Worried your child will overdose on screen time this summer? The struggle is real! Although the AAP recommends a max of two hours of quality screen time per day for children older than 2, most kids spend more than 40 hours per week in front of a screen.
Internet safety and childhood obesity are both major concerns as we head into the lazy days of summer. So how can you set limits on screen time -- and keep kids happily engaged in screen-free activities during the dog days? First of all, use a printable screen time log and discuss your rules about limiting time spent on all types of screens: TV, computer, video games, cell phones, and other mobile devices.
If your child is begging to get her own cell phone this summer, consider these tips for determining the right age or time to get her one. Oftentimes, a new cell phone or mobile device means hours more screen time for a tween or teen, so still set some limits on screen time on "personal" devices and encourage healthy, educational online use whenever possible. Also, think about all the cool screen-free toys, games, and craft materials you could buy for your kids before you rush to spend a bundle on a new tablet for the family.
Next, come up with a list of go-to, screen-free activities that interest your child and stock up on any necessary supplies for fun crafts and activities. If your child spends summer days with a babysitter or nanny, send her this list or jot down a few suggestions for activities each day. These ideas add up to endless screen-free summer fun:
- Printable Summer Fun To-Do List
- Printable Summer Reading Chart
- Printable Coloring Pages
- More Printables
Summer Craft Ideas for Kids
- 8 Summer Crafts Kids Can Make
- Get Crafty with Preschoolers
- 10 Best Beach-Themed Crafts and Activities
- 6 Homemade Playdough Recipes
- 10 Homemade Craft Supplies
- Must-Have Supplies for Fun Pinterest Crafts
Summer Games & Activities
- 11 Fun Summer Camp Activities to Try at Home
- Top Summer Games and Activities for Kids
- Top 10 Neighborhood Games for All Ages
- Top 10 Backyard/Lawn Games for All Ages
- 5 Best Backyard Water Games
- 11 Survival Tips for Summer Boredom
- 7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games
- Fun (and Cheap!) Family Fitness Activities
- 12 Toddler Playtime Activities
- Searchable Activities Center for All Ages
Toys & Books for Summer
- Searchable Book Finder
- Top 10 New Outdoor Toys for 2015
- Best Classic Board Games for Kids
- Top 10 Tabletop and Basement Games
Get your kids on a screen-free kick early on this year. Happy Summer!