching online content together. This is a great way to manage what they’re seeing and bond. If you’re worried your children are not watching anything of value, you can watch together to see what types of videos and programs they navigate towards. If you see something you don’t like, you can offer suggestions.
Let Kids Create Rather Than Consume
Let your children use this time to learn a new skill and create something rather than just consume content online. Many websites are running online programs to engage children in new activities. Take advantage of these. See what your child can create. You (and they) might be surprised.
At MakerKids, we are offering all virtual classes during this time to help kids create. Each class is two hours long once a week. We also have virtual tech camps that are two hours each weekday. During the classes, kids learn the foundation of STEM and will make their own inventions. Each class has a 1:5, mentor to student ratio, so your child will still be getting the attention they deserve and need to make the program a success. For more information on availability and cost, click here.
Remember, during this time, it’s okay to allow your children more screen time than usual. It’s a difficult time for everyone. Many activities and events that kids look forward to have been canceled or postponed. For many kids, connecting online, talking with friends, and learning new things is a way for them to cope. You can help them manage their screen time wisely as we all try to get through this difficult time.