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Are you looking for a way to monitor screen time for kids? Try my printable tech time tokens! This is a fun solution to monitor your child’s screen time use.
Technology time is a big issue in our house. Since we homeschool, my kids finish school early in the afternoon. They want to spend the rest of the day in front of a screen, but I am just not OK with that much screen time for kids. Not at all.
I want my kids outside, getting physical activity, reading books, developing communication skills, and getting face to face interaction. I do not want their faces glued to tablets, constantly playing video games or scrolling social media.
I am trying out a new system this week called Tech Time Tokens to try and remedy the issues we have been having. Let me tell you a little about it.
I have tried a lot of different methods to try and monitor my kids’ technology use. It is hard for me to always have to be on top of them and keeping track of their time in front of screens.
I feel like 30 minutes is a reasonable amount of time in an afternoon on a school day for my young children to use technology for entertainment purposes. ON the weekends I give them more screen time.
My older children have different amounts of screen time than my younger kids. They need to use the internet and computers for more of their school work. They also have greater needs for online communication.
Screen Time or Tech Time Tokens
I created a set of printable Tech Time Tokens to use in our home and to share with all of you. There are 5 different colors: Red, Orange, Green, Blue and Purple. We are going to laminate them to make them durable.
I am hoping these Tech Time Tokens will solve ALL of the problems! 😉 Ha! If only.
I am going to give my kids 10 tokens per week. I give them a few extras because on Saturday, I let them watch a little extra TV. They can use their tokens once chores and school work are finished to watch TV, play on the iPad or the computer.
Each token is worth 30 minutes of technology time. I have since updated the file and there are also tokens with 10 minutes and 15 minutes! My kids have timers to keep track of how long they are playing or watching. They have to turn in their tech time tokens once their time is used.
If the kids choose NOT to use their tokens, I will give them 50 cents to turn it in to me. This might motivate them to not watch TV from time to time if they are in need of extra funds. Also, if they are dying to earn extra tech time, I will allow them to earn an extra token with an hour of reading.
How to Use the Tech Time Tokens:
I am giving each of my kids a different color to use so I know who has used theirs and who has not. We will have 2 jars- a used and an un-sed jar of tokens. The kids will move them from one jar to the other when they use them.
Download a Copy of Tech Time Tokens!
If you are interested in downloading this, it is a free download
Recommended Amount of Screen Use For Kids
Between smartphones. video chatting, movies, video games, and social media, it may be difficult in this digital era to limit screen time.
Interestingly, The American Academy of Pediatrics has removed their screen time recommendations in recent years except for those in early childhood. Infants and toddlers should have very little media use, unless with a caregiver and if it is educational.
Children ages 2-5 it is recommended that you should limit screen usage to 1 hour per day.
Beyond that there are no guidelines other than encouraging healthy habits, turning it off during mealtimes and learning about parent controls. Screens should be turned off 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
I would guess this shift in guidelines is due to the increase in media use in this generation. So much is done digitally that it may be hard to quantify the amounts of time spent on screens. However, we know from research and studies that too much screen time can cause many problems and issues!
I definitely recommend if your kids have electronic devices that you implement screen time limits.
Problems With Excessive Screen Time
- Developmental delays in young children
- Increased depression, anxiety, and mood problems
- Attention problems
- Behavior problems
- Weight problems- higher obesity rates
- Exposure to inappropriate content- violence, nudity, bullying, sexual content, profanity, inaccurate content, negative stereotypes, unsafe behaviors or challenges, etc.
I am definitely not against screens and technology use. There are amazing uses for these devices! I use them every day. However, the amount of time spent on screens is the issue.
Screen Time Averages for Kids
The average screen time for kids ages 0 to 2 is 49 minutes per day. For kids ages 2 to 4 the average is 2 – 2 1/2 hours a day of screen time. The screen time average for kids ages 5 to 8 is over 3 hours per day. For tweens ages 8 to 12 the average is almost 5 hours of screen time per day. The average screen time for teens its up to 9 hours per day!
These averages can be a bit startling, which is why I want to work hard to limit the amount in our home. We can also do that be example! If we are using less technology, our kids will not see the need to as much, either. I hope these tech time tokens will help you in your home!
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