Writer | Mother
Kids are drawn to electronics like moths to flames, but you hate to let them overindulge. At the same time, fighting that battle on a daily basis often makes for an unhappy home. Thankfully, there are a number of healthy screen time opportunities out there if you just know where to look!
Safety Begins With Appropriate Gadgetry
Let’s face it, the internet is a rabbit hole of information. That’s why you want to make sure your child is using a computer or tablet that has proper defenses in place. Your child’s internet safety begins with you establishing an administrator’s account and then creating a separate account for your youngster. Then you can use the device’s family safety settings to track things like the times your child is using the device, what websites are visited, and so forth.
Computers and tablets aside, you may want a device capable of running educational programs that aren’t on the computer. Thankfully, there are other options like streaming TV devices. These affordable media players easily plug into your television, providing immediate access to apps and channels with all sorts of educational and kid-friendly programming. Best of all, if you opt for the portable model, you can take it with you on family vacations.
Sites ’N Stuff
Surfing is big fun for young and old alike. The internet is chock full of interesting things to capture our imaginations, and with your safety measures in place, you can turn your child loose on educational and free websites like Sesame Street, National Geographic Kids, and CoolMath. And for kids who love watching videos, there is a cornucopia of learning channels out there! Virtually every subject imaginable, from science to history to learning new languages.
Get Their Gameface On
One of the biggest electronic draws for children is gaming, and fortunately for moms and dads, there are plenty of video games that kids can enjoy on their devices that you can feel good about. For example, Nancy Drew Interactive Mysteries teaches kids about historical figures and other cultures, Bookworm helps build vocabulary, and the Portal series encourages science, math, and problem-solving skills. It’s education and entertainment, neatly rolled into a package that kids will look forward to! Games vary greatly in price, but if you shop around a bit, you can find things like retro mini-games that your kiddos can play for free.
There’s an App for That
It really is true that there is an app for about everything these days, so why not look into some healthy apps for your kids? For instance, exercise is a boon to children’s health, promoting important things like coordination, self-esteem, and thinking skills, and there are some terrific fitness apps designed with kids in mind. If your child tends to battle anxiety, whether over school subjects, relationships, or whatever, consider some relaxation and mindfulness apps to help your youngster develop healthy coping skills. Best of all, these apps are either free or have nominal subscription fees.
Get Them Outside!
A common concern relating to using electronics is the lack of time children spend in the great outdoors. The Guardian explains time in nature is essential for a child’s well-being and proper development, so how do you balance that with using electronics? There are actually plenty of ways to combine the two! As an example, there are nature-focused apps that help kids learn about everything from ocean life to insects. They can always take their exercise apps outside, and geocaching is a fun outdoor activity for the whole family. Think outside the box and get them outside the house for healthy, low-cost entertainment!
Parents can help their kids develop a healthy relationship with their screens. Invest in an appropriate device and establish proper safety precautions, then load it up with the right software, apps, and web solutions. Thanks to these thrifty-yet-healthy opportunities, you can set aside battles over screen time with peace of mind.
Image courtesy of Unsplash
About Leslie Campos
A busy mom herself, Leslie Campos has dedicated her site Wellparents.com to all the moms and dads searching for ideas on being physically and emotionally well. When not working or running her children to various after-school activities, Leslie loves to practice yoga, CrossFit, and watching The Great British Baking Show
To get more tips, view all posts by Leslie Campos here.