Is there a struggle between tech time and active time in your house? Trying to balance kids' growing desire for more and more screen time and the need to get kids outside and moving can cause some serious family drama – especially during the winter months.

Recent research from Common Sense Media has found that teens spend an average of 9 hours a day in front of screens with 8-12 year-olds spending around six hours a day. A DAY. Isn’t that crazy? Meanwhile, childhood obesity and a range of other health issues are on the rise. Though focused on specifically TV screen time, a 2013 international study of almost 300,000 kids revealed that watching TV for 1-3 hours a day led to a 10-27% increased risk of obesity. Screen time certainly isn’t the only cause, but it definitely plays a role in the health of our kids (and happiness, as this article shows).

What can parents do? A lot. Check out our tips for helping your kids cut down their screen time, increase their physical activity and learn skills to better balance the two.

1

Get the gear to motivate movement.

Just like skiing, biking or yoga, sometimes the right gear really does make it easier to get active. The new FitBit Ace is a fitness tracker is designed specifically for kids 8+. It tracks your child's daily steps and active minutes, lets you set activity goals and gives the kids kudos when they’ve hit the mark. Plus, it’s also a functional clock with 10 fun clock faces to choose from. If your child struggles with sleep issues, the FitBit Ace can also track their sleep to help you both see sleep patterns. If the whole family its FitBitted up, you can set up a Family Account and challenge each other to step goals. I’ve done this with my kids and there's nothing like a little healthy competition to get the whole family trying to out-do each other.

Recommended Articles

The Ten Best Wooden Play Kitchens For Kids

The Ten Best Wooden Play Kitchens For Kids

Cooking is a timeless fascination for children. This type of play goes beyond gender and teaches kids loads of life skills along the way. An investment in a play kitchen is money well spent, as it can provide hours of entertainment. We've rounded up the ten best wooden play ...read more

New Victory Theater for Families in New York City

New Victory Announces a New Season of Shows

We know you're busy planning picnics and summer outings, but we wanted to let you know that The New Victory just announced their new season and it looks fantastic. We thought you'd like a sneak peek of what's in store! Each year the New Vic theater brings culture to tourists and ...read more

Fun Ways to Discover Venice Italy with Your Family

Fun Ways to Discover Venice Italy with Your Family

Greetings from Italy wear the gelato is rich, the clothes divine and the scenery is inspiring. Now that I've been to this fine city in the north of Italy, twice, I've amassed a list of favorites to share. These are some fun ways to discover Venice, Italy with your family. ...read more

2

Make tech time a treat.

Kids aren’t experienced with moderating their own tech time (and let’s be honest – many adults aren’t either!) You can help you child develop screen time moderation and see the benefits of balancing physical activity with screen time with an app like Goya-Move . Just like your kids may have chores they need to complete before they leave for school or homework to do before screen time, make physical exercise something your kids need to do before they hop on their phones. With the Goya-Move app parents can set kid phones to unlock apps after certain daily or evenly hourly step goal are met. Goya lets you block certain apps or all app until step goals are met and even set blackout times like homework or dinnertime where step goals don’t apply (can’t you just see your child now, pacing around the dinner table, trying to unlock Instagram?)

4

Make it a family affair.

Why just focus on the kids and their screen time? Make it a family affair by sitting down and setting a family goal – with a family reward! Kids been begging to hit their favorite amusement park? A must-see concert coming to town? Whether your family likes to run, bike, swim or gym, set a family goal for steps, workout minutes or miles and a reward the whole family will enjoy. I know one family who set goal of favorite amusement park that was 200 miles away. The family had to work together to log their own 200 miles of activity to earn the trip!

How does your family work to moderate tech time and encourage kids to be active??

Related Articles