Thank you to Speakaboos for sponsoring this post! Scroll down for more info on this amazing reading app. I’m not against young children having screen time. Like everything else, I think that there is a correct time and place for it. Even more so, there is a right way to do it so that it’s a productive activity and not a mindless one – making it a good thing.
There are a few things I consider when I give M screen time:
- He is going to be much less mobile.
- He is going to be less social.
- It’s going to be hard to “pull him away”.
With these three things in mind, I help maintain a balance and not overdo it.
Since M is a “Stay-at-home toddler”, I face various challenges throughout the day. I need to get work done, get the laundry done, get dinner cooked. I also am not much of an educator and therefore I have a hard time sitting and doing things with him. I do come up with a few quick activities throughout the day. He also plays freely most of the day, and when the weather is decent we play outside.
But some days I need to find a bit of sanity, and that’s where balanced screen time comes in.
A few MUSTS that help me ensure that his screen time is balanced:
- It MUST be educational in some way and not mindless.
- I MUST be doing something productive during that time.
- It MUST come after he’s been active a little.
- Absolutely no screen time when there are people over (which can be hard to control considering that loving aunts and uncles tend to give him their phones… but I try!)
I do hope to offer you another time, in another post, more practical ideas for balancing screen time. But for now, I wanted to share with you a great app that really offered me the balance I was looking for in screen time, in a way that’s exciting for my toddler and totally educational.
The app that helps us balance screen time:
M has been fascinated by letters lately (he can recognize all the upper-case letters, thanks to his good friends from Sesame Street). But I’ve been having a hard time taking that to the next level because, as I mentioned, I’m not an educator.
Speakaboos is an app that offers LOADS of reading material for young children, ages 2-6. But it’s not just a reading This includes not only read-aloud books, but many interactive options, video clips, and favorite characters. It’s developed by renowned educational media experts including Dr. Alice Wilder, one of the world’s leading authorities on literacy through media.
Speakaboos takes the inspiration behind educational media like Blues Clues to mobile devices with a highly engaging, entertaining app that encourages children to choose reading. Reading has the power to give your child a love for learning and help set the background for educational success.
So how does Speakaboos keep kids interested? M was so excited when he first saw his favorite red friend – Elmo! Besides for the interactive element, the app also includes many more popular characters and storybook classics, speaking to your child’s interests to keep her asking for more. Indeed, the next day, M only wanted to play with Speakaboos and not anything else on my phone.
See- that’s the trick. He thought he was “playing” but he was actually reading!
Some more features:
- Read offline as well – it’s great for road trips!
- Many of the stories have various reading levels and modes: (Read to Me, Read & Play, and Read it Myself).
- The app features over 200 stories, categorized in a way that even your child can easily browse.
- The entire interface is very kid-friendly and easy for little fingers to navigate.
- Geared toward children ages 2-6
- Characters and books include interactive classics (such as the Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel), favorite parent-approved characters (such as Sesame Street, Thomas & Friends, Sid the Science Kid, and Angelina Ballerina) and storybook classics (such as Swimmy, Duck on a Bike, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and Where the Wild Things Are.)
It’s free to download, with a seven-day trial to see for yourself.
When you love it, you can get 30% off a monthly or yearly subscription here with code momsandcrafters.
Do you allow screen time? How do you find balance? Click here to download the app, and comment below with your tips!