Experts recommend a maximum of an hour of screen-time per day for children aged between 2 and 5 which is all very well and good, but I think we’ve all been in a position where TV just feels like the golden solution!
Here’s the thing though, the more screen-time your child gets, the more they want! It becomes a battle and before you know it, the TV gets switched on before breakfast and becomes background noise for the rest of the day. However, not all TV is terrible: There are TV shows that are educational (Super Simple Songs for example), ones that help your children learn new skills (whether it be taekwondo or dance) or even help them relax (Cosmic Kids Yoga).
I recommend that you stick to one TV session per day. Ideally this would be in the afternoon after a full day of playing. Perhaps before dinner and the evening routine so that there is a clear cut-off point. Make screen-time part of your daily rhythm so your children know when they CAN watch TV.
5 Ways to Reduce screen-time at home
- Establish a simple daily rhythm: having a predictable rhythm to your days at home with little ones will help your children understand when they can watch their favourite shows. Mine watch TV in the afternoon when I am preparing dinner.
- Get outside more! There are so many benefits to getting outside and one of them is being away from the temptation at home
- Set an example: children learn from what they SEE rather than what you say to them. If you want your child to be less addicted to screen-time, monitor how much time you spend on devices yourself. This can be tricky, particularly if you are working from home but point one ( a simple daily rhythm) should help you establish more structure around screen-time use.
- Download audiobooks: these are such a good alternative to screens! We have a Tonies audio story box at home and the children just love choosing their own stories to listen to.
- Remove the triggers! Where possible, locate your play space away from any screens. If this isn’t an option, move the TV remote and any devices out of sight during set durations of the day.
What are the exceptions to this?
The aim here is to reduce screen-time rather than make you feel guilty about it! There are absolutely days when we watch more TV – sick days or days when extreme exhaustion hits being examples of this.
Every Friday, we have a fun family film night which does take the little ones over the daily recommended limit. Balance is everything and it is just as important to create lovely memories together as it is to stick rigidly to a rule.
When you do need to TV save the list of educational shows below. They are all available via YouTube – you can turn on the YouTube Kids App to avoid automatic video play which makes screen-time so much easier to track!
18 Educational Shows to add to your watchlist
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Mr T’s Phonics
- The Ballet Brigade
- The Wiggles
- Jack Hartmann
- Super Simple Songs
- Super Simple TV
- The Bumble Nums
- Bluey – Official Channel
- Art for Kids Hub (preschool art lesson playlist)
- Blippi – Education Videos for Kids
- ABC Kids
- Justine Clarke
- Sesame Street
- Puffin Rock