“Best” Screen Time for Little Ones

Screen time is a highly debated topic for most families, I know this. Our house is generally a Monday-Friday no screen time zone for the kids other than Facetiming with the grandparents. I am very much not against screen time overall and totally understand it buys a lot of parents some necessary time to do things like get in a shower, do the dishes, or just be able to sit down and somewhat relax for at least a few minutes. 

However, we are two working parents with childcare ~50 hours a week. The kids have busy schedules between pre-school, music class, and attending tot time at the local libraries, playdates at the park, etc. Overall, they are busy. We are busy. There isn’t a lot of need for screen time (especially when I am paying someone to take care of them, I don’t think they need to snap on the t.v. – leave that to me! Ha.). 

However, the world of which we knew and loved is gone for the moment. We are living in a parallel universe unlike one we have ever lived before. Our lovely, sweet, warm neighborhood full of activities and strollers has gone quiet and still. As it should. London Breed just declared a “Shelter in Place” for all Bay Area residents as I write this exact post. Stay home, everyone. That’s the call. (Thank goodness! We need to slow this thing down!!)

Alas, the wonderful busy, full, happy and (somewhat) carefree lives we were living are completely shook. Coronavirus – this is serious. 

So alas, we are home. We are inside. Like we have been for days, really. So, above screen time? I am not. Here are so great tips to keep your very young kiddos entertained by phone and iPad. (Mine boys are 3.5 and 2, I presume my recommendations fall within a 2 year range here and might get a little boring for older children!). 

Cincinnati Zoo to start ‘Home Safari Facebook Live’ to keep kids learning – every week day at 3:00pm EST. 

ABC Mouse helps kids learn to read through phonics, and teaches lessons in math, social studies, art, music, and much more.

Cosmic Kids Yoga. Yoga for kids with the animal, pirates, farms and other fun themes! She even does a Frozen yoga session, because we need it! 

The Facebook Portal. Have you heard of it? One of my girlfriends has it displayed in her kitchen, and her little 3 three old is able to climb on his stool to call all his grandparents and aunts and  uncles on demand. It honestly is so cool. Otherwise, Facetime is generally a great use of screen time these days! But that one requires more adult help for young ones who don’t have phones, or ya know, can’t seem to hold it up just right. 

Check out GoNoodle on YouTube to get moving! Or, Rock n’ Learn is all about young education made fun! 

Did you know astronauta are reading kids books from space? Because if you didn’t, now you do. And you shouldn’t miss out on this super unique kind of book reading experience! 

Or, check out this link for stories that are read aloud to the kids by famous actors and actresses.  If you click on “All Books” at the top of the page, it will tell you the recommended age level for each book, as some have topics a little above Kindergarten.

Our amazing, local, Broadway Babies is doing virtual Grown-Up and Me sessions of fun signing and games to do right from your living room using Zoom (download the app on your ipad for easy access). E-mail to sign-up for the cost and details for virtual participation. Or, better yet – contact your local providers for music classes and support your local businesses! 

If I am picking a favorite series on Youtube, I am picking Sesame Street. My kids really don’t love it as much as I want them too, but it is such a great program. There is a traditional educational aspect, as well as moral, social, modern and worldly lessons in each season. 

From Netflix, I find Mickey Mouse ClubHouse to be generally really annoying but incredibly entertaining and educational for my toddlers. Although it isn’t mom’s favorite 

Fluency and Fitness – This is amazing to get access too.  It is fun math and literacy practice with fitness embedded in it!  Check it out for free!

Our local, sweet Reading Bug does free podcast stories! Check them out today! 

Stay home, stay safe! We are in this together!