I don’t know about your kids, but ever since vacation started, my little one has been so addicted to watching YouTube videos. She seems not to care even if it’s the only thing she will do the whole day. And I take all the blame for it. Because I have been so busy with my virtual assistant tasks that I let her use my phone more often so that she won’t bother me while doing my work.
We can not deny that gadgets are now part of our daily lives. But we all know that too much of it for kids are not good. There have been some reports on tv about kids having seizures due to excessive usage of gadgets. Even if this has not been proven true, I know we don’t want this to happen to our own kids. And since we can not remove gadgets in our lives, we just have to do some things to lessen our kids screen time.
Carlee was only 2 years old when she learned to use my cellphone. I know some of you might say that’s too early for a child to start using gadgets. During that time I didn’t realize that. And she just loves watching the videos and pictures stored in the phone.
Now that she is older, I allowed her to use the desktop when I am not working. She plays games, draws in the Paint app, and watch YouTube videos. I let her use the computer so that she becomes familiar with it. Because they also study it in school.
My only problem is when she got hold of my cellphone and start watching YouTube videos. There is no problem with what she watches because she only watches kid-friendly videos, more on cartoons. I always tell her she can only watch for an hour. But when her time is up she always pleaded for extension because she says she is going to check on some important videos. We always have bargaining discussions. And most of the time, because I am always busy doing my tasks, she always ends up with extended hours.
So to divert her attention from using gadgets, I have given her some other activities to do at home. Here are some of them that she have started doing:
First in the list, because Carlee is the only kid in our house I let her bring her friends to play. She seldom have friends in our neighborhood because she doesn’t like to go out often. And present times are not as safe as it use to be during our times. So we don’t allow her to go anywhere that we can not see her. It is better if she brings her friends in our house rather than her going to other houses to play.
When she doesn’t like to play with her friends, Carlee plays by herself or with the people at home. By now, she enjoys playing JENGA. I’m sure you know this game. It is where you stack small wooden blocks to create a tall tower. And each player removes a block one by one. Whoever removed a block and make the tower fall, losses the game. I can say it is a fun game. And a great bonding activity for the whole family.
Another activity that Carlee enjoys doing is to draw or paint. She loves to draw flowers, animals, and pictures of me. I thought to myself if this hobby continues as she grows old, maybe someday she will become a great painter. As of now, I just let her do her stuffs and fill up our refrigerator with her paintings and drawings…
Even if it’s vacation, I also tell Carlee to practice her writing and reading skills. These are the activities that she doesn’t like to do, but she has too. Because she will be in Grade 2 in the coming school year. I know things would be different in school. They won’t be treated as babies in school anymore. So she has to be ready.
Lastly, to keep my daughter busy and motivated, I downloaded some cute worksheets. Kids can practice their reading and vocabulary skills with this fun bug word search as they search for preposition words. You can crawl on over to Education.com for more reading activities, games, and resources just like this!
Carlee tried this word search and the maze and she definitely enjoyed doing them. She kept on asking for more. Educational worksheets like these are really good activities for kids. Plus, the cute images makes the kids more interested in them. I strongly recommend you to try them with your own little ones.
Well, there goes my own ways. I hope these gave you some good ideas. But don’t get me wrong about gadgets and other technologies. They are not bad for kids. As a matter of fact, they’re very helpful to them if they will be taught of using them in a proper way. And we know that anything in excess are not really good to everyone. So even if we struggle to lessen our kids screen time, we still have to do it. For their own good.
What other ways can you think of to lessen your kids screen time? Let me know your thoughts.. 🙂