Navigating the Guidance on Screen Time for Young Children
Andrea Layzell is the National Lead for 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five, and has 30 years of experience in the Early Years field. In this blog post, she talks about the various, and often contrasting, streams of advice which parents and carers are faced with relating to this issue, and offers her advice on how to maximise the benefits of digital technology. Scroll on to see Andrea's video blog about this topic.
"It's important that caregivers talk to children about what they're watching and what they're seeing on the screens. Thinking about language development I'd always thought that interactive serve and return conversations between adults or more capable others and very young children were likely to enhance all the attributes of language development more positively than watching TV. However, actually I found that for children over 24 months it might be that they do in fact develop their language skills from watching good quality children's television. Under that age of 24 months, it's less effective."
"For caregivers, the most positive thing that we can do is think about a broad range of experiences for our very young children, making sure that they are physically active, that they're eating a healthy diet that they're spending small amounts of time interacting with screen and that adults and caregivers have conversations about what's seen on those screens at that time."
"Thinking about that breadth of experiences within each 24 hours, make sure that children are getting good quality sleep and a healthy diet, and try looking at 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five for ideas about physical activity and language development and having fun with your children. I hope it's really helpful for you."
50 Things To Do Before You’re Five is a menu of exciting activities for families with young children, giving them great suggestions for how to have fun and learn at the same time. All families can access the app for free, and if you live in one of the 50 Things localised regions you will see activities specifically tailored to your local area. Download the app on Android or on iPhone.
Andrea is the National Lead for 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five, and has 30 years of experience in the Early Years field. You can read her blog post about the journey of 50 Things To Do Before You're Five here.