How to Create Positive Screen-Time Experiences for Kids

Mar 19, 2020 | Blog

Things have definitely changed since my parents were kids (you know the type- walking to school uphill both ways in the snow). A big reason for this, you might guess, is due to technology. We are constantly using technology to text, watch videos, scroll social media, etc. It is just part of our lives now! These little devices have brought so many positive changes to our society. But it has also brought some negatives. This is not going to be an article telling you that you should NEVER let your child use technology. That’s just not how life is these days and you shouldn’t feel guilty for using it. My hope is that this article will help give you better ideas for using technology in positive ways.

Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides media usage recommendations based on your child’s age.

Chart listing screen time recommendations for children ages 0-6+

Screen-time and Language Development

My hope is that you were not completely shocked by those recommendations. There are many articles being written to understand the true impact of screen usage in children. Some say AVOID any and all technology! Some say GO FOR IT! After reading various studies most have concluded that increased screen-time does NOT cause poor language development in children but there is a correlation between the two. Meaning, studies have shown that children who use an increased amount of screen-time tend to have lower language skills. In order to learn language best, we need human interaction.

The basis of words, of language, is to connect humans to other humans.

Thirty Million Words

So yes, while watching videos there are people interacting on the screens. But more than likely, your child is just staring at a screen and not interacting with anyone. So lets brainstorm some ways that we can change this to our advantage… because lets be real, technology isn’t going anywhere.

Positive Screen-Time Experiences

Here are some fun ideas for how to incorporate into your daily routines 1

Music

Does your child love to watch videos on YouTube? Find a song (or two) that you can dance to and make interactive! Some of the classic nursery rhymes are my favorite. I love all of the songs/videos from Super Simple Songs on YouTube.

Games

I’m sure you know that there are TONS of games available on your tablets or iPads. One of my favorites is called Peek-a-boo Barn. It’s a cute little barn that shakes until you open the door. Each time the door opens, a new animal appears. I like to practice imitating animal sounds and naming pictures.

Mobile game for speech therapy, Peekaboo Barn

Resources


What are your favorite activities to do at home that don’t involve technology? Leave a comment below!

Alyssa Dudley, MS CCC-SLP

Owner, The Child Inspired

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