Technology has given children this fantastic gift—endless information and entertainment on their gadgets. On average, children spend 4 to 8 hours a day on screen, mostly on their smartphones. Remote learning and lockdowns made screens their BFFs. However, nothing is ever that simple.
Parents are now dealing with a real head-scratcher: How much screen time should kids have?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says the itty-bitties under 18 months should keep away from screens (except for video chats), and the 2 to 5-year-olds? They’re good with just one hour of quality programming a day.
But nowadays, kids are not just sticking to one screen at a time; they’re doing the whole media multitasking thing, like watching TV and using their smartphones. While we loved Boss Baby, it’s probably not appropriate for your child to be monitoring more screens than you are at work. And all that screen time, especially before bedtime, messes with their sleep. Artificial blue light messes with their melatonin, making it harder for them to catch those Z’s.
When the COVID lockdown hit, Steve Au couldn’t help but notice that his two little kiddos were trapped indoors with only their gadgets for company while he and his partner worked from home. With outdoor adventures on hold, their source of entertainment and learning became those trusty screens.
As Steven and his wife were both adjusting to the chaos of working from home and sharing their space with their “interns,” their kids were given the mission of finding ways to keep themselves occupied. And boy, did they take that job seriously! Steve’s kids would drag their art cart to the dining room table, unleashing a chaotic array of paper, crayons, scissors, glue, and other crafty supplies.
Introducing arts and creative activities for kids is a great way to strike a balance and ensure kids don’t become overly reliant on screens.
While his dining table became an art studio, Steve had an entrepreneurial “a-ha” moment. He called it Scribble – an app that creates stunning coffee table books from a cell phone pic of children’s art. The app means no fuss with photo editing or layouts, just an easy-to-use online app that, with a few simple clicks, can immortalize little artists’ creations on beautifully printed pages.
It’s not just about tidying up; it’s about making incredible memories and documenting the creative journey. When kids see their work celebrated, it’s nurturing for their self-esteem. Keeping their art and displaying it proudly in a book makes kids want to create more, sparking their creativity. It’s a magic spell for inspiring unique creations. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, kids who get artsy early on tend to become super creative adults with top-notch problem-solving skills.
Flipping through these art books together is an epic bonding experience. Studies say sharing family rituals, like reading memory books, brings families closer. It’s making memories together while reliving the old ones.
If you’re looking for a way to cut down on screen time for your kids, hand them a crayon and tell them they’re about to be the illustrator of their very first book. The need for balance in the age of screens is essential, and artistic creativity is the perfect way to unleash imagination.
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