Give the Screen a Rest. Active Play is Best
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Give the screen a rest. Active play is best! encourages children, parents and carers to consider the amount of screen time they watch, and challenges them to identify how they can reduce their screen time and increase their activity levels.
Recreational screen time includes time spent texting, watching TV or DVDs, playing video games on the TV, computer or handheld console and time spent browsing or socialising on the computer. It does not include doing homework or study commitments.
Most of them are to do with helping children develop at every age – such as helping little kids build their physical skills like running, which also make their bones stronger; and helping all kids, even teenagers, build confidence and communication skills to interact better with their families, friends and communities.
Despite popular beliefs screen time does not help those under 2 years old with their language or intelligence. But it can actually negatively affect the development of their eyes or time they can stay focused.
The recommended Australian guidelines for total recreational screen time are:
There’s a lot of work involved in raising kids. And whether you have babies or teenagers, you’ll know that doing the best for your kids takes time and energy. So it can be a relief when they settle down in front of the TV or computer, or to play electronic games. But getting them actively playing is better in so many ways.
Active kids are healthier, and they usually find it easier to make friends and to concentrate and do well at school. Plus, when they’re running around, they’re tiring themselves out – so getting them into bed should be easier too!
When they’re playing, they’re using their imagination, communicating, exploring ideas, solving problems, making friendships, gaining confidence, and moving their bodies. Which means they’re also on the path to becoming healthy adults.
Think about switching off the screen and getting the kids outdoors and moving around a bit more. Or, maybe they could do something active indoors, like playing hide and seek around the house, or making an obstacle course with pillows in the hallway, or practising their dance moves.
Try some of these great tips from other parents:
It’s not just your kids who can get active. Why not join in too! It’s a great way to spend family time together. The list below provides some ideas to get you started.