Positive screen time with pre-schoolers
Sometimes screen time can become a battle or a bribe for good behaviour. Sometimes young children develop
obsessions ‘interests’ in programmes or games we wish they were not so fond of! So, with the aim of sparing some prolonged toddler debates about what they need to watch or play, here are a few ideas for constructive activities to do during ‘screen time’ with little ones:
Teach your youngsters to use the free design website Canva. This is a great way for them to get creative, if traditional craft is not their thing! Some ideas for things to create:
-Role play restaurant menus
-Infographics of a chosen topic
Nature programmes, either on DVDs or online, often seem less intrusive to play than brightly coloured cartoons. They can be a great way to springboard children into a new topic, giving them inspiration for drawing or creative play, you can also often find books along similar themes to tie in together, to extend their learning.
These are brilliant; short, catchy aminations with good-quality music which accompany the books. Barefoot books are also very diverse in their content and we often use a world map to talk about where the stories might be set.
YouTube- construction videos
Many children love watching older children building models and creating things online. As long as they also get chance to go and create things for themselves, using the ideas they have seen, it can be a good source of inspiration and motivation.
Cooking programmes are great as they are upbeat, suitable for little eyes and ears, not ‘scary’ or overly dramatic and can be a great way to springboard into role play and pretend cooking for pre-schoolers as well as real cooking experiences, too.
With younger ones, letting them dictate funny stories while you type them is enjoyable, especially if they get to choose fonts and add letters themselves. As they get older, children can start contributing more to the story and typing it themselves. This is a great way to help them become familiar with a keyboard and capital letters as well as beginning to put simple words and sentences together in a fun way.
The technology for online maps is changing at a phenomenal rate. It’s so exciting thinking of where AI will take us in travel in the future! But for now, online maps are one great way of opening up discussions about the world with under 5’s.
No, they would not want to watch an entire football match, but 10 minutes of diving, skiing or bobsleigh, etc. is always interesting. I tend to let them out into the garden or take them to the park after this, as we usually need to put what we have seen into immediate ‘practice’!
What screen-time activities do your youngsters enjoy? Let me know in the comments below!