If your family is anything like mine, your children are counting down the days until summer break. With visions of swimming, summer trips and sleeping in, my children simply cannot wait until that final school bell rings.
According to a new study, though, the main activity for most kids this summer will be time spent, not at the swimming pool, but staring at a screen.
A new study reported on by CBS News said “Kids and teens age 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens.”
From viewing YouTube videos to playing video games, all this screen time adds up to habits that are anything but healthy. The American Heart Association went so far as to issue a “new warning” about the phenomenon, recommending that “parents limit screen time for kids to a maximum of just two hours per day.”
I will be the first to admit, that’s easier said than done, especially as the summer days turn to blazing hot temperatures outside. At the same time, each of us can probably do better in trying to limit screen time than we now are, with simply some intentional effort.
To that end, here are some ideas we are considering that you may also want to consider, not just for your kids, but for yourself, to limit screen time:
- Go outside and enjoy nature
- Read a book (on paper!)
- Take part in church events like VBS or camps
- Exercise or participate in sports
- Visit or phone a friend
- Go play outside
- Do yardwork
- Help a neighbor with yardwork
- Volunteer at a local ministry
- Take a family trip, even locally
These are just a few ideas. So this summer, when you or your kids feel bored, instead of playing games on a screen, we can try to redeem the times with something positive, something besides screen time.
Who knows? These alternatives to screen time might be more satisfying this summer than games on phones.