As the holidays approach quickly, kids get excited about the long winter break and parents are faced with a whole lot of free time on their kids' agendas. The question is whether "screen time" can be quality time for kids between all of the celebrations? "Screen time" in our house qualifies as TV, video games, Kindle/iPad, and computer time. I'll venture that for most of you these are what define your "screen time" too. With that said, you probably limit the time they spend on electronics and I do too. I'm not really going to give you advice about when, where, or how much time they need on electronics. As an advocate of technology, I'm much more interested in what kind of time they spend on electronics, the quality and value they get from them. "Screen time" can be good for kids and here are some of the reasons why:
1. Designing and Playing Video Games Can Benefit The Brain
Kids who design and/or play video games prove to have higher levels of creativity. Video game design encourages and enhances our use of logic, principles of physics, and our understanding of the English language. According to a pair of researchers at the University of Rochester in New York, people who play video games are better able to process visual information and are better attuned to their surroundings while performing certain tasks, like driving. STREM HQ focuses on the very principle of making "screen time" educational with programs like Kodu and Minecraft EDU that teach game design. The 2D and 3D animation programs and Lego Mechanics with Stop Motion we use teach kids to get creative, use logic, time management, and the principles of physics.
2. Screen Time Can Be An Education
Educational TV programs are everywhere, if you look for them. Cosmos with Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Discovery Channel and Discovery Kids programs, and Animal Planet offer all kinds of educational programming. You can increase their value by watching with your child and providing educational insights and explanations to enhance your child's viewing experience. We find that TED Talks for adults and kids offer an amazing array of educational experiences from some of the leading experts in every field in the world, and they're always free!
3. Screen Time Can Be Family Bonding Time
Nothing beats a family video game throwdown of Let's Dance or Mario Kart/Party for getting the family party started. Madden brings out the competition in every family. On a rainy day, there are number of video game consoles with video games that let kids exercise the silly and bored out of their system! STREM HQ teaches kids to bond with their families using movie making software that creates memories for the whole family!