A little girl on an iPhone.

Learn ways to reduce screen time and increase learning for your children.

January 12, 2022
Parks & Recreation

In today’s day and age, screens are everywhere, and as adults we know that they can be very habit-forming. While cutting out screen time entirely for children can be difficult, there are ways to reduce screen time and increase learning, development and overall fun for children.

Recommended Guidelines

The Canadian Pediatric Society has published the following screen time recommendations:

  • For children under two years old, screen time is not recommended.
  • For children two to five years old, limit screen time to less than one hour a day.
  • For children older than five, limit screen time to less than two hours a day.

Strategies to limit screen time

It can be overwhelming and daunting to think about reducing screen time in your home and in your daily routine. However, growing research finds that too much screen time can potentially make it hard for your child to sleep at night, and raises your child's risk for attention problems, anxiety, depression and weight gain.

As a parent, how can you facilitate this change?

  • Be a role model by limiting screen time for yourself, especially around your children.
  • Turn off screens in the home when no one is watching them, eliminating background distractions.
  • Keep bedtime, mealtime and family time screen-free.
  • Designate certain areas of the house as ‘screen-free zones.’
  • Co-watch screens as much as possible and have open conversations about what the show is about.
  • Try to manage and monitor what media is being watched on screens.

Fun without screens!

When screens are off, it’s time for fun! Getting face-to-face time with your children is invaluable. This is the time for reading, arts and crafts, playing outdoors, meeting and interacting with other children and getting active. In the big picture, try to promote sleep, health, nutrition and exercise over screen time.