Being a mother of a 5-year-old, I understand that screen time should be used effectively to spark a child’s imagination. It is possible to make screen time and screen use a normal part of life for our children. The time a child spends watching TV and using the computer, smartphones, and tablets can be used in a way to make this a part of our healthy lifestyle.
For preschoolers, we can utilise screen time to teach them activities on storytelling, basic drawing skills, craftwork, play pretend games and even learning all about the alphabet and numbers. A timer should be used to set breaks from screen time. Make sure that the child does something active after using a screen, like playing outdoors or cycling around. Utilise the breaks from screen time to encourage your child to solve some puzzles or to learn new words made of different letters of the alphabet.
Kids in primary classes can be given access to the computer to improve their typing and mouse skills through some games available online. They can even learn how to paint through Microsoft Paint app and to make presentations through Microsoft PowerPoint. They can be made aware of certain social issues like child labour, child trafficking, global pandemics, etc. through certain movies and documentaries focusing on these issues. They should also be given some time to watch their favourite cartoons as every cartoon character aims to teache its viewers some life lessons. They can be encouraged to watch the National Geographic channel to learn more about wildlife, the solar system, etc.
Aside from screen time, school-age children should be involved in playtime a lot more as it fosters creativity and imagination. Parents should help their children in developing hobbies such as dancing, drawing, learning to play one or more musical instruments, etc. Indoors, parents can tell stories and read books, play word games, involve children in household duties. Outdoors, parents should encourage their child to take a stroll in nature, visit unusual places together and try activities such as climbing a hill or climbing a tree to look at the view. Children at this age should be encouraged to make content like videos, animations, and music.
It is essential to find a balance between screen time and other activities to lead a healthy lifestyle.
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