Summer is just around the corner which for many means our kids have more free time. Time to play outside, time to doodle indoors, and time to beg for SCREEN TIME. And really, who can blame them? Look at what we adults do?! How often to you check your screen-based media? Uh-huh, that’s what I thought. Lucky for all of us, the good people at Cricket Media (publishers of children’s magazines Ladybug, Spider, and Cricket to name a few) have created a new website that launched in mid-April dedicated to help parents strike a balanced approach to tech interactions for the whole family:
“Cricket Media’s new Keeping Tech in Check initiative is dedicated to helping parents as they discover the best balance between real life and tech life for their family. Unlike similar efforts, Keeping Tech in Check recognizes that screens are a mainstay in our 21st century lives, and this initiative is being launched to help parents mindfully manage screen-time as an intentional part of a daily “diet” of activities. It focuses on keeping screens as an intentional part of a family’s life —something that should be kept in balance.”
Keeping Tech in Check is joined by Parents’ Choice, the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys, and The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who is sharing their research-based tools to help manage tech time. The site also features content from Cricket Media’s magazines in the form of short fiction stories of the week, news stories, and screen-based and non-screen based activities for the family.
This past month, the featured activities were about the seasonally topical subject of baby animals that would have had you and your children cooing, “Awwwwww, they are sooooooo cute!” (Think baby pandas, otters, and they even featured a link to the Cincinnati Zoo’s blog that highlights baby hippo Fiona with videos).
One favorite non-screen-based activity was baking home made doggie treats which was featured in Spider magazine. The site is packed with useful tools and resources for all, plus there is a blog that has contributing writers from parents and field experts such as Alicia Levi, President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. We here at ETM are fans. The site is playful, informative, and thoughtfully designed. Check it out and approach your summer media consumption with unfettered equanimity!