Good Morning Friends!
So I always promised myself I would not be the mom that would just give her kid a phone to quiet them down. After having Aria I quickly learned that sometimes a screen was helpful. Now after doing research and listening to much-needed advice I came to this conclusion: It is all about MODERATION.
Moderation is the key word here. So what we are doing this new year is cutting back on screen time..for all of us. I will be putting down my phone more and playing with Aria, getting housework done and getting the house in order.
We are cutting Aria back on screen time as well. She is allowed a short screen time in the morning after breakfast while I clean up. We have to play, do our homeschool and chores in order to get a game. She has a few games to pick from, most are educational and one is fun. We are going to wean her off of youtube kids all together. Same goes for me, I am deleting channels that don’t add value to my life.
You can find so many studies that support both sides of the spectrum. Your job as a parent is to know the facts and find out what is best for your family. If zero screen time is what you want, stick to it. Fill your Childs time with exploration and play.
If you allow screen time, again, do what is best for your family. Set time limits, and teach them online safety.
In our family I have noticed Aria behaves much better when she plays, reads, and has very little to no screen time. Her imagination runs wild, she is in a better mood, and she listens a little better.
I read a really amazing blog post from Simply On Purpose about making playtime matter. She taught us what toys have multi-purpose uses and what toys you should keep limited. Before reading her post we did implement organized bins for Aria’s toys and have Aria play with one bin at a time. That way they aren’t overwhelmed with toys. I completely agree with her on that. We became more strict on that and Aria will have longer independent play time. I hear her play with purpose.
We used to flip on the tv during play time, but now we can put on music or just let her play. Her attitude has changed, her attention span has increased, and her imagination has exploded.
One game she loves to play is princesses/ or animals in the water. She just stands in front of the sink and fills it up with water and lets her princesses and animals play by and in the water. One day she played like this for a solid 45 minutes and I got to listen to the story she created. It was really rewarding to see her use her imagination.
We love the Melissa and Doug Water On the Go books. Easy to clean up and easy to grab on the go as a replacement for the iPad.
Playing I spy in the car has also helped me stay off my phone in the car, we are all interacting with one another.
Currently, we are still in the process of getting rid of toys that don’t serve a purpose. Aria has so many toys and I would love to get rid of more.
Dress up aprons are another favorite of ours. Aria has several to choose from and she loves to dress up and act out her favorite Disney stories in them. I made these with extra fabric that has been lying around. If you want to make your own you can see them in action (here), and make your own from the patterns I used (here).
Ok, now how to implement moderation:
-Set Timers and stick to them
-Don’t Allow more than 2 hours a day.
-Spread out Screen Time. Do 10 minutes here or there. Our goal is only 45 minutes a day then get down to 20. I want to eliminate it as much as possible.
-Wake up early to get things done so you don’t have to do it during the day using a screen to occupy the kids. Believe me, there are no judgments sometimes you do what you have to do. This is just what works for us.
-Set a schedule for the next day. Schedules for us are guidelines for the day and it helps us break things up. I love having them.
-Somedays will be better than others if you succumb to screen time try again tomorrow. We have good days where we do no screen time and then we have some bad days. Remember you are doing the best you can.
-When setting up the playroom we divided our room for toys and imaginative play, and on the other side is educational and where we sit for her homeschool. This just helps us during school time to have her somewhat focused without a bunch of toys around.
I would love to know how you simplify play time. You can check out our playroom (here) for details on items you see in our room
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Thank you for your support!