How to Use Screen Time as an Educational Tool
Written by: Alyssa Mignone, MS, CCC-SLP
How much screen time is OK for my children?
Screen Time Limits according to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- 0-18 months: No screens!
- 18-24 months: No more than 30 minutes per day
- 2-5 years: No more than 60 minutes a day
(These were guidelines established prior to COVID-19 and remote learning.)
While it’s very understandable for children to be participating in screen time activities independently while parents are busy, screen time should be an *INTERACTIVE* experience as much as possible to enhance its educational value. There are many simple ways that you, as a parent or caregiver, can foster language development and creativity in your child by being an active participant during dedicated screen time opportunities.
Here are ways in which you can make screen time more engaging and educational for your child:
- Pause the video frequently to talk about the video/game
- Point to pictures and label the items (Look! A bird! I see a bird!)
- Ask them questions about what they see (e.g., What is that flying in the sky?)
- Make comments about what you see (e.g., Wow, look at that bird flying in the sky! He is flying so fast! Whoosh!)
- Narrate your actions or the actions of characters in the video/game (e.g., Now she’s climbing up the stairs!, I’m putting sprinkles on my ice cream.)
- Have them make requests (e.g., “more,” “all done,” “I want the x”)