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.
If reading is important to add to your child’s day, try adding a book related activity to the list.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.