It’s important for your little one to enjoy a wide range of activities every day including physical active play, creative and imaginative play, hands-on fun and anything that involves spending time and interacting with other people.
The problem is, screen time often comes at the expense of these other important activities. There’s a strong link between too much screen time and poor concentration, reduced intellectual development, and increased levels of obesity.
Reducing screen-based activities to help your kids ‘switch to play’ is really important. By encouraging them to switch to play every day, you’re helping them:
- develop the good habit of being physically active
- make friends and improve social skills
- enjoy fun creative play
- maintain a healthy weight, and
- have a good start to learning.
Switch it off and encourage kids to play
This might sound like a case of ‘easier said than done’ – but there are some fun alternatives to screen time. Here are some active play ideas to get things rolling:
- Have dress ups, puzzles, crafts and building blocks ready for play at anytime
- Encourage fun, active play (indoors and outdoors) such as dancing to music
- Try different activities that your family can enjoy together
- Encourage your kids to help with household activities like packing away toys
More information and ideas are available from the below resources:
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It's not as easy as it sounds, but it could be as simple as not allowing or limiting screen time to get your kids to switch to active play!
Did you know?
- Kids request more soft drinks and sugary, salty or fatty snack foods when they watch a lot of TV
- Kids copy the behaviour of parents, siblings and friends
- Kids who spend a lot of time on screens (more than two hours a day) are more likely to have poorer health and educational outcomes.