- Instead of Saturday morning cartoons, try Saturday morning books. Get new books from the library and place them out where your child(ren) can find them easily before you go to bed Friday night.
- Make bedrooms a screen-free zone. Your child(ren) and you will sleep better, and it will keep TV to family rooms where if you do have some screen time, you are more likely to do it together.
- Choose ONE time a week to watch TV or a movie as a family. That way screen time becomes a rare, but social experience. Turn the TV off for the rest of the week.
- Make car rides (both long and short) about music and games, not staring at the TV screen. Find a few ideas for car ride games here for school-age children, or here for babies and toddlers.
- Hide your screens! Tuck TVs behind doors, slide laptops and tablets out of sight. The more it takes to get to them, the less they’ll be used!
- Count how many screens you have currently. How can you make that a smaller number? Do you really need all of the ones that you have?
- Turn the TV off for meals and snacks. That way the focus can be on the food and more importantly, the conversation. Young children learn social emotional cues and reach important developmental benchmarks through talking and spending time with you, their parents or caregiver.
- If your child goes to an early care and education or school-age care program, ask about their policies and practices regarding screen time. Take a look to see if TVs, computers, tablets, or video games are present. If they are, be sure you know how they are used and that teachers are aware of your expectations for limiting screen time for your child(ren).
These are only a few ideas– share yours!