We parents know how difficult it is to manage our work-life balance. Add a preschooler with a short attention span into the mix, I’m pretty sure it’s something to keep us in our toes.
So what is this screen time?
I’m not going to bore you with any technical jargon here; and Wikipedia gives a very simple explanation on this. It highlights “Screen time is the amount of time spent using a device with a screen such as a smartphone, computer, television, or video game console“.
How Screen Time affects your child?
Did you know that 90% of your child’s brain is developed by the time he or she reaches 5 years?. Yes, that’s right. According to an article posted by Arizona PBS which is a member support service of Arizona State University, it highlights “From birth to age five, a child’s brain develops more rapidly than at any other time in life. And research has shown that a child’s experiences in these early years — positive or negative, nurtured or neglected — directly affect how the brain develops, with long-term impact on the child’s health and ability to learn and succeed in school and life.”
So How Much Is Too Much?
In 2019, issuing a special guideline, WHO asserted that a child in 1-4 years should have no sedentary screen time exceeding 60 minutes. For a child less than 1 year, the number is “0”.
But not all screen time is conceived equally. For example, you and your little one playing an interactive color or shape game on a tablet or watching a high-quality educational program together can be considered as good screen time.
Letting your child join you in front of the TV to watch your favorite drama is definitely an example of bad screen time. Use screen time as another way to connect and interact.
Even though both Poornima and myself work from home, Poornima has an 8 to 5 job and I completely manage KIDSActive. Being honest, we also gave Freya screen time because that was one of the few options we had to keep her busy with one thing. We gave her access to our mobile phones to watch youtube videos and a little bit of extended hours of TV time for her to watch cartoons and other kid-friendly shows.
But later on, we saw how this screen time was effecting Freya and us as parents negatively. Because of this, we started doing some major changes to our day to day schedule and even in our business. We started getting Freya involved more and more in KIDSActive because we saw this as an opportunity to evolve our daily life around Freya and not the other way around.
One major reason for CraftObox to introduce a new theme every month is that we take some of the crafts we do with Freya in to our business model. We test all the crafts with Freya before we go on production. So while we engage with our little one, we find inspiration to manage the only subscription box for preschoolers in the country who introduces a new and different theme every month.
I understand, not everyone would be able to do this. So I thought of giving you a couple of simple tips on screen time for your little one.
- Be with your child during screen time and interact with them. If you are playing an educational game with your child or talking about something you see together in an age-appropriate TV show or video.
- Do your research on the games and apps before getting them for your child. You can find a lot of apps and games which referred to as educational, but the truth is not all of them are. Especially some online games and educational Apps run advertisements in their applications, so put extra attention that no child-safe content is shown in the app or its advertisements. Search online to see which platforms, educators and doctors recommend.
- Introduce outside play and art & crafts into your child’s daily routine.
But let’s face it: Screens are everywhere. Your little one is probably going to spend some time looking at one, so make sure his or her screen time is as productive as possible.
And if you are also looking for fun crafts to do with your little one, do check out our CraftObox subscription plans.