Photo of a boy playing on an ipad by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

One of the biggest challenges facing parents today is figuring out how to balance screen time and other activities. Let’s face it, it can be easier to hand a child an iPad than to work through a temper tantrum! Setting time limits is hard to do, and, like most things related to child care, you must follow through and be consistent.

Here at Kids Villa, we pride ourselves on offering kids at our daycare centers many different engaging activities that do not involve screens or technology. Children at our three learning centers in Urbana, Germantown, and Waring Station Road, play outside, read books, play dress up, draw, and a variety of other activities.

Here on our blog we provide tips and tricks to our daycare centers’ parents, and in today’s blog we’ll be sharing a few of our favorite ways to help limit children’s screen time. If you’re interested in enrolling your child at one of our daycare centers or would like to schedule a tour, contact us today!

Go Cold Turkey

This may seem extreme, especially when it’s the first tip on our list! But one of the biggest challenges of limiting screen time is setting rules and expectations. Should your child be allowed one hour per day? Only after finishing their homework? On Saturdays? Sometimes it can be easier to just go cold turkey and cut off screen time entirely. It’s going to be incredibly difficult, but kids adjust quickly! If going cold turkey entirely sounds like too much of a challenge for your family, then try having one or two days a week without screens. Many parents have found that it is relatively easy to set a single day, like Saturday, without screens and then have more lax restrictions the other days of the week.

Set Limits

If zero screen time sounds impossible, the best way to limit screen time is by setting limits. When you set boundaries instead of going cold turkey your child will see that you’re willing to compromise with them. Just be sure to be consistent with how you set and enforce these limits. If you’ve decided on an hour a day, don’t let your child have an extra 15 minutes to finish the show they are watching. Be firm and tell them that they can continue where they left off tomorrow.

Go Outside

Going outside is a relatively simple way to limiting screen time, but it can be challenging to get out of the house, especially in cold weather! Even just going for a walk around the block can help children transition from screen time to another activity. And it’s more likely than not that they’ll find something interesting and engaging while you’re out! Here at our day care, we go outside as often as we can, whether it’s to play on the playground or do a nature or art activity. Kids love to grow and play outside, and they also love when you play with them. Even something as simple as taking a puzzle or book outside can really go a long way in teaching your child that there is a lot of fun to be had away from screens!

Have Friends or Family Over

Inviting friends or family members with kids over is a great way to minimize screen time. Encourage the kids to play with each other or do some family activities, like playing board games or going for a nature walk. Inviting people into your home is an excellent idea for the summer or after school. And if you’re looking for summer camps to enroll your child in, check out Kids Villa summer programming in Urbana, Germantown, and Waring Station Road.

Embrace Boredom

It can be challenging to let your kids be bored. After all, they’ll probably complain to you about how bored they are. But it’s actually perfectly fine — and even good for kids — to spend time doing nothing. After all, you probably long for time to when there is nothing on your to do list. If your child is used to being constantly entertained, they may have a hard time finding independent activities. Let them work through their boredom. Eventually, their behavior will change and they’ll find something to do. In fact, boredom encourages creativity and helps kids relax and calm down.

Kids Villa Learning Center

Our daycare center’s motto is “caring and learning go hand in hand” and we practice it every single day! Along with full-day childcare, we also offer before and after-school programming for school-age children. If you’re looking for a safe, supportive, and nurturing space for your elementary school child to spend time at before or after school, learn more about our learning center and enroll today! We also offer summer programming for year round childcare services!

Schedule a tour at one of our three daycare center locations: