How to balance screen time in a digital age is a HUGE question that therapists, teachers, and parents wonder about. Our kids are struggling. They are impacted by increased time on screens in ways that we may have not ever imagined. The research on screen time is profound. So how do we balance screen time when it seems to be everywhere: schools, distance learning requirements, social media, communication apps, games, television and movie streaming, and so much more? Today, I’m excited to share with you screen time checklist to use to help kids balance screen use with activity and responsibilities.
Screen Time Checklist
This free printable checklist can be customized to include tasks each child needs to complete before they have access to screens.
Add chores, homework, or other responsibilities to the list.
Add reading time, creative play such as journaling or art creation to the screen checklist.
Add household responsibilities such as making the bed, getting dressed, brushing teeth, or cleaning up the breakfast plates.
Add physical activity requirements such as outdoor play, exercise, going for a walk, or playing in the yard.
Open ended checklist for screen time
The task requirements were intentionally left blank so that you can add the time constrictions and activity requirements. Perhaps you would like to see face-to-face interactions to work on emotional well being.
Maybe your specific child or client needs sensory play in the way of tactile exploration or vestibular input. These activities can be written on the checklist so they have exposure each day.
Maybe your child needs to have heavy work in their sensory lifestyle. This can be added in the form of heavy work chores or sensory coping activities.
If executive functioning is a concern, maybe adding a cooking activity for each day would be a good requirement before screens.
I wanted to make this checklist a motivating way to accomplish individual goals while also adding balance to digital time.
Becoming more aware of how much time a child spends in the way of face-to-face interaction, creative play, physical activity compared to screen time is one of the first steps in helping kids balance screens and address some of those symptoms of too much screen time.
Screen Time Checklist for Home and therapy
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Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.
I am SO excited to share a huge resource with you. As a therapist, I can see the change in our kids of today. Students and clients are different than they were 20 years ago when I started out as an OT. As a mom of four, I can see the day-to-day impact that screens have on children. I can see how much screen time is required for school (distance learning or traditional classroom education). I can see the lack of focus in kids when they are not on screens. I can see the meltdowns when asked to get off of a tablet. The outbursts, visual tracking issues, and threat to boundaries that screen time overload has truly impacts kids and families.
We are required to work and learn online. Kids are playing, learning, communicating, and interacting with peers via screens day and night. As a result, we see frustration. We see meltdowns, inactivity, and kids pushing the time limits of screen use. They want to be on screens constantly! And when they aren’t they are stressed, overwhelmed, and frustrated by learning and social interactions.
We can do something about this!
>>It is really possible to balance digital entertainment and screen use with play, real activities, in-person responsibilities so kids can thrive in meeting developmental milestones.
>>It is possible to offer tools for a balanced lifestyle so kids can transition off screens to have personal interactions and flourish in emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
>>We can help kids move from a sedentary lifestyle to one that is active, imaginative, and thriving.
Does any of this sound familiar:
Kids that are hyper or lack focus and have no sitting tolerance, a short attention span
Students that are barely getting by and functioning on sensory overload, with emotional breakdowns
Kids that are constantly bored and only want screen-based entertainment
Clients that are delayed in fine motor skills, core strength, emotional regulation, and in a constant state of sensory overload
You are in the right place!
We CAN manage screen time in a balance, and effective way that makes a true difference in the development and functioning of our kids in today’s digital world.
Digital Devastation Solutions is a course and a tool created by an occupational therapist that can make a true impact on our kids. This course offers an in-depth explanation of the research behind screens. It shows us as parents, therapists, and educators exactly what is happening to the development of children with screen overuse.
It uses easy-to-understand language to balance screens while providing the framework to help kids thrive and master emotions, physical health, mental well-being. It is a formula for helping kids establish skills they need for executive functioning, learning, motor milestones, and so much more.
Digital Devastation Solutions is a way for families to balance excessive screen time use and improve their child’s development. The course covers everything you need to know about the astonishing research that’s been done on screen use in kids and gives a step-by-step plan.
The course offers actionable strategies to impact our kid’s nervous systems so they get the activity they need, and it explains this in a way that is easy to understand.
This course is a cost-effective way to get the research and understand it in a parent-friendly way. What’s more, you’ll be able to explain to others what the research tells us, so you can understand the impact screens are having on so many areas of development in children.
You’ll gain a knowledge of exactly what happens to the brain on screens. You’ll be able to use this information so you can give kids what they really need to grow and develop.
Digital Devastation Solutions is an informative course AND 12 Step Plan for raising a happy, healthy child in the digital age. Kids and families can use that 12 step solution to balance screen time in this new COVID era.
Now is the time to battle the beast of screen time overload. There are easy action steps that you can do to balance out the excessive screen time kids are experiencing due to mandatory online schooling. You can use this information and step-by-step plan to improve your child’s readiness for school in the fall.
This is an investment in your family and your child’s development and overall health and well being.
This course and program is for therapists, parents, teachers, or anyone who works with or strives to raise functioning, balanced, and healthy kids.
If you struggle with setting limits on screen time…
If you are tired of trying trying to get kids to be active when they just want to play online…
If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start with helping kids balance boundaries around screen use…
If you are a therapist struggling to help kids achieve goals that just can’t sit still and lack focus, attention span, and sensory overload…
If you are looking for actionable strategies to set up a digital detox that fits your family’s needs…
If you are striving to create a balanced and lasting impact on your home and family…
If you are a therapist wanting to create a workshop designed to educate current and potential clients with a step-by-step program…
Therapists can access a full, done-for-you workshop so you can replicate this course for clients and your community to truly make an impact.
RESOURCE FOR THERAPISTS CONCERNED ABOUT SCREEN USE IN KIDS
Therapists: I fell in love with this program and am using it’s 12 step plan in my own family. This course, created by a pediatric occupational therapist is not only a powerful tool for you own family…it’s the potential to make an impact on kids in your community and practice.
Therapists can access a workshop and program that can be duplicated in your practice. You can use the workshop as a class for parents and share this powerful research and step-by-step program with those in your community.
Therapists educate and address occupational imbalance (or overload on one are of life or another that impacts functioning and overall well being). We do this by helping our clients achieve functional goals, by addressing lifestyle habits like sleep, nutrition, and exercise. But what about the balance of screens?
In this course and program, therapists will get:
An already done for you marketing and education system. All you have to do is set up the class and then press play on the PowerPoint. It will come with a script so you will know exactly what to say. This will save you about 40 hours of time. (Value $4000)
Parent handouts including: Screen Survey, Technology Agreement, When to Get Professional Help and Chores Chart by Age (Value $500)
Marketing ideas and a Pre-Made flyer you can use to market your class (Value $300)
Developmental Screening Form (Value $500)
Access to a private Facebook group to share ideas and support
Added Bonus when you Pre-Order “Quick Start Guide: The Step by Step Checklist to Set Up your First Class”