Electronics are a part of daily life today — from computers and mobile phones to tablets and good old-fashioned TV, screens are everywhere. As a parent, it's normal to worry about your child getting too much screen time. But did you know that screen time isn't always bad? In fact, there are many ways you can put screen time to good use often without your child realizing they are benefiting.
In this article, we'll take a look at how you can encourage your child to turn their time using screens into time well spent. From learning a language to earning pocket money, there are so many ways to make screen time more productive.
What's So Bad About Screen Time Anyway?
From affecting sleep patterns to causing depression and anxiety, many studies have shown the negative impact of screens on mental and physical health. Whether members of your family sit around playing games, scrolling endlessly on their smartphones, or working all day on a computer, too much screen time can be a problem. For children, the lure of a mobile phone and the goodies it contains can often mean they are on their devices for the best part of the day.
Can't I Just Reduce Their Screen Time?
Of course, limiting device usage is a great way to prevent the problems associated with too much screen time. From playing outside with friends to practicing a sport, 'offline' activities should always be part of your child's routine. However, another way to build a healthy association with their devices is to encourage your child to use their devices in alternative ways. Sure, it's fun to play games and chat with friends, but the technology of today has so much more to offer. Let's take a look.
5 Ways to Make Screen Time More Productive
Learning a New Language
When it comes to learning a new language, the days of listening to cassette tapes or following a textbook are thankfully over. Today, mobile phone apps like Duolingo immerse you in the language you want to learn and will have you fluent in no time. For children, whose brains are like little sponges, these apps hold so much potential. Plus, they are fun! Many apps use gamification to reward children every time they reach a new level.
Earning Pocket Money
Wouldn't it be great if you had a way to encourage your child to do more chores? How about a pocket money app that allows you to assign chores to your child and which rewards them when they are marked as complete? Your child will love keeping track of their chores and their pocket money balance. Plus, there are many apps that allow your child to save up for a particular item or day out.
Finding Hidden Treasure
Have you heard about geocaching? It's an outdoor activity in which a container holding one or more interesting items is hidden for people to find using a set of coordinates. Geocaching mobile phone apps are available that show you all the containers hidden within your local area. Why not take the whole family out for the ultimate treasure hunt? Your child will have lots of fun being the chief navigator and using their mobile phone to guide them to the booty! Just remember to leave the cache for somebody else to find.
Set a Photo of the Day Challenge
If your child is super-creative (and even if they're not) they will love to be set a challenge that lets them use their mobile phone in the process. Set them a task to take a photo every day. It might be a selfie, it might be a photo of their pet, or it could be a photo of something they have made. At the end of the month, it will be fun to go over all the photos they have taken and relive the memories.
Listening to Audio Books
While learning to read is so important, listening to audio books can really bring your child's books and imagination to life. From Harry Potter to The Cat in the Hat, there are thousands of audio books just waiting for your child to discover. Thanks to apps like Audible, your child can access their favorites easily on their mobile phone.
Get Set For Some Healthy Screen Time
As you can see, there are so many ways to make your child's screen time more productive. Another positive and productive use of screen time is online learning. Online tutoring can help to bridge gaps in learning and prepare your child for upcoming tests. If you'd like to find out more about private, one-to-one online tutoring, find a location near you to get started.