There’s no denying it; screen time is an inherent part of the technology-led lives that we lead. As parents, we try to limit our children’s access to the screen, but between the respite it provides during time squeezes, its breadth and ease of entertainment options, and simply your child’s fondness for it – the gadget has its moments.
This makes the quality of what our children watch of utmost importance. Safe, age-appropriate, and high standard programming is primary for the limited screen time we grant our kids. When used in moderation, technology can often be a valuable tool to support development as well as make for some fun bonding time – family movies with popcorn anyone?
Learn through play in the digital age
CBeebies is a preschool channel for children aged six years and under. CBeebies provides a range of preschool programming designed to encourage learning through play in a consistently safe environment. The international CBeebies channel is commercial-free.
Offering quality entertainment options; online, on-the-go and off-screen, it is a great option for parents looking to use screen time sparingly.
Looking to make the most of your child’s time on the TV or tablet? Here are 3 ways to keep little ones engaged, yet ensuring that they learn while they watch.
1. Choose the right programmes
Always go for trustworthy sources that provide high quality, age-appropriate content. Many programmes are designed for the very young and are created in close consultation with early years experts. Here are some tips from Common Sense Media on choosing shows for preschoolers:
Choose programmes with short episodes/segments. The key to TV viewing, as in most things, is moderation. You don’t want to train your child to zone out in front of the TV for hours at a time, so look for shows that have short episodes, or at least short segments.
Choose programmes that you and your child both enjoy. Your child gets a lot more from their TV time when you watch with them, and choosing shows that you actually find enjoyable can make this much easier.
Choose programmes that are appropriate for your child’s schedule. You’d want to let your child watch quiet and relaxing shows before bed so they don’t get too hyped up. Save the exciting and action-packed shows for other times of the day.
Choose programmes your child can learn from. This may seem obvious, but if we’re not intentional about the way our children watch TV, then they could end up consuming media that adds nothing to their imagination and intellect. Look for shows that not only teach your kids about math, science, and language, but also shows that promote good values.
Young kids learn best from programmes that have plenty of repetition, encourage kids to mimic actions, and offer opportunities to respond.
CBeebies is an advertising-free and safe TV channel that has plenty of age-appropriate quality content that kids and parents can enjoy together.
- The Numtums, for instance, helps little ones work with numbers and offer a range of math games and fun songs to keep kids interested.
- Go Jetters helps children understand the basics of geography in a fun and exploratory way, develop a sense of location and place, think about teamwork and problem-solving.
Our personal favourite ‘Hey Duggee’ takes children on an adventure with the friendly dog Duggee and his friends, earning badges for their accomplishments. It’s fun, quality entertainment with the assurance of a brand that parents can trust.
2. Use apps while on the move
Long flight ahead with your toddler? Travelling with young kids can be quite an ordeal, which is why gadgets become every parent’s best friend on long trips. Every parent knows how many backseat squabbles can be prevented by simply keeping the kids happy and entertained, and gadgets are pretty effective when it comes to fighting boredom.
With apps, games, and downloaded videos on a tablet or phone, your kids will be happy and content, giving you enough peace and quiet to look out the window and enjoy the view – or even lean back and catch a few z’s!
Kids can watch shows, sing along to their favourite tracks, or simply play games using family-friendly apps. We like the BBC Player app (available on the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices) as it offers CBeebies content that can be watched while on-the-go and comes with a travel-friendly download function so your kid can watch without an internet connection.
Read on for tip number 3 and scores of ideas on how to keep your little one engaged!
3. Take the experience offline
The value derived from screen time doesn’t have to be limited to using the gadget alone. In fact, your child learns more effectively from their screentime if you engage with them afterwards – offline. You could ask them about what they’ve learned from their favourite TV programme, and link what they’ve learned from their screentime to the tangible world.
For example, if the show talked about different colours, you could bring out a colouring book or print out a worksheet so that the knowledge your child picked up from the show is better retained.
CBeebies has worked towards taking this experience offline, so your child is equally engaged in a non-screen environment. CBeebies.com offers free, easy-to-print colouring sheets and include fun options such as the ever-popular Hey Duggee Colouring-in sheet.
Another great way to make your child’s work come to life is to try out the innovative CBeebies Colour Me app (available on the App Store and Google Play) that seamlessly merges online and offline experiences using your child’s actual paper colouring sheet!
If you’d like to try a more hands-on or arts and crafts activity, you can even make your own fun game with the handy Sarah and Duck magnetic duck pond that provides hours of fun for your little one.
There’s plenty more where that came from! You and your child can enjoy these shows, along with other age-appropriate quality content, on CBeebies today, available on StarHub (Channel 303) in Singapore and on HyppTV (Channel 553) in Malaysia.
CBeebies is a pre-school channel for children aged six years and under. CBeebies provides a range of pre-school programming designed to encourage learning through play in a consistently safe environment. The international CBeebies channel is commercial-free.
Offering quality entertainment options; online, on-the-go and off the screen, it is a great option for parents looking to use screen time sparingly.
Find out more from their website or simply download the BBC Player app to watch our programmes anytime, anywhere.
Original article contributed by TheAsianParent.