Guardian Childcare & Education

Screen Time Tips for Children

14th June 2018

Screen time tips

If you’re a parent, you’re probably well aware of the pull that the iPad presents. Screens are everywhere and, the reality is, short of an across-the-board ban on devices, there has to be a technology halfway point to encourage healthy iPad use. By using screens with intent and putting in boundaries, screen time can be beneficial and fun. Here are some ideas to help you work out how to moderate your children’s screen time.

Tech Time

When we’re talking technology, the throw-around term, ‘screen time,’ can be a loose one. To tighten understanding, screen time refers to any interaction with screens; whether through TV, video games, smartphone or the ever-popular tablet. There are four forms that screen time can take, and understanding each is key to curbing screen fixation.

Firstly, there’s interactive screen time such as chatting to a relative on Skype, playing Minecraft or doodling online with drawing programs. The second form is non-interactive screen time, which is usually sitting still while watching TV, movies or videos online. The third form of screen time is educational, which involves doing something like science homework online. Lastly, there’s recreational screen time where the user plays games or watches videos purely for fun.

Limit Logic

Implementing limits on screen time is all about ensuring that your child balances time spent on screens with time spent away from them. Putting in hard-and-fast guidelines can stop screen time from becoming toxic and hindering sleep, manual and physical play, and social time. When it comes down to it – there’s nothing that beats actual interaction for championing your child’s development, education, and general welfare.

In Check

It’s a widely held perspective that putting limits on your child’s daily screen time is an effective way to ensure a healthy, mediated relationship with technology. The following information is taken from Raising Children and outlines age-appropriate screen time recommendations.

Less than 18 months
Avoid screen time, other than video-chatting.

18 months – 2 years
Use or watch only high-quality programs or apps with adults giving guidance as to what they’re using and seeing.

2-5 years
No more than one hour of screen time per day with adults watching or playing with them.

6 years+
Put consistent limits on time spent on electronic media, as well as the types of media used.

The Why

There’s a multitude of issues at play in curbing screen time. Physical problems can include irritated eyes, headache, fatigue and neck problems caused by looking down. Then there’s the danger of encouraging a static lifestyle, which could lead to obesity.

There are also developmental complications to think about, such as not getting enough actual interaction, which is vital in building social skills. Children need to learn how to deal with frustration, conflict and the notion of sharing by navigating these situations with other children. Too much screen time can also impede the broadening of different interests and the important learning that comes with them.

In essence, it’s not that the iPad is in itself doing damage, it’s more a case of too much screen time eating into your child’s time for doing things in the real world. With this in mind – always ask yourself what your child isn’t learning from technology.

When used in moderation, children’s screen time can be as beneficial as all the other ways to learn and play. If you make room for creativity, imagination, and even good old-fashioned boredom, a bit of screen time can be terrific.

Top Recent Articles

guardian munro street

A Word from our Teachers: Jess Armitt (Guardian Munro St)

guardian paradise

A word from our Teachers: Emma Crescitelli (Guardian Paradise)

Lizards early learning centre in Brisbane's new yard

Expert Tips: Returning to Childcare Post-COVID

babies learn from birth

Podcast: Babies Learn from Birth

Children playing in Guardian Marsfield

Indoor Activities for Children this Summer



  • November 2020 (8)
  • October 2020 (6)
  • September 2020 (6)
  • July 2020 (1)
  • June 2020 (1)
  • May 2020 (10)
  • April 2020 (22)
  • March 2020 (22)
  • February 2020 (19)
  • January 2020 (19)
  • 2019

  • December 2019 (21)
  • November 2019 (17)
  • October 2019 (26)
  • September 2019 (32)
  • August 2019 (38)
  • July 2019 (26)
  • June 2019 (10)
  • May 2019 (1)
  • January 2019 (1)
  • 2018

  • December 2018 (2)
  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (4)
  • September 2018 (6)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (9)
  • June 2018 (9)
  • May 2018 (7)
  • April 2018 (6)
  • March 2018 (8)
  • February 2018 (6)
  • January 2018 (9)
  • 2017

  • December 2017 (10)
  • November 2017 (13)
  • October 2017 (10)
  • September 2017 (13)
  • August 2017 (15)
  • July 2017 (14)
  • June 2017 (15)
  • May 2017 (23)
  • April 2017 (17)
  • March 2017 (28)
  • February 2017 (21)
  • January 2017 (5)
  • 2016

  • December 2016 (4)
  • June 2016 (1)
  • May 2016 (1)
  • March 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (2)
  • January 2016 (1)
  • 2015

  • July 2015 (1)
  • Looking for the right Childcare Centre for your Family?

    Submit your details and a member of our Concierge Team will be in touch to discuss what you need and how we can help you experience something more than childcare.

    We'll be in touch soon.


    *Mandatory Fields

    You May Also Want to Read This

    Bullying in childcare

    1st November 2017

    Does Bullying in Childcare Exist?

    supporting fussy eaters: child eating beef ragu

    12th February 2020

    Tips for Supporting Fussy Eaters

    tackling fussy eaters

    23rd August 2017

    5 Ways to Tackle Fussy Eaters