School’s out for summer! Your children may be excited to toss the backpacks, forget about the homework, and park themselves in front of their screens. But you might not want them to get too comfortable.
Last month the World Health Organization came out with new guidelines surrounding screen time, recommending no more than an hour for those under the age of five.
While every home has its own rules regarding screen time, it’s important to fill your nanny in on yours. Let her know the limits that have been set, what your children need to do to earn their screen time, and when exactly they are allowed on their screens. With everyone on the same page, limiting screen time shouldn’t be a struggle.
Here are some strategies when it comes to creating those limits:
Create a checklist. What would you like the kids to do before they are allowed on their devices? Get dressed, brush their teeth, complete chores, read, play outside for a certain amount of time, etc.
Set a schedule. Only allow them to be on their devices at certain times during the day and/or on certain days of the week.
Monitor. There are many apps out there that allow you to control what your children are doing on their devices, how long they are allowed on, as well as set rewards for more time. The Kid’s Kindle Fire is a great option when it comes to tablets because of the parental controls it offers.
When it comes to screen alternatives, here are some fun activities the kids can do with their nanny that will have them forgetting all about their tablets.
Get outside: It might be a little hot in the sun, but they can head to a park and take a nice walk in the shade. Pack a picnic lunch, bring a blanket, and eat under a tree. Take a bike or a scooter along to switch things up. They’ll have fun making some new friends on the playground. They can have just as much fun in their own backyard. Fill up some water balloons and have a toss on a hot day, break out the sidewalk chalk, or fly a kite when the wind picks up.
Visit your local library: Not only is the library great for finding a new read, many libraries offer free story times and have special events like magic shows, arts and crafts, and plays. Be sure to visit your library’s website for a schedule. Also, your library may offer passes that can be checked out for free admission to your local zoo, gardens and museums. It’s a wonderful way to explore all the fun places in your area.
Old school fun. Bingo, Pictionary, and Monopoly never get old and rile up some healthy competition. The kids will find a sense of accomplishment after they place that last puzzle piece. Take out the Legos, Lincoln Logs and building blocks and see what kind of structures they can come up with.
Get creative: Go looking for rocks then paint them, decorate flower pots then plant some flowers, make some friendship bracelets, create a birdhouse, have them keep cool in the kitchen and make popsicles out of their favorite juices.
In working together with your nanny, your kids are sure to have a fun summer without missing the screen.