Families are now required to distance themselves from their close once and to stay at home. Schools and day cares are off as well which means that parents need to juggle both work and making sure their kids are not glued to their screens. This social distancing period that the world is experiencing can also be seen as an opportunity to spend time with our kids, learn new things and detoxicate from increased consumption and intense pollution. With kids at home spending most of their time in front of a screen whether it is their phone, tablet, TV or a gaming console, parents can actually use the screens it to make the best out of it. So here are 4 tips for efficient and beneficial use of screen time during social distancing.
1.Find educational content for them to watch
Whether it is on the parent’s device or if the kids are mature enough on their own, the usual Youtube consumption behavior is to launch Youtube and just watch whatever is shown on the home page and use the YouTube algorithm recommendations to find what to watch. If it is the parent’s device the problem might be that some of the content recommended is not even appropriate for the kids to see.
There are so many interesting and educational channels out there, for example some of our kids love to do experiments and others love watching animals and play the piano with this tutorial channel. Many good kids shows are available on YouTube, so depending on your kids age you can easily create a playlist with few educational shows.
You would need to match the content for the child’s age and developmental level but once you do that there is no doubt this is a win for both sides as kids enjoy screen time but it is at least educational.
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2.Use screen time to contact other family members and friends
As we are locked up at home another efficient use of screen time during social distancing can be reaching out to our families and friends via video conferencing. Kids are used to be around other kids and with social distancing this is not an option, leaving kids with no friends to play with.
The Video conferencing meetings can be a great tool for the kids to keep the relationship a live with their friends from school and from with their cousins. Most of the kids are already familiar with playing online with their friends in games like Fortnite but you can definitely add some easier games to play with Grandpa and Grandma as well as with the other family members. There are many possible games to be played via video for example a pantomime movie guessing game or guess the word etc.
3.Use screen time to do activities together
We know that parents also need a break, so why not watch a movie with the kids. You can start with watching movies that you liked when you were a kid like E.T. and others. One thing all child psychologist say is that parents must be more connected to their kids world’s to still remain relevant. This means that you can use the screen time to also watch something that your kids usually watch. Ask them questions about things that happen on the screen, try to get them and yourself familiar with the different characters and try to ask engaging questions like “do you think they did the right thing? What would you do differently” etc.
4.Physical activity is a great use of screen time during social distancing
Today, more than ever, you can find any possible work out on the leading social networks. Parents should lead the way and workout with their kids, these can be a 20-30 min work outs that are done together and use the screen time to keep your blood pumping. Just search on Youtube “Kids Workout” and you will find many options for workouts, some aerobic activity will get the kids up on their fit and off the screens. It has been found that physical activity actually helps kids concentrate and study better, you can read more about it here. Check out some fun interactive games that parents can play on any gaming console like Just Dance or even Mini Golf, just make sure these game require physical activity, FIFA is not a good example as it requires only sitting..
Additionally, many classes that are now closed to the public are running their classes online, many Yoga, martial arts and even soccer teachers are running some version of their classes for kids online. This works very well for our kids and is definitely recommended as it allows kids remain some kid of routine in addition to a healthy social interaction with other kids that they usually see on a weekly basis.
There are many website online that can open your mind for activities with your kids during this weird period that we are all facing. Just go online and look for any kind og games and activities with kids during Covid and you will find a sea of opportunities. This can be a very enjoyable period with our loved once so try to get them of their screens to spend time together or at least make sure that you add some efficient use of screen time during social distancing. Stay positive and healthy.