Check out this helpful resource on Screen Sense – Research-Based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under Three Years Old.
They make some familiar recommendations, such as
- Avoid having the TV on in the background. Turn the TV off when no one is watching.
- Avoid using screens as part of the bedtime routine
- Be mindful of and limit your own screen media use when children are present.
However, they also say:
“Although children learn best through hands-on exploration… they can learn from [screens]. What is most important is that 1) content is age appropriate, 2) viewing time is limited, and 3) parents are involved, and help children make the connection between what they see on the screen and the real world.”
And, they offer great tips on how to choose content and how to extend your child’s learning. Some examples:
“Help your child make the connection between what she sees on a screen and the real world.Play games with her afterward using objects similar to what she has seen on the device, such as blocks or a ball. Point out and label objects in real life that she has seen on TV or on touchscreens, such as animals and flowers.”
“Create ways to extend your child’s learning from media.If a program focuses on animals—such as an armadillo—when it’s over, make up a pretend story about armadillos that you and your child can act out. Apply the colors your child has learned from an app by labeling the colors of the family’s clothes as you sort laundry together.”