Summer is here and I know that most moms battle with kids screen time usage. Why do I know this? Because I see all the Summer Rule memes out there on how to address the issue. Checklists on what must be done before the “mom, can I get on a screen” question can even be spoken.
Simple Summer Rule for Kids Screen Time
Well you all know I’m not very Type A. And many of those checklists give me hives just looking at them. So I decided to come up with a simplified version. Granted my kiddos are a little older and can “handle” a little less direction (most days). This has worked for us… so far!
The 1 Hour Rule for Screen Time
Before any screens (including the phone for the teen) can be stared at, streamed or played on 1 hour of the follow must take place. Each kiddo has their own Amazon Alexa Echo Dot and we have an Echo in the kitchen which really helps with keeping the time in check!
20 Minutes of Reading
This one is easier on some of the kiddos than others. But having the Summer Reading programs to incentivize them helps. Remember to keep all those logs together. Most programs ask for 20 min of reading each day anyway, so this is perfect to check off the logs! Also, we have found that reading books that correspond to upcoming movies helps too. We recently bought the Wrinkle in Time series and have done the same with Roald Dahl movie too.
20 Minutes of Chores
I know this one is going to get the most eye rolling each day. But think outside of the “clean your room, make your bed” box. Just this morning dear daughter did a wonderful job tidying up the kitchen during her 20 min. And my boys who love to mow laws, well isn’t a vacuum sort of the same? We always have them start in the bedroom and then move on to other areas.
Here are some “chore” ideas:
- sort, load, fold, put away laundry
- do dishes
- dust (um, I used to do this as a kid, I don’t want to admit how often I don’t do it now)
- organize cabinets (some kiddos would actually love this and be great at it! Use those jars!)
- wash the car (hey why not! especially on a hot day!)
20 Minutes of Activity
This one should be easy right? I remember living on my bike in the summer… but time change right. So your kiddos might need a little more “encouragement”. My kids recently discovered badminton at a cookout (how fun is that). And thanks to the pup, even walking the dog counts! On those rainy days it might be hard to get them out on the Ripstik and Rollerblades, so you can be lenient on the one and include lego building and coloring. The idea is to get them doing something “active” (body and mind) and not just sitting, before they sit in front of a screen.
I did make up these 1 hour rule screen time checklist sheets. Each prints with four check cards in case you want a time card for the kids to punch each day. Maybe even reward a week of “perfect attendance” with a special screen night.
So what do you think? Would this work to address the screen time issue in your house?
Too simple, or just simple enough?
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