7 Reasons Children's Screen Time Should Be Limited


Although screen time can be beneficial for children's learning, allowing open slather on electronic devices can be detrimental for their development and social skills. Children need real life interactions to develop proper life skills which is why children's screen time needs to be limited.

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What is Screen Time?

Screen time is the time you spend every day in front of devices like phones, tablets and televisions. Putting a limit on children's screen time, helps ensure they achieve a healthy lifestyle and can build positive relationships with others. It’s well known that online media can influence how children learn, feel and think and can lead to unhealthy habits if it starts to disrupt sleep, play, family meals and social interaction.

Why Should Children’s Screen Time Be Limited?

While we agree that plenty of fun and learning can be achieved through screen time, there are many other ways which are even better! Seven reasons why you should encourage less screen time are:

  1. Free play is more important. Play is more than just fun for children. It develops their social competence and emotional maturity. Child-led play should be your goal, allowing children to develop their imagination and expand their understanding of the world by encouraging them to make their own choices.
  2. When children spend all their time on screens, they are limiting their imaginations. To encourage imaginative play, you can buy toys that encourage imagination like dress-ups, blocks and dolls. Even reading books to your children helps grow their imaginative thought processes.
  3. Hours of inactivity interferes with physical and developmental progress. Exercise is needed to help children's brains and bodies develop. Encourage physical play like jumping on the trampoline, riding bikes, building huts, sports and climbing trees. Play with your kids by kicking a ball, playing cricket and running races to show them you value being active too.
  4. Your child could encounter dangerous material or people on the internet. It's crucial to monitor the shows your child is watching and games they are playing and make sure they are age appropriate.
  5. Sleep problems can be caused by too much screen time. This is especially relevant for those who sleep with mobile devices in their bedrooms. Exposure to light and using electronic devices before sleep time can disrupt sleep, which has a flow on effect to other parts of life like school.
  6. Excessive amounts of screen time can increase the risk of childhood obesity. Children are more likely to snack or overeat while having screen time and too much time sitting down isn't good for developing bodies.
  7. Studies have shown that excessive screen time can increase anxiety and even depression in young children. The instant gratification received from screens can actually be addictive to our kids.

Fun and learning doesn’t need to come from a screen.Unstructured playtime and interactions with people are more valuable for a child's brain than electronic media. As New Zealand’s best online toy shop, we’ve got the best kid’s dress-ups and the widest range of educational toys in the country!

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Cathy To



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