Screen Time vs Imaginative Play: The Importance of Keeping Kids Balanc – Adora icon

Screen Time vs Imaginative Play: The Importance of Keeping Kids Balanced

One of the biggest debates of the 21st century is screen time vs imaginative play and Adora asked Alora Rands a Child, Family, and School Psychologist to give us her point of view on the topic.

By Alora Rands | Child, Family, and School Psychologist 

May 15, 2022 

To Limit Screen Time or Not To Limit Screen Time: How to Balance Screen Time

With the ever-increasing presence of technological devices, there comes more concern over the divide between play time and screen time. While on one hand creative and imaginative play is crucial for development, others claim that too much screen time may not necessarily be a problem.

Why Is Play Time So Important for Child Development?

The more traditional debate that encourages parents to limit screen time claims that too much screen time can take away from creative and imaginative development through play. In fact, we as educational professional recommend that parents limit screen time because the young children need tactile and hands on ways to learn about their environment and the world around them. This can be done through outdoor imaginative play and other imaginary play opportunities. 

When children interact with their environment, they learn how to integrate skills into their own lives, understand social relationships, and learn empathy. Imaginative play and play retend to play are both incredibly important to children's development because it helps foster the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of young children. Not only our imagination and play crucial to development, but imaginative play helps children interact with the world around them, master new skills, increase their confidence, and foster resiliency. Further, play helps children learn to work together, share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, and self-advocate.

What Are the Effects of Too Much Screen Time?

Some of the common negative impacts associated with too much screen time include:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Strain on the eyes
  • Increased risk of obesity
  • Loss of cognitive ability
  • Impaired social skills
  • Impaired emotional judgement
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Increased risk of screen addiction.

The impacts of too much screen time can impact children, adolescents, and adults alike, but children are even more at risk for delayed learning. Instead, parents should make sure their children have access to educational and nurturing toys, such as Adora Dolls.

How Do You Balance Play Time and Screen Time?

Although the recommended screen time by age can vary, there are several ways in which parents can balance screen time and play time.

  • Make rules about screen time use.
  • Aim for short screen time allowances.
  • Encourage imaginative play.
  • Encourage cooperative play with friends.
  • Avoid screen time before bed.
  • Keep screens out of bedrooms in the evening.
  • Play with your child.
  • Plan outdoor activities.
  • Engage in co-viewing with your child.
  • Be okay with saying ‘no’ and setting boundaries.

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References

1. https://www.jaacap.org/article/S0890-8567(19)31437-6/fulltext
2. https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/119/1/182/70699/The-Importance-of-Play-in-Promoting-Healthy-Child

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