Screens...they seem to be everywhere! Do you know that a typical family of four has a minimum of 6 devices in their home? Crazy, right? Access to information is at our fingertips... and our kids too! While the American Pediatrics Association recommends children under the age of two not be exposed to any type of screen exposure and children 2-5 be limited to 1 hour a day, it is realistic to assume that access to various devices and apps has made overuse and overstimulation challenging to avoid. Netflix, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon… the struggle is real! 

So, what is a parent or child care provider to do? How can we provide an educational experience when using screens and teach our children responsible habits too?

Zero to Three offers some great tips!

  • Use media as a tool to interact with and create learning opportunities
    • Promote language development by asking questions and describing what the characters are doing
    • Point out and label items they are presented (animals, vehicles, colors, etc.)
    • Be active while watching (dancing, hopping, etc.)
    • Connect what children are seeing on the screen with real life situations so they can gain an understanding of the world around them (new baby, emotions, new friends, holidays, etc.)
    • Avoid using media and devices to aid in sleep other than music
  • Choose content that is age appropriate and relevant to children’s experiences
    • Educational and child-directed
    • Interesting and fun
    • Has a learning goal
    • Interacts directly with child (asks them to act or give response)
    • Is meaningful and relates to child situations
    • Straightforward and repetitive
  • Model appropriate screen time behavior
    • Limit own screen time when interacting with children
    • Avoid background media by turning off television or using devices during routines like eating
    • Review child care policy on screen time to ensure consistency between home and child care

Screen time can be FUN time for all involved!

Check out these great resources for more information:

Child care providers…check in with your CCR&R Child Care Consultant for guidance on writing a screen time policy that fits your program needs. 


Tags: screen time policy , screen time , media

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