Kids and Screen Time
Research shows that kids today are spending way too much time on electronic devices.
I was shocked to read that entertainment screen time for kids ages 8-18 averages up to 7.5 hours daily — now that’s a lot of screen time!
The dangers of kids spending an excessive amount of time on screens is a battle that most parents today are losing. It feels like a never-ending struggle and in the end, it’s just easier to give in.
Plus, if most parents are completely honest, they too are spending way too much time looking at screens throughout the day!
With that said, kids also learn by example.
If mom and dad are constantly scrolling social media on their phones, the kids will follow suit. This is why putting your phone down and learning to be present is essential for winning the screentime battle in your home!
The Summer Slump
The struggle is real.
As a public school kid, I remember the amazing feeling of summer break at the end of each school year.
Summer = freedom
When school was officially out it meant I would be spending the next 3 months outside playing in the dirt, hanging out with friends, using my imagination, splashing in the creek, and getting into a whole lot of mischief along the way.
My parents didn’t have to fight the screentime battle that is crippling most American families today because there wasn’t a need for one.
Unfortunately, the summer days of screen-free simplicity are behind us, and parents are now faced with kids staying indoors on screens instead of embracing the freedom of summer play.
This is why having a game plan for your summer is a must!
Help your kids avoid the summer slump by creating a mixture of structured and free-range living.
Not sure how to make that work? These are the 3 simple ways I avoided the summer slump & manage my kids’ screen time over the summer months by using structure while encouraging free-range play.
Most kids need a little structure and since I practically crave it, I’ve totally got this part down.
I’m a planner — it’s simply how I function best.
One of the ways I create structure over the summer months is by planning our homeschool year — Ok, this one is 100% for me. It helps me get the structure I crave while creating a plan for a successful upcoming homeschool year!
My kids also follow a simple year-round routine that encourages them to set goals for their daily chores, summer school work, and health needs.
With that said, because of my natural planning tendencies, I’ve been known to over-plan and it’s definitely something I have to reign in from time to time — which brings me to the free-range part of our summer.
Over the years I have struggled to let go of strict scheduling and lean on the side of flexibility.
I have to say though, I’ve finally found a pretty good mix and I like it here.
Allowing your kids to simply be kids is so important — especially during the summer months!
I’ve learned that skipping formal lessons to play outside on a beautiful day is 100% OK!
Simple ways I encourage free-range activities? Most of the time I start our day with just a little bit of structure, then I encourage my kids to have a couple of hours of free play while I work on a home or work project.
This simply sets the tone for the rest of the day.
If I let my kids get on screens the moment they wake, they would likely want to stay there all day long.
Free-range childhood should require NO planning on the parental side. However, if your kids aren’t used to free-range play, they may need a slight push in the right direction.
Encourage your kiddos to get outside, get creative, and use their imagination this summer by indoor hands-on activities, outdoor exploring, building, and creating.
Not sure free-range would work for your kid or your lifestyle? This is when structured-free range comes into play!
This is what I like to call the sweet spot for most parents.
A decent-sized plan, but little to no pressure.
If your kids are too little to play outside on their own or if they struggle through imaginative play, you can easily encourage a structured-free-range play instead!
This kind of play can easily be tackled by Mom setting up an activity or group of activities and letting her children run with it. I used to do this all the time as a part of our homeschool routine by creating a simple loop schedule for my kids each week!
Other fun ideas to use for a structured-free-range summer include our before electronics checklist (below) and the rest of our summer fun lineup! Check out these fun summer crafts for kids, our simple summer bucket lists, and personalized summer reading challenge to get started!
Before Electronics Checklist
THIS is the main event, you guys!
I created this super simple before-electronics checklist to help parents navigate summer parenting in a technology world!
These simple screen time rules will help encourage your kiddo to get outside, get creative, do something healthy, and be productive before hopping on their electronic devices!
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You can easily use this before electronics checklist of screen time rules by itself or you can pair it with our updated reading challenge and bucket list (coming soon to our kid activities page).