Healthy Screen Time Habits

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Is my child spending too much time in front of a screen?

Not all screen time is equal! Educational content that encourages children to be interactive, connect with others, and introduces them to reading can help foster growth and learning. As the city opens up, it’s a great time to assess your child’s screen time. Here are some healthy screen time habits to think about  and a few resources from City’s First Readers partners to get you started.

1. Make a Media Plan

An easy and simple way to assess and manage your child’s screen time is to make a plan. Brooklyn Public Library offers a Family Media Plan worksheet where you can see recommendations for screen time based on your child’s age and decide when you want your child to have screen time. By making a schedule, you can help guarantee that your child isn’t spending too much time in front of a screen.

2. Play Together

When you have time, watch and play with your child. Co-viewing and co-playing increases children’s learning — especially language and early literacy development — and helps you spend more quality time with your child.

Want to learn more ways you can help your child grow? Connect with CFR Partners and explore their resources: 

Video Interaction Project
Reach Out and Read Resources
New York Public Library Caregiver Conversations

When your child is using a digital device, consider interactive programming. Whether it be with live video chats with family or a story time, engagement should be key.

3. Watch and Learn

The internet is filled with recorded activities and live programs that you and your child can watch and then do  at home. Whether it is an arts and craft project or learning a new song, consider watching a video together or attending an educational program. Then, turn off the screen and revisit what you’ve learned together.  

Looking for a few fun at-home activities for you and your child? Check out what CFR Partners have to offer:

Art with Jumpstart
Singalong with Queens Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library’s Ball Drop Game
Hunts Point Alliance for Children’s Funtastic Reading Program
LINC’s Online Programs

4. Explore Storytimes from Home

Storytime is a fun way to get your child excited and inspired to read books and explore new worlds. Now, you can access a variety of great storytime activities from the comfort of your home.

Searching for your child’s next storytime? CFR partners have you covered!

CFR Storytime Around the World Playlist
Reach Out and Read
JCCA’s Early Literacy Playlist
LINC’s YouTube Channel
Brooklyn Public Library
New York Public Library

Looking for more info on healthy screen time habits? CFR partners Reach Out and Read, LINC, and Brooklyn Public Library collaborated with Common Sense Media for two parent workshops on balancing screen time. For more tips and ideas from educational experts, check out these  recordings of the workshops: Part One and Part Two.