Toys vs television - What activities to choose so the children will spend less time on the screen?

Toys vs television - What activities to choose so the children will spend less time on the screen?

Do you also know situations when you had to resort to TV programs or tablets despite wanting to avoid them? Often, there are moments when a parent needs a moment without interruptions, whether to take care of something, reply to an email, or make a phone call. To what extent is watching TV or using tablets acceptable for children, and what activities can we choose to motivate them to play? We asked the opinion of psychologist Mrs Anne Smith.

In today's busy world, parents and children are overwhelmed, and television often serves as a substitute for upbringing. However, the psychologist points out that a child needs a two-way relationship (parent-child) and feedback, which television cannot provide.

It is essential to realise that television should never replace the role of a parent in upbringing. Although there are programs designed for children that develop their thinking, logic, and speech suitably, there are also programs with a lot of stimulating material that children cannot perceive to their benefit. "Therefore, parents should regulate the time and choose programs their child will watch. Children's attention fluctuates greatly, so the selected program's duration should be as short as possible. It is also appropriate to choose programs intended for a specific age group. However, we should always remember that children should spend quality time mainly with their parents, not in front of the television."

How to set limits?

  • Choose quality content: Opt for short videos that encourage interaction.

  • Engage in conversation with the children about what they are watching: They need to understand what they are viewing.

  • Keep tablets, laptops, mobile phones, and even the television out of the direct reach of children.

  • Ensure that children don't spend time watching TV or using tablets at least two hours before bedtime.

  • Avoid leaving the television on as background noise; it can distract and discourage mutual interaction.

  • Do not include TV watching in your schedule; plan for an active time, such as outdoor walks or creative play. If you need help with this, consider activities like Magic Drawing, which has versatile uses. Children can practice drawing shapes, letters, or numbers on a tablet without adversely affecting their eyes. Lerni's Magic Drawing is an educational toy that allows drawing without limitations.

"Children under three cannot yet distinguish between reality and fiction. They are in a dyadic connection with a relational person and need closeness in a relationship, which television cannot provide or substitute. Some programs or fairy tales, even if intended for child viewers, offer less stimulating material, which can overwhelm children. During play, a parent can better notice if the child is already tired or needs a break and can end the game. It is more challenging to observe these signs when children are watching television."

How to motivate children to play?

If there is an issue with motivating your child to play and they prefer watching television, focusing mainly on shared play is essential. "It is suitable to engage in activities where the parent genuinely shows interest in the child and does not judge them. It builds a relationship and mutual tolerance and creates a sense of security. This helps the child feel free in self-discovery and self-expression."

You can include board games in the shared activities, especially with older children. These games help improve memory and fine motor skills, and they can also enhance skills in reading and counting.

"Play is a symbolic activity that stems from the child's imagination. Motivation for play is usually unnecessary, especially if the child has sufficient stimulating material and someone available to make them feel safe. Children enjoy playing; play is a natural form of relaxation, stimulates growth, and serves as a means of preparatory learning. It is also a spontaneous activity for children; they are not under pressure and seek out play."

We have a few great tips for motivating your child to prefer playing and engaging in other creative activities over watching television. Lernitoys offers original toys that are educational, high-quality, and safe.

  • Reusable sticker books

Reusable stickers are educational, for repeated use and leave no mess after being played with. Lerni reusable stickers are suitable for both boys and girls, all curious children and also for the minor children that train their fine motor skills with it. One reusable sticker book contains up to 150 stickers a five thematic templates.

  • Magnetic boards

Lerni Magnetic boards help children train their fine motor skills and graphomotor skills. Children can create images according to the boards' templates or imagination. You don't have to worry about any mess, and children can enjoy them for hours.

  • The magnetic building set COLORMAG.

This toy enables children to create infinite worlds and something new constantly, supporting their fantasy and creativity. Individual blocks connect thanks to magnets and can be disassembled easily, hold together firmly, and you can perfectly entertain yourselves with various iron surfaces or objects.

„Children should never spend more time on media than with relational individuals.”

Even though many children's programs have an educational character, it is essential to ensure that watching television is not prioritised overplaying. Increased interest in watching tv or cartoons on a tablet can negatively impact social development or education and may lead to attention disorders, sleep problems, and disruptions in routine. "Each child is unique and has different family backgrounds. Some families do not have television, while, on the other hand, in some households, it is always on. Too much of anything is harmful; parents should properly balance shared time, alone time, outdoor time, playtime, and television time. Children should never spend more time with media than with relational individuals," the psychologist added.


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