A Kanata Daycare’s Tips on How to Balance Active Social Time with Screen Time

Parents are faced with all kinds of challenges and tough choices for their children. One of the heavily debated topics among parents is the amount of time they allow their children to play video games. With recent studies finding that there are benefits to kids playing video games Kanata daycares recognize that it’s all about how you balance different activities.

1) Find activities that offer both

It’s important to present situations where your child can choose to play video games or enjoy more active play. Indoor playgrounds offer a unique setting where children are able to have physical activities as well as digital. What is really great about these facilities is that they are very social by nature because there are other children and adults around for them to interact with, so no matter what they choose it will build communication skills.

2) Encourage interactive activities

Whether you are playing a video game or tag in the park it’s important to present interactive opportunities for children, and limit passive ones like watching TV. Day cares in Kanata often stress the importance of interactive play and although video games are not physically demanding, they do encourage more problem solving, pattern recognition, memory, and fine motor skills in a fun way. Video games can be a great interactive screen alternative to watching movies or TV.

3) Offer lots of social play situations

Social skills are learned through repetition, as well as trial and error. One of the biggest concerns that Kanata day cares deal with is how to socialize children. This can be done through play dates, organized sports or games, going to the park, or in the winter going to an indoor playground. Even multiplayer video games offer an element of social interaction, encouraging sharing, teamwork, and healthy competition. By offering different social situations and interactions for your child to learn from they will be able to develop the skills they need for the future.

4) Set time limits on gaming

Having a structure and rules around different play options will help to set both the parents and the child’s expectations for different situations. A child can’t spend all night playing at the park, and video games are the same way. Having defined rules and expectations set around video games will help to limit arguments and balance the types of play your child takes part in. For example, if you are at an indoor playground or playing video games at home set a time limit such as 30 minutes with your child and give them 10 and 5 minute warnings so it’s not a surprise when it’s time to move on to a different activity.

Just like everything in life it’s important to find the right balance. Kids rely on their parents to set ground rules and guide their development. By giving your child the opportunity to play in different ways whether it’s at a park, indoor playground, or digitally, you will encourage them to be physically, socially, and mentally active in their lives. Giving them the building blocks for a successful future.