From Tots to Tech:

Finding a Balance with Screen Time for Preschoolers

Kylo B


From Tots to Tech: Finding a Balance with Screen Time for Preschoolers

In today's digital age, technology is an integral part of our daily lives, offering endless opportunities for learning, entertainment, and connection.

However, as parents and caregivers, it's essential to navigate the role of screen time in our children's lives, particularly for preschoolers.

Finding a balance between screen time and other activities is crucial for promoting healthy development and well-being.

In this article, we'll explore the impact of screen time on preschoolers and provide practical tips for finding a balanced approach that supports their overall growth and development.

Understanding Screen Time Guidelines:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children aged 2 to 5 years engage in no more than one hour of high-quality screen time per day. High-quality screen time includes age-appropriate, educational content that is interactive and encourages active engagement. It's important to prioritize activities that promote learning, creativity, and social interaction while limiting passive screen time, such as watching videos or playing passive games.

Promoting Active Screen Time:

  • When choosing screen-based activities for preschoolers, prioritize those that encourage active engagement and participation. Look for educational apps, games, and videos that promote problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and social interaction. Interactive storytelling apps, educational games, and virtual field trips are excellent options for promoting active learning and exploration.

Setting Limits & Establishing Boundaries:

  • Establish clear guidelines and limits around screen time to help preschoolers develop healthy habits and routines. Set specific time limits for screen use each day and establish designated screen-free zones and times, such as during meals, before bedtime, and during family activities. Use visual timers or cues to help children understand when screen time is over and transition to other activities.

Engaging in Co-Viewing & Co-Playing:

  • Whenever possible, co-view or co-play with your child during screen time to enhance their learning and engagement. Sit with your child and actively participate in screen-based activities, asking open-ended questions, encouraging conversation, and providing guidance and support as needed. Co-viewing and co-playing promote bonding and interaction between parents and children while enhancing the educational value of screen time.

Balancing Screen Time with Other Activities:

  • Encourage a balanced approach to daily activities by providing a variety of opportunities for learning, play, and exploration. Incorporate outdoor play, imaginative play, creative activities, and social interactions into your child's daily routine to complement screen time. Offer a range of stimulating and enriching experiences that promote physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Modeling Healthy Screen Habits:

  • As parents and caregivers, it's essential to model healthy screen habits and set a positive example for preschoolers. Be mindful of your own screen use and prioritize face-to-face interactions, outdoor activities, and hands-on experiences with your child. Use screens intentionally and purposefully, and demonstrate how to balance screen time with other activities and responsibilities.

Monitoring Content & Screen Time Usage:

  • Stay informed about the content your child is accessing and monitor their screen time usage regularly. Preview apps, games, and videos before allowing your child to engage with them to ensure they are age-appropriate, educational, and aligned with your family's values. Use parental controls and settings to limit access to inappropriate content and track screen time usage across devices.

Finding a balance with screen time for preschoolers is essential for supporting their healthy development and well-being.

By prioritizing active screen time, setting limits and boundaries, engaging in co-viewing and co-playing, balancing screen time with other activities, modeling healthy screen habits, and monitoring content and usage, parents and caregivers can create a balanced approach to screen time that, promotes learning, creativity, and social interaction while supporting overall growth and development.

Let us embrace the opportunity to navigate screen time with intentionality and mindfulness, empowering preschoolers to thrive in today's digital world while fostering healthy habits that will benefit them throughout their lives