Choosing and giving children gifts at Christmas has always involved some responsibility. In 2021, with the increased screen time children will experience thanks to COVID in the next two years, parents might be even more uncertain about what to buy.
What if you could overcome some of these fears with the power of playing?
The play has a great deal of importance. The space can develop. It facilitates communication, improves personal strength, enhances emotional well-being, and fosters social relationships.
It can apply to both digital and traditional gifts. Here are some screen-based toy ideas that can be good for a child’s growth and ease parental guilt.
Is there such a word as too much screen time?
Let’s start with the main concern that many parents have. Can too much screen time harm a child? Knowing and balancing the benefits and risks of screen time is essential.
According to a recent study by the University of Colorado Boulder, even if kids spend five hours per day in front of screens, it “doesn’t seem harmful.” A study suggests that screen time may improve social relationships.
The type of screen time also matters, according to research. Active engagement, such as playing games or engaging in an activity, may be beneficial. However, prolonged passive screen time could be harmful.
International and Australian have different recommendations for how much screen time is appropriate for children.
The guidelines also recommend negotiating clear boundaries regarding screen time, limiting sedentary screen time, and incorporating Physical Activity and Social Relationships.
This may include sharing a device with family members, setting clear limits on usage, and having a parent supervise.
Children need to know how to use screens. Parents can help their children develop a healthy relationship with screen time by modeling the beneficial use of screens and selecting digital toys that are developmentally appropriate.
Digital toys for all age groups
Babies & toddlers
Video chatting for babies and toddlers is the only screen time recommended. When used with their child, digital devices and apps can help parents maintain relationships with family and friends.
Parents can use apps on their devices to help them remember or sing along with nursery rhymes. Playing rhythm and rhymes with your child during the first 1000 days can help to develop many brain functions.
Pre-schoolers (3-5 years)
When screen time is supervised by parents and incorporated into a balanced healthy lifestyle, it can help children develop their imagination, creativity, and storytelling.
Apps and games like Osmo, where players interact with digital objects on their devices using real-world objects, can help develop communication, problem-solving, and social skills.
School-age (5-9 years)
recommends apps and digital games to support creativity, social skills, and learning for children of school age.
Stop-Motion is a great app idea where kids use Lego minifigures and plasticine models to make short animated films. Khan Academy for Kids enables children to solve puzzles, play games, and read books while creating and drawing.
Pre-teens (9-12 years)
Pre-teens may be beginning to conduct an essential part of their life on the Internet. When choosing digital gifts, supporting their growing sense of Digital Citizenship is necessary.
Teenagers (13-18 Years)
Teenagers can include screen time in their healthy lifestyles. Digital activities that promote interests and hobbies and improve social connections are essential for health and development.
Judi, a teenager’s mother, shares her current favorite in the house: the virtual reality headset OculusQuest 2. It allows social connection via VRChat, Altspace, and meditation through TRIPP and Nature Treks.
You can also go on a treasure hunt with your family using Geocaching. Sporcle can be used to host a trivia night with friends or family. Spore allows players to create their species through the evolution of microscopic organisms.