Reduce Screen Time With These 3 Easy Steps

Share on Pinterest

TV is one of those things I told myself I’d never allow my kids to ‘do’. I’d never use DVD’s as a babysitter for a moment of sanity, silence or for a hot cup of tea.

Hah! Laugh with me here, moms. 3 kids later, I can recite the Aristocats movie and {almost} tolerate those Barney songs. They allow me to make breakfast, take a shower and have a cup of coffee most days. But, in all honesty, they also rack up the mom guilt. When my kids sit watching a movie, it’s as if I can FEEL their brains turning off; their IQ’s flittering out of the window. As much as I love screen time, I hate it as much! Can you relate?!

reduce screen time ideas

HOW TO REPLACE SCREEN TIME WITH A CALM, SECURE ROUTINE

So here are some ideas on how to decrease your child’s screen time, and up the time they can spend doing something mentally stimulating and engaging:

1. Interest- led Activities

For a few weeks last year, I was teaching extra Maths from home, and had people over some afternoons, and NO SITTER. So I trained my kids to spend three twenty-minute stretches of time, working on activities they each loved. {Since then, I have my afternoons free, but I still use this occasionally instead of screen time, as my kids love it and I prefer it!} Each child has his/her own interests, so my daughter would paint, draw, do a puzzle and my older son would build with Lego, do some Math games in a book and play a construction game.

It took a few days of consecutive training for them to get  used to the idea of their staying in one place, for twenty minutes at a time until the alarm went off, but they got used to it and actually really enjoyed the time alone, seperate from siblings, to build/draw.
Find what your child loves engaging with, and set up a routine where they can be alone to really engage in that activity.

2. A Personal Space For Each Child’s Activities

Each child gets their own space where they keep their favorite activities. My daughter loves a blanket on the floor in the sun, and my son loves a table.
Find where your child feels most comfortable playing, and let them help set up  the space with you, with personal touches.

3. Create a Safe, Calm Play- Environment Your Child Will Look Forward To Being In

After a week of practicing our quiet-time play hour, my kids actually loved it. They calmed down quickly, settled into their spaces and focused on their activity. They also got used to not interrupting siblings in their spaces, and each had a favorite piece of music that I played in the background every 20min timeslot. My son loves David Garrit, my daugher loves piano music. Music in = mouths shut. A strange realisation, but it worked amazingly. Music, positive reinforcement of the habit of a quiet hour, and a lot of gentle encouragement worked wonders with my three littlies.
Children love a calm environment, doing activities they love, with calming music playing. Find out what music your child loves most – what they can listen to while focusing sufficiently on their activities, and what makes them feel happy/secure.

EXTRA: An App To Monitor Noise Levels

We use this app in moments I have phone calls to make or I need a bit of low-volume noise for my sanity. My kids respect it and see it as a game, which is really great!
Take a look at it HERE.

Screenshot 2015-05-25 14.20.43

Replacing screen time isn’t easy, and it won’t be instant either. It’s a fun habit that is hard to break, and your children will miss it! But replacing it with a new routine that they enjoy will make it easier, and you’ll feel great about it too! Take the time and patience to practice finding a routine, activities, music and the environment where you and your children will work best. It’s worth it!

Kids Activity Ideas On Fb
IDEAS IN YOUR INBOX!
Get ideas in your inbox plus my free 30 days of play printable!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Please check your email for your goodies!
YAY!
Share on Pinterest
This post may contain affiliate links (disclosure here)

Comments

  1. Nice tips here. I think screen time on any device needs to be limited. But, it can serve as a nice way to get a few things done, like say, dinner! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Talk.

  2. A quick question here. When the children do interest-led activities, does that mean for every single day they will play with similar items, or parents need to somehow schedule ‘day1: play with item A, day2: item B’, etc?

    • I think it’s up to you really – you’ll have a good idea as to what your child enjoys playing with most, so can introduce her favorite activities each time, or test and see if she’s happy sticking to one for a few days in a row.. no rules really 😉

  3. Love the idea of using a timer to help them stay in one spot. My daughter seems almost spastic sometimes jumping all over the house. I will most definitely be trying this one. Thanks 🙂

  4. I’ve never heard of that app before- how awesome! I work from home some days and I am constantly having to put my hand over the phone to spit out a quick “SHHHHH” to the kids! Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Thank You!
Please check your inbox, spam box or promotions tab NOW for your first email!
Christmas Activities
Starting 1 Dec!
Countdown
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
IDEAS IN YOUR INBOX!
Get ideas in your inbox plus my free 30 days of play printable!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
YAY!
Please check your email for your goodies!
IDEAS IN YOUR INBOX!
Get ideas in your inbox plus my free 30 days of play printable!
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Please check your email for your goodies!
YAY!
Raising Boys Updates
20 Chapters on Raising Boys! Get one every sunday in your inbox to read.
Your Email
New article coming your way soon!
Essential Oils 101
Perfect for beginners to Essential oils to find out what oils can do!
Your Email
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.
Your Freebie!
Enter your email to begin your download immediately. Bonus printables are also waiting for you! ;)
Your Email
Your info will never be shared with anyone, ever. If you are already a subscriber enter your email again to gain access.