Screen Time in Uncertain Times

Screen Time in Uncertain Times

We know that children are using screens a lot more at the moment. Computers and devices have become important tools to help children learn and to stay connected to others. But how much time is ‘too much time’?

It is important to think about how you’re using screens to meet the needs of your family right now. This may mean the approach your family usually takes needs to change a little. The main message we want to give is try and make sure screen time doesn’t interrupt sleep routines, physical activity, reading, downtime or family time. This applies to the whole family.

Create a balance

Try balancing your child’s screen time (and your own!) with these activities:

  • cooking together
  • reading
  • going for a walk
  • playing outside in the backyard
  • being together as a family talking to each other
  • drawing, painting or crafts
  • board games.

This link to Move Well Eat Well has more active play ideas.

Stay connected

Using screens to help children connect to family and friends is important. If your family has screen time amount limits, you do not have to include this time. Staying connected is very important currently.

Practical tips

Here are our top tips to manage screen time in your home:

  • To help your child maintain good sleep routines, make their bedrooms a screen free area.
  • Turn off all screens and devices one hour before bedtime to help children settle.
  • Enjoy ‘screen free’ family time, such as playing board games or eating meals together.
  • If possible, choose a day where your family does not use screens, or have very limited use. This may be on the weekend when children do not have online learning.
  • Choose some games or apps that encourage movement, such as dancing.
  • Role model good screen behaviour yourself. Show children what other activities you enjoy.