On the other hand, when the screen tells the story, it is like a “shortcut.” The narrator tells the story and a video will be there to show them what is happening. Psychologists state that the device “does much of the thinking” for them.
Guidelines to Follow: Recommended Screen time for Preschoolers
It may be difficult to follow the recommended screen time for preschoolers, but there are small steps that you can take.
- Make sure that there is no television, tablet, computer, or smartphone in your child’s bedroom.
- It is also helpful to set a TV timer. Some TVs have the function to automatically turn off after being on for a certain amount of time.
- Do not allow your child to watch TV while doing another activity, such as when they are doing their homework or eating.
- If you are using the TV just for background noise, turn it off and just use the radio.
- Ahead of time, decide what programs your child will watch on TV.
As for tablets, computers, and smartphones, choose the appropriate games or applications for preschoolers. One good tip here is to select interactive programs. For example, some shows let them choose, ask them to sing, or instruct them to dance.
While preschoolers are too young to search and download on their own, it is still helpful to set some internet controls. This will allow you to filter or block certain content on the web that is inappropriate for kids.
Finally, aside from giving the recommended screen time for preschoolers, experts also have one important advice: Supervise their screen time. Be there when they use the device as it is easier to make the activity interactive. Not only will you see what they are doing, but you can also respond to their questions and reactions.
Recommended Activities to Enhance Learning
Aside from limiting a child’s total screen time, experts also suggest doing an equal amount of physical and creative activity. Here are some recommendations:
- Read a book
- Draw or paint
- Plant or work in the garden; you can make them do simple tasks like watering the plants or planting the seeds
- Play traditional Filipino games with them
- Cook or bake; make the task easy, like asking them to mix the cake batter or pour the ingredients
Even though they may be young, preschoolers can also help with household chores. Just make it easy and fun for them. For example, while doing the laundry, prepare two baskets and let them separate the white clothes from those with color.
Following the recommended screen time for preschoolers will help your children develop the knowledge and skills necessary for physical and intellectual growth. Experts say that parents must lead by example. In other words, parents too must limit their screen time.
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