My 3-year-old seem glued to screens, either watching TV, playing with phones or tablets. And i’m not the only one – all around me are little kids even younger than 2 years on one device or the other. For a lot of us busy Mums, it’s the easiest solution to keep them captivated and “quiet”. And when we see how easy they are able to navigate through the apps, we are amazed – they are truly digital natives.
Is screen time really bad for children? Why limit their screen time?
Screen time in itself is not bad. What is more important is the need to create a balance. The need to ensure children spend time outside playing where they get to exercise as well interact with other children and build social skills. And when they do spend time on screens like TV, mobile phones and tablets, ensure the programs are age appropriate, interactive and educational.
Here are a few tips to make time spent on screens as productive as possible:
- Schedule plenty of non-screen time into your child’s day: Unstructured playtime is important for building creativity, so young children should have time to play away from screens every day.
- Be with young kids during screen time and interact with them: Be there with them when they are playing educational games or talk about something you see together in an age-appropriate TV show or video.
- Research games and apps before getting them for your child: There are thousands of apps and games that claim to be educational, but not all of them are. So ensure that the games and videos watched on the screen are appropriate for your child.
- Keep devices with screens out of your child’s bedroom after bedtime, and don’t allow a TV in your child’s bedroom as this can distract from sleep and sleep is very important for a child’s developmental growth.
- Be proactive as parent: Proactive parents identify how to use screen time as fun tool that teaches the child reading, nursery rhymes, numbers, counting etc. Educational apps like 9ijakids is one way to merge the love for devices with learning and fun. However, this must never replace outdoor play and other social relationships that are critical for your pre-schooler.
On a final note – today’s child is drawn to phones and tablets like a bee to honey. But remember the big question “What are they doing on the tablets and phones? Use their love for devices to help your child learn without realising. Using fun educational games like 9ijakids is one way to ensure that their screen time is both FUN and EDUCATIONAL.
Download 9ijakids games today and kick off FUN LEARNING.