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Screen Time vs Playtime

Covid-19 has forced millions of parents all around the world to re-adapt to a new stay at home system, creating disruptions, stress and uncertainties.

One of the key concerns for parents is the increase of their children’s screen time and their addiction to the screen. However, this is not the issue. According to UNICEF, although a small number of children encounter negative experiences when using digital technology for long periods of time, yet, they believe that parents should be concerned more about what their children are doing online and the kind of content they’re being exposed to, since the risks of such exposure are much higher than screen time.

Moreover, as parents, we worry about the decrease of physical activity, looking for solutions that provide balance between passiveness and activeness during these uncertain times.

We’ve looked into several studies and the below is WHO’s recommendation on the dedicated time of physical activity per age group:

Under 1 year

1 – 5 years old

5 – 17 years old

Over 18 years old

  • Active several times a day

  • 30min tummy time spread throughout the day

  • 180min in a variety of physical activities

  • 3 – 4 years old need at least 60mn in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity.

  • At least 60min in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity

  • 3 days per week muscle and bone strength activities

  • At least 150min moderate intensity throughout the week

  • For additional benefits, adults should increase physical activity to more than 300min per week

On the other hand, aside from video games, YouTube videos and apps, e-learning has even made it worse for children and parents alike. A decent number of parents with children ages between 2 and 5, felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities to educate their children at home since they did not have the needed resources for at-home education. And probably, you, along many other parents have wondered why your child hasn’t been performing at school like before despite all the efforts made. Well, research supports your concern, as it has shown a decline in the student’s achievements, specifically in mathematics, compared to the year before where schooling was regular. Such a disruption has specifically impacted children in primary and high school where the curriculum is essential to their development and their switch into adulthood respectively.

As parents, navigating these unchartered territories alone is a huge burden. However, by sharing concerns with other parents and working together to find ways that benefit our children, is the best path a parent can take.

In that spirit, Toofoola would like to share with you some fun educational games to teach your child while playing:

  • I Spy food: Use mealtime to teach your child colors, textures and shape. Ask your child to spot a food that had a specific color, or start with a letter or has a specific shape. This will benefit your child to build his language skills.

  • Vegetable stamping: Cut some vegetables into different shapes like stars, cube, crosses and others. Add some food coloring to a bowl of water, dip the side of the vegetable and print it on the paper. This will entertain your child and empower their imagination and creativity.

  • Rhythm Playtime: Ask your child to create a beat using a pan and a spoon to sing a rhyme together or count numbers. This will help your child improve his coordination skills, imagination and rhythm.

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