Technology is increasingly present in all our day-to-day lives, but endless scrolling and unchecked screen time aren’t great for growing minds. While computers, phones, tablets and TVs can be helpful tools for learning, real-world STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) exploration, face-to-face interactions, outdoor play and creative problem solving can bring lessons to life through hands-on, off-screen fun!
Setting Limits on Screen Time
According to the Pew Research Center, it is common for parents to be worried about their child’s screen time. The appropriate amount of time, the impact it may have on their kids and who to trust for advice are among typical areas of concern. The American Academy of Pediatrics explains that kids are spending an average of seven hours per day on electronic devices, exposing them to a wide variety of messaging.
It is crucial to discuss screen time with your child and provide ample opportunities for off-screen learning. Below are a few strategies to begin setting limits on the amount of screen time your child engages in each day:
- Establish an open dialogue with your child about the pros and cons of technology
- • Set realistic goals for online and offline learning times
- Get outside and explore the local nature scene together
- Use parental controls on popular platforms and devices
- Sign up your child for a program or activity that will spark their interest
The above list is not exhaustive, but it is a great place to start! There are many ways to work alongside your child to create a screen time plan that works best for your family.
Sharing Hands-On Learning Activities
Looking for inspiration for hands-on learning opportunities that can be completed off-screen? The National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) has you covered!
- Sign your young innovator up for Camp Invention®! With over 1,000 locations nationwide, this weeklong STEM summer camp is sure to spark creativity, build real-world creative problem-solving skills and provide your child with high-energy, collaborative challenges.
- Encourage STEM learning with Innovation Exploration Kits™! Get all the materials (and instructions) your child will need to create, innovate and let their imagination go wild. It all will be delivered right to your door in one awesome box.
- Check out some of our free STEM activities! Complete with step-by-step instructions, a list of materials you likely already have at home and a breakdown of the exciting STEM concepts your child will be learning, these activities allow them to explore their creativity while having lots of screen-free fun.
To discover more ideas for supporting you child’s learning at home — and more hands-on activities you can complete together — we invite you to visit our blog.