Here are Some Screen Time Recommendations for Preschoolers
Some screen time can be good for kids because through TV and digital media they get exposed to new things and ideas. However, too much can be a bad thing to children’s physical and brain development.
After all, preschoolers need to interact more with real-world objects and the surroundings. If their eyes are always glued to the screens they will have fewer chances of playing outside. They’ll also be physically inactive which would affect both their brains and entire bodies. In other words, the screen time can take away the opportunities your child needs to get active and do real-world learning.
Screen time recommendations for preschoolers
Digital media exposure should not be more than 1 hour each day (for kids ages 2 to 5 years old). This is just a rough recommendation because we also have to consider the quality and nature of each hour of screen time. For instance, video chatting with family is not counted because this type of screen time is of high quality and important in communicating. On the other hand, letting your child watch bad TV shows or low-value YouTube videos even for just 30 minutes could become a bad habit and lead to long-term negative results.
What should you do then? It’s good to focus both on quantity and quality. As much as possible limit digital media exposure to 1 hour each day and during that limited screen time what your child sees should be educational and of high value. It’s also good to make sure to know and research about the different games and apps before letting your child use them. There are thousands of apps and games out there and only a few of them can actually do your child any good.
Putting screen time strictly on 1 hour each day sounds impossible. But it’s very doable if we provide good alternatives to digital media exposure. For example, unstructured playtime (with interaction with real objects and other people) can really help your child stay occupied. Bedtimes and family meals are also great opportunities to let your child keep his/her mind away from the TV, laptop, phone or tablet.
This is a crucial developmental period for kids and what they see during their early years can have a serious effect to their long-term development and future. Also, limiting the screen time and instead allowing your child to be in actual playtime and interaction with other people can help him/her better adapt to the real world and transition to formal schooling and beyond.