One of the most common complaints of today’s parents is children’s addiction to screens. While we have witnessed some incredible technological advancements in the 21st century, parents have realized that screen time for children can be dangerous. It can create a strong addiction that must be faced before it turns into a disorder.

Don’t worry, a solution exists, and it is called play! Learn more about children’s screen time and how to manage it.

Children of a digital world

Our children are sons of technology. They must necessarily know and use it to extricate themselves in an increasingly digital world. But it doesn’t mean legitimizing technology overuse.

Most young children’s parents can relate to this scenario. Their child becomes inactive in front of a screen, then the tantrums and tussles when they take the device away. But, what exactly happens in children’s brains while using a technology device like a mobile or tablet?

Pleasurable activities cause the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that sends a signal to the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in planning tasks. The message that arrives is “you can get more of that.” The intense colours, sounds, and movements can make the digital world much more immersive than the real one. Moreover, interacting with a screen so highly responsive is really satisfying. When parents say stop to screen time, dopamine level drops, and children, above all very young ones, don’t know how to manage the frustration without fricking out. According to recent researches from the University of Washington, almost 40 percent of parents said screen time always ends in a fight.

Pay attention to your children’s behaviour to detect alerts.

When TV time is the only thing that motivates your children or toddlers, for instance, it means that a loss of interest in other activities has occurred. If your little ones get worried about the video their favourite YouTuber will post next, it means digital occupies their thoughts even when the devices are off. Or, if they feel the need to look at the TV more than usual, their addiction is on the rise, and they will show signs of withdrawal soon.

Technology can effectively be so lumbering as to interfere with social relationships in the family and among peers. Actually, children often expect to use screens even when family or friends are over to visit.

How to manage technology overuse

There is a need to do something to disaccustom children to screens.

Kids usually do best with clear routines. You have to set consistent rules, fixing the maximum time your child can watch TV or YouTube each day. Then, we suggest you plan something enjoyable when screen time is over, such as a walk outside or a bike ride. It will be an effective way to make them overcome the frustration of having turned devices off.

Once back home, it is probably that the tantrums for screen time begin again. Here the play becomes relevant. You can count on the charm of some timeless toys to propose an entertaining playtime.

Trains and railways charming power

To succeed, we suggest trains. We all can remember how magical were the long afternoons spent building railways. At that time, we experienced the beauty of creating something.

Indeed, children who play with trains have to organize spaces for building the track and the scenario. First of all, they have to plan where each piece should go. Then, incorporating bridges, tunnels, level crossings, trees, buildings, etc. Finally, they put the train on the rail and let it go for reaching infinite destinations.

classic battery-powered train that chugs and lights up the way with a lamp is always attractive for children. Let your little ones find it in the living space when they are back home from school. They will be thrilled by the train and probably stop asking to switch on the TV, seated on the floor for drawing railways. Moreover, with wooden train toys, kids can build different tracks every time they play, expanding the railway line. Wooden pieces are really magic!

With a toy, such as the Railway bucket builder set, children will have a fun time building the town for passengers and cargo to move through. And if you want to make this play even more creative, you can help them create beautiful landscapes using paper, scissors, sticks, etc., turning the train playtime into a papercraft activity.

Using this strategy every day, or every time children want to turn on the tablet, helps you make them change their minds. That is the power of classical toys!

Music toys fascination

Music can also help you with cranky and irritable kids about turning off devices. Listening or playing music allows adults and kids to calm down because it naturally reduces cortisol’s level, which is the stress hormone. If you add the charming power of music toys, children will probably get involved in a playtime full of musical notes.

What about a drum or a piano toy to move children’s attention from screens to the play? Music toys like Happy Grand Piano or Drum and Cymbal Set are irresistible, from toddlers to elder children. With realistic instrument toys, such as Learn with light Ukulele, children can start a musical journey away from the TV, and learn to play tunes. This brilliant Ukulele features flashing lights that teach them how to play!

Moreover, given that music is a powerful means for expressing our emotions, children’s state of mind may benefit from playing with music toys. They can free themselves from the frustration of being away from technology and focus on the fun.

These last are only two examples of creative playtime that can support your mission. A great starting point to be reinforced by a long list of activities that would never happen with screens always on.

Get involved in this playtime and be a good model putting your phone away. Children’s good play habits are essential to beat technology fascination.