TELEVISION, GADGETS, SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS

Is your little one hooked on watching TV? As devices with screens have increasingly become playthings for kids, it’s even harder to limit screen time for toddlers.

A study has shown that prolonged screen time may be linked to slower development in communication, motor skills and social interaction in toddlers^.

While smartphones and tablets are not all bad when children use it to FaceTime their grandparents or watch educational shows, screen time should be managed.

According to World Health Organisation's guideline, children aged two to four should not be allowed more than one hour of "sedentary screen time" per day. Infants less than one year old should not be exposed to electronic screens at all+.

If children are having excessive “sedentary screen time” and lesser time on physical activities, they may be at risk of becoming obese.

So the next time you’re tempted to turn on the TV or hand over a tablet to your little one, try these alternatives.

ENLIST A LITTLE HELPER. Toddlers love to imitate grown-ups. Involve your child in what you’re doing. She can dust while you clean up a room. A toddler can set cutlery on the table or sweep with a child-sized broom. Outside, your child can pick up sticks or water a garden. Engage them in little activities.

 

 

ENLIST A LITTLE HELPER. Toddlers love to imitate grown-ups. Involve your child in what you’re doing. She can dust while you clean up a room. A toddler can set cutlery on the table or sweep with a child-sized broom. Outside, your child can pick up sticks or water a garden. Engage them in little activities.

MAKE MUSIC OR LISTEN TO IT. Toddlers like to dance and sing. Providing musical toys (xylophone, play-piano, cutlery drumset) for your child to play is a healthy distraction from screen time. Turn on some music and encourage an impromptu dance party. Mix up different styles of dance and music to keep it fresh and interesting for your little one.

 

 

MAKE MUSIC OR LISTEN TO IT. Toddlers like to dance and sing. Providing musical toys (xylophone, play-piano, cutlery drumset) for your child to play is a healthy distraction from screen time. Turn on some music and encourage an impromptu dance party. Mix up different styles of dance and music to keep it fresh and interesting for your little one.

Keep your home toys handy for creative play. When toddlers have open-ended toys to engage their active imaginations, they can keep themselves busy longer. Great examples: building toys (like blocks), play sets (castles, dollhouses, farms), crafts (“painting” with water, play clay, sidewalk chalk), and props (dress-up clothes, play tools, or kid-safe cooking utensils).

 

 

Keep your home toys handy for creative play. When toddlers have open-ended toys to engage their active imaginations, they can keep themselves busy longer. Great examples: building toys (like blocks), play sets (castles, dollhouses, farms), crafts (“painting” with water, play clay, sidewalk chalk), and props (dress-up clothes, play tools, or kid-safe cooking utensils).

BRING IN A CONSTANT SUPPLY OF NEW BOOKS. Your child will enjoy flipping through them alone or “reading” them to a favourite stuffed animal. You don’t have to buy new ones; borrow from the library, buy or trade among your mommy friends. Look into age-appropriate audiobooks you can play for your child at home. Make a snuggly corner full of pillows and books for daily story time to develop early reading habits.

 

 

BRING IN A CONSTANT SUPPLY OF NEW BOOKS. Your child will enjoy flipping through them alone or “reading” them to a favourite stuffed animal. You don’t have to buy new ones; borrow from the library, buy or trade among your mommy friends. Look into age-appropriate audiobooks you can play for your child at home. Make a snuggly corner full of pillows and books for daily story time to develop early reading habits.

Keep devices out of sight and out of mind. Keep your devices where your toddler won’t see them. Having a TV on in the background can be distracting to a toddler. And you may find it easier to involve your child’s concentration in alternate activities when devices aren’t right at hand. Toys, books, and other fun things to do are simple ways of limiting screen time and helping your child’s development in a tech-friendly world.

 

 

Keep devices out of sight and out of mind. Keep your devices where your toddler won’t see them. Having a TV on in the background can be distracting to a toddler. And you may find it easier to involve your child’s concentration in alternate activities when devices aren’t right at hand. Toys, books, and other fun things to do are simple ways of limiting screen time and helping your child’s development in a tech-friendly world.

References:
^ https://www.nhs.uk/news/pregnancy-and-child/screen-time-linked-delayed-d...
+ WHO guideline: World Health Organization. (2019). Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age. World Health Organization.