The Benefits of Digital Media for Kids

Most of the time, we hear about the downsides of screen time and digital media for kids. This information is important, but at the same time, we don’t necessarily need to dismiss screen usage altogether. Digital media for kids does come with a few impressive benefits, and we’ll dive into each of them below:

Most of the time, we hear about the downsides of screen time and digital media for kids. This information is important, but at the same time, we don’t necessarily need to dismiss screen usage altogether. Digital media for kids does come with a few impressive benefits, and we’ll dive into each of them below:

 

The Disadvantages of Screen Time for kids

Screen time and the negative effects it can bring are commonly talked about today, and for good reason. Kids love digital media, but we should not let them have it all the time.

 

In short, this is because unstructured playtime is much more valuable to the developing brain than electronic usage.

 

Some negative effects of screen time include:

 

  • Behavior challenges and inefficient social skills
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Obesity
  • Introduction to violence
  • Less time in the day to learn and play

 

How To Make Digital Media for Kids Beneficial

 

Many of these negative effects come from low-quality screen time or simply too much time in front of a screen per day. The pointers below will help you discover the best digital media for your kids:

 

Set Screen Time Limits

 

The amount of screen time that is beneficial to kids is dependent on their age.

 

Babies and toddlers under 18 months old are recommended to have no screen time at all, as their brains are not developed to the point of learning from screens. Children of this age learn better from interacting with family and exploring real-life objects and toys.

 

Between 18-24 months of age, toddlers can begin to benefit from educational screen time (if they are watching with an adult, not on their own).

 

Beyond 2 years, the CDC currently recommends kids should spend 1 hour or less per day interacting with high-quality, educational digital media.

 

As your child gets older, the recommendations fade and it’s more so up to your discretion to find a time limit that works well for them.

 

Choose High Quality Content

 

The next step in making sure your kids are benefiting from the screen time they have is to ensure they are only watching or interacting with high-quality content.

 

 

 

 

Educational TV Shows and Movies

 

As far as shows go, educational is always best. High-quality television shows and movies can teach your child about a variety of subjects, from math to history and everything in between.

 

Educational shows for kids are a great way to introduce different parts of the world that you may never have the chance to see in real life. A show about the animals in the rainforest could be an excellent learning adventure for a child who does not yet know the parts of the rainforest and the incredible creatures that live there, for example.

 

Shows and movies can also teach language, whether that means expanding your preschooler’s vocabulary or introducing your child to a whole new language by switching your audio settings to Spanish, French, German, Chinese, or another readily available language.

 

Try to keep away from high paced, flashy shows.  Many “educational” themed shows may have an educational component to them but capture your child’s attention by using fast paced motion and bright flashing lights, distracting from the actual educational value. Shows moving at a slower pace which the child can understand and using less animation to show how the real world works, are a much better option.  

 

Interactive Media, Apps, and Games

 

Interactive digital media for kids is also beneficial when it is educational. A recent study found that children who play educational apps and games are likely to exhibit improvements in early math, early language, and literacy skills.

 

Of course, these skills can always be taught by parents, in the classroom, and using educational toys as well. Digital media for kids can still be a good option, since children tend to enjoy it so much. They are having fun, and that encourages them to work on skills they’ll need throughout their entire lives.

 

Introduce Kids to Technology

 

Another way to ensure your kids are getting the most out of screen time is by introducing them to some of the basic features and uses of technology. Our world is becoming more and more digital, and as our kids grow up, they will more than likely need to follow the curve. By introducing media in childhood, we can set kids up for success in the digital world they will grow up in.

 

Screen time is not necessarily a “must,” but if you feel good about it and your child enjoys it, there is no reason you need to limit it completely. Follow the tips above to ensure your child is getting the most out of their screen time and appreciate the benefits that come with appropriate digital media for kids.