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Remember the days when it would be almost impossible to get the kids to come in to eat dinner? Those days are a thing of the past. Today, many kids prefer to spend their time indoors in front of a screen: TV, computer, tablet, video game, cell phone.
There are times when these devices are good for kids to use, and they are a good way to keep the kids entertained, but too much screen time can have a negative impact. It can affect their quality of sleep, lead to behavioural issues such as increased aggression and it can lead to obesity.
Kids are spending more time than ever looking at screens. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “a recent study shows that the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours a day with different media, and older children and teens spend more than 11 hours per day. Kids who have a TV in their bedroom spend more time with media. About 75 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds own cell phones, and nearly all teenagers use text messaging.”
What is the recommended amount of screen time for children? The Academy believes entertainment screen time should be limited to two hours per day, and for children under 2, screen media exposure should be discouraged altogether.
To reduce the amount of time kids spend in front of a screen, it’s important to have other, screen-free activities that will engage them and keep them occupied.
Here are some great screen-free activities to help your kids pass the time:
These are just some of the activities your kids can do to spend less time in front of a screen.