Can Screen Time Actually be Great for Your Kids?
Let’s face it, we are all hooked to our screens and our kids wants in too! If you are a human with an internet connection you know what I’m talking about. But not all screen time is wasted time! I was playing an animal card game with my 4 years old, she picked up the card of a dolphin, looked up at me and asked:
“Dad, what do dolphins do all day? Do they have friends? Are they going to school?”
“I’m pretty sure they hang out with friends, though I’m not sure what games they play” I replied.
“So why don’t you check your phone?” she asked.
Two minutes later we were watching some pretty amazing videos about dolphins. She was so excited, and as we were watching the videos, she had so many questions about the ocean and animals. What happened next was the real treat, she went on to draw some dolphins and play pretend we are in the ocean. I could see how watching these amazing creatures sparked her imagination.
Can screens be our friends?
Our brains are wired to understand visual content gazillion times faster than any other form of content, so why not take advantage and get some good out of our kids screen time?
The following week I started collecting videos that I found interesting and thought-provoking. Soon enough we had a new family tradition of watching these videos on a Friday evening, together.
Here is what happened:
Watching the videos became just a minor part of the event. The kids had lots of questions, and we got the opportunity to learn, debate and use our imagination. In a way the screens were turned into enablers, not time wasters.
Right dosage + Right content
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that our kids spend hours every day watching national geographic. We limit our kids’ screen time, when they are not watching/playing something, they go outside, move their bodies, socialize and being kids, they learn a lot by experience. But we were able to turn some of that screen time into quality time, my kids call it Screen Camping.
Sharing Screen Camping with friends
I’ve mentioned this routine to friends and family and almost every parent expressed the same pain and was excited to try it as well. So here I was collecting and sending links to friends, and when the list got bigger, I decided to make it available to anyone, after all it’s the Internet. SO with the help of a friend Screen Camp was born, a collection of videos that are great to watch with your kids. I update them weekly and anyone can sign up here.
I hope you will find these enablers as we did (-:
Oh, in case you are curious too, here are what some dolphins do for fun:
About the Author
David is a happy father of 3 and the maker of screen camp, weekly newsletter that help parents turn screen time into quality time.
For more info, check out: http://screen.camp