How to Balance Your Family’s Screen Time and Green Time This Fall

by Tinkergarten

Screen time is a topic that has consumed educators and parents for over a decade.  Our use of screens has expanded tremendously since the advent of the smartphone, leaving many of us to  wonder “Is screen time OK for kids?” “How much is too much?”

Now more than ever, families are weighing the role that screens play in their lives. And the truth is there’s no one right answer. Each family needs to find the balance that’s right for them, which can range from no screens at all to lots of screen time and everything in between. 

At Tinkergarten, we believe it’s important to start this conversation with a focus on green time. Why? Time outdoors is crucial for our overall health and wellness and, in our current pandemic reality, outside is generally a safer place to be. The outdoors are also a wonderful learning environment: they stimulate all of our senses while supporting attention and focus in a way screens simply cannot do. 

However, research shows that screens aren’t all bad. And there are a wealth of enriching screen experiences from education-focused organizations like Kahn Academy Kids, PBS Kids and Wide Open School, a project of Common Sense Media.

To help you take all this into account and find the right balance for your family, Tinkergarten’s Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer Meghan Fitzgerald and Head of Leader Learning Casie Smith recently led a live conversation with our community, which you can view below. You can also get help and insight from the Digital Wellness Guide created by Boston Children's Hospital's Center on Media and Child Health.

Meghan and Casie highlight important research on the topic and share some guiding principles for selecting and managing screen experiences in your home. 

They also touch on additional research on interactive virtual experiences for kids that has helped shape our new Circle Time classes, which offer 30-minutes online sessions to support offline playful learning.

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New: Online Circle Time Classes

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30-minute online sessions led by certified Tinkergarten Leaders delight and captivate each child.
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Kids meet with the same community of friends to sing, share, learn and get inspired to play outside.
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Online sessions launch kids into hours of offline, independent play all week.