For many families, summer signals a change in routine and schedule. And suddenly, your kids want to turn to this popular indoor pastime: devices – which means it’s time to set summer screen time rules for kids.
There are fantastic resources to be used on screens but as with any childhood experience, it’s important to set clear and safe boundaries.
Do you need help setting screen time rules and need help fast? Scroll down and check out our Summer Screen Time Cheat Sheet available for download at the end of this article.
Read below to learn 7 Ways to Set Summer Screen Time Rules to keep your kids safe and healthy.
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1. Understanding the Challenges
There are a few screen time challenges specific to summer vacation. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much is too much? It’s easy to have excessive screen time due to so much free time.
- Will screen time be educational or recreational? You can have one or the other, or both.
- What is age appropriate for my child? How can I assess and monitor that?
After you’ve considered these questions for your family, you’ll have a better foundation of how you imagine screens to be used in your home.
2.Setting Goals and Priorities
To set rules and have your children buy into them, they need to align with your family values. For example, it’s easy to set a rule that screens can’t be used at meals if your family sits down for quality time at the dinner table every night. It aligns.
Talk to your kids about the purpose of screen time: can they use screens for educational purposes, recreation, or both? Ask them what they’d like to do and if they have games or apps they’re already interested in using.
Then set goals as a family. Maybe you’d like a child to complete an online reading curriculum during the summer. Perhaps your child wants to play a go cart racing video game. No matter what the goal is, open communication about how screen time is being used and why.
3.Creating a Screen Time Schedule
The same way you’d create a schedule for lessons during the school year, create a screen time schedule. Here are some tips:
- Create a healthy balance between screen time and other activities like play or outdoor time. Need help in creating a summer routine? Check out our post on creating a Summer Homeschool Schedule for ideas.
- Allocate specific time slots for screen use
- Define daily and weekly screen time limits
- Split screen use into different types of screen activities for a variety
- Encourage breaks that involve physical activity
4.Establishing Age Appropriate Guidelines
An intimidating factor with screen use is making sure that your child is interacting with age appropriate screen content. If you have children of different ages, you’ll want to differentiate what screen activities each child is doing. With different ages comes different developmental needs and cognitive abilities.
Do you have kids between the ages of 2-6? Check out our post on the Noggin App, an educational platform perfect for screen time use.
Do you have elementary aged kids? Try out Homeschool+ for your family.
Do you have teenagers or college kids home for the summer? Access expert videos with a MasterClass subscription.
5.Implementing Parental Controls and Monitoring Tools
Many parents have a concern about their children accessing inappropriate content on screens. Luckily, there are several parental control and monitoring tools available.
- You can talk to your child about why parental controls and monitoring tools are important.
- You can control access to specific apps on iPad via parental control.
- You can track your child’s online usage with the Bark App. Check out our post on this monitoring app here.
- You can even filter videos on streaming platforms with a VidAngel account. Check out our post on VidAngel by clicking here to learn more about this filtering option.
6.Encouraging Alternative Activities
To balance your child’s desire to be on a screen, it’s important to have alternative activities that are fun for the whole family. Diversity of activity is key to a balanced and healthy summer.
Check out these activities for a safe and fun alternative to screentime. Add these to your screen time schedule so your kids can have something to look forward to:
- Have fun with STEM this summer with this STEM list of activities
- Make a homeschool summer camp using this guide
- Learn these 7 New Life Skills
- Read about these 10 Ways to Beat the Summer Slump
- Have fun with this Summer MadLibs Printable
- Get a Kiwi Create Subscription
7.Defining Your Role in Screentime as a Parent
Now that you’ve set the boundaries and rules for screen time, here are some ways that you can parent during screen time:
- Model healthy screen habits. Lead by example, set your own screen time boundaries, and make time for non-screen time with your family.
- Monitor and Evaluate Progress of your family’s screen time. Are your rules effective? Adjust your rules if needed. Celebrate milestones and goal achievements.
- Strategize how to manage resistance to rules. Be consistent with your boundaries and revisit teaching them often. Consider negotiating exceptions for special occasions.
Free Summer Screen Time rules for Kids Cheat Sheet Printable
Are you ready to set your Summer Screen Time Rules but want to cheat sheet to help you out? Download this Free Summer Screen Time Rules for Kids Cheat Sheet here or fill out the form above to receive your free printable. This is a helpful visual for you as your family works together to create the necessary boundaries for screen time.
Summer Screen Time Rules Make Summertime Shine
Summer is the perfect season for a change of pace and exploration of new interests and activities. Screens are popular and fun for many children, so long as parents provide a balanced schedule, a healthy approach, and safe boundaries. Keep learning and have a happy summer!
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Kat Martin served her community for 15 years as a public school Language Arts teacher and as a Children's Director at her local church. Currently she and her husband are raising three kids in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
She loves to homeschool outdoors, read science fiction novels, and write in her free time.
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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a wide range of information on various topics, including setting screen time rules for kids during the summer. I can provide you with insights and tips based on the information provided in this article. Let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article and explore them further.
Understanding the Challenges
Setting screen time rules for kids during the summer can be challenging. The article suggests asking yourself a few questions to better understand the situation:
- How much screen time is too much? With more free time during summer vacation, it's easy for kids to spend excessive time on screens.
- Will screen time be educational or recreational? You can choose to prioritize one or both types of screen activities.
- What is age-appropriate for your child? Different age groups have different developmental needs and cognitive abilities.
Considering these questions will help you establish a foundation for how screens should be used in your home.
Setting Goals and Priorities
To set effective screen time rules, it's important to align them with your family values. The article suggests having open communication with your children about the purpose of screen time. Discuss whether screens can be used for educational purposes, recreation, or both. Ask your children about their interests and the games or apps they would like to use. By involving them in the goal-setting process, you can create a sense of ownership and buy-in from your children.
Creating a Screen Time Schedule
Similar to creating a schedule for lessons during the school year, it's beneficial to create a screen time schedule for the summer. Here are some tips:
- Create a healthy balance between screen time and other activities like play or outdoor time.
- Allocate specific time slots for screen use.
- Define daily and weekly screen time limits.
- Split screen use into different types of screen activities for variety.
- Encourage breaks that involve physical activity.
Establishing Age-Appropriate Guidelines
When it comes to screen time, it's important to ensure that your child is interacting with age-appropriate content. The article suggests differentiating screen activities based on the ages of your children. Each age group has different developmental needs and cognitive abilities. For example, there are educational platforms suitable for younger children, while older children may benefit from expert videos or specific apps.
Implementing Parental Controls and Monitoring Tools
Many parents have concerns about their children accessing inappropriate content on screens. The article mentions several parental control and monitoring tools that can help address these concerns. These tools allow you to control access to specific apps, track your child's online usage, and even filter videos on streaming platforms. It's important to have open conversations with your child about why these tools are important and how they can help ensure a safe online experience .
Encouraging Alternative Activities
To balance your child's desire for screen time, it's important to provide alternative activities that are fun for the whole family. The article suggests incorporating a variety of activities into your summer routine. Some examples mentioned in the article include engaging in STEM activities, creating a homeschool summer camp, learning new life skills, and enjoying printable games like Summer MadLibs.
Defining Your Role in Screen Time as a Parent
Once you have set the boundaries and rules for screen time, it's important to consider your role as a parent during screen time. The article suggests the following:
- Model healthy screen habits by setting your own screen time boundaries and making time for non-screen activities with your family.
- Monitor and evaluate the progress of your family's screen time rules. Adjust the rules if needed and celebrate milestones and goal achievements.
- Strategize how to manage resistance to rules by being consistent with your boundaries and revisiting them often. Consider negotiating exceptions for special occasions.
Setting screen time rules for kids during the summer can be a challenge, but by understanding the challenges, setting goals, creating a schedule, establishing age-appropriate guidelines, implementing parental controls, encouraging alternative activities, and defining your role as a parent, you can create a balanced and healthy summer screen time experience for your children.
Please note that the information provided is based on the concepts mentioned in this article and the snippets from search results.