How to Scale Down Screen Time for Kids

child watching TV

Today’s technological advances offer a host of opportunities for learning that we couldn’t have imagined 30 years ago, such as the ability to see any part of the world at the click of the button and video chat with grandma from across the ocean. However, between browsing video sharing sites, watching television, and playing with apps on parents’ smartphones or tablets, we often wonder how much screen time for kids is appropriate. And once we know how much that time is, how can we make every minute count?

Here, we’ll share a few tips for children’s screen time and show how platforms like Hello Genius are changing the game.

The Benefits of Screen Time for Kids

Are there any benefits of screen time for children? According to studies, yes — if certain criteria are met. When children are over the age of two, watching educational media together with their parents can help with language and vocabulary development and teach prosocial and nonviolent behaviors. However, watching more than one hour daily (for 2 to 5-year-olds) or two hours daily (for older children) can have a negative impact on their attention and health.

Keeping all of this in mind, the team at Hello Genius has set out to create a learning platform that takes the screen time kids spend and use it to encourage activities parents and children can enjoy together outside of their devices. Here are four aspects of Hello Genius and similar platforms to look for to help your child learn to have a healthier relationship with their electronic devices.

  1. 100% Educational Content
  2. Studies on screen time for kids have found that educational viewing usually expands to include the recreational use of screens — and ultimately, children will choose the more entertaining content. Giving your child free reign over a tablet or laptop can lead them to find their own fun online.

    As a self-contained ecosystem, Hello Genius can be locked into kiosk mode to prevent kids from accessing other apps on the device or exploring the open Internet.

  3. Full Parent Visibility
  4. When your child has their own internet access, the screen time your kids spend can be a lot harder to track and control. It’s not easy keeping an eye on what they explore online and how long they spend there.

    But through the Hello Genius parent app, you have full visibility over your child’s activity, including when they logged into the device and how long they’ve spent on each topic.

    The first thing you’ll notice is a change in your regular “what did you learn today?” conversation. You’ll have access to the full story from the beginning, and can ask them specifically about the topics they explored. That gives you the chance to support their interests in a whole new way.

  5. Activity Tips for Families
  6. One of the best uses of screen time for children is to connect them with their world. The Snap & Learn feature is a way for kids to explore their environment and take photos. The software will identify the subject of their pictures and provide informative articles so that they can learn more about nearly anything they see.

    As your child explores Hello Genius, the app will actively recommend activities that the whole family can enjoy together based on their interests. A snapshot of a local bird could lead to a trip to the local wildlife sanctuary. A video your child finds on acting could lead to a family trip to the theater.

    As your child follows their interests on Hello Genius, take advantage of the personalized local activity suggestions to plan exciting weekend activities that get you and your child out and about.

  7. Make New Friends in Your Area
  8. One of the best ways to scale down screen time for kids is to help them make friends. Through the Hello Genius parent app, you can opt in to find families in your area with similar interests and get together for a session of active play. 

    If your child and another family’s child share a keen interest in soccer, meet up for a game at the playground. Or if your child shares an interest in collecting bugs, you could schedule a day trip with other interested families to a bug museum or forest trail. Meeting families with similar interests can encourage experiences away from the screen, and may lead to long-term friendships.

Try Hello Genius for Free Today

mother and son blowing bubbles

If you’re ready to scale down the screen time your kids spend and introduce them to other wholesome activities, we invite you to try the Hello Genius app completely free for the first 30 days.

As your child explores the videos, audio, and books on the platform and begins to connect their learning to their community, watch them swap their screen time for a new level of active discovery.