GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013 - (Page 38-39)

Do kids under 5 get too much screen time? find more ideas for screen-free fun in The Grammie Guide: Activities and Answers for Grandparenting Today. What the experts say, what you can do by “tHe GrAmmIes” A pHoto creDIt: ©LeoNID IkAN hot topic among many grandparents today is the increasing amount of “screen time” very young children have daily. Children under 5 years are not only watching TV but also looking at digital screens on computers, tablets, smart phones, and other electronic devices, some designed for young children. And 38 GRAND september october 2013 not only at home but also in cars, airplanes, restaurants, stores, even daycare centers. There is no denying that these gadgets are entertaining. However, early childhood educators, savvy parents, and many grandparents are worried about the impact that hours and hours of screen time has on learning and social development . . . and with good cause. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time—at all—for children under 2 years and limiting screen time for preschoolers to no more than two hours a day. The early years between birth and five are when children most need hands-on experiences. Their knowledge base grows daily from what they touch, smell, hear, see, and taste as they explore their world. Children need to be moving and to use all of their senses as their curiosity spurs them on to new discoveries. Play is nature’s primary means for developing the brain, anthropologist Melvin Konner writes in The Evolution of Childhood. Children who sit passively in front of a screen are robbed of this valuable playtime. Given a screen’s appeal and addictive quality, what can a grammie do when young grandchildren are in her care? Very simply, turn off the TV, put the electronic devices out of reach, and get down on the floor and play! Offer toys that children love: balls, stuffed animals, blocks, small cars and trucks. Read, read, read to your grandchild, and talk about what may happen next in the story. Play hide-and-seek, ring around the rosy, and other age-appropriate games. Pull out boxes to crawl in, puzzles to build, dolls or teddy bears to interact with, or Play-Doh to create with. Grammies can have an impact on this important issue. One antidote for too much screen time is an enthusiastic grammie armed with simple activities and the willingness to play. The Grammies—Jan eby, Laurie mobilio, Lynne Noel, and cindy summers—are childhood educators who collectively claim bragging rights to 22 grandchildren. september october 2013 GRAND 39

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013

GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013
Congratulations 2013 GRANDparent of the Year Honorees!
Hooray for Grandparents, Ingenuity, and ICE!
GRAND Magazine Best of the Web Awards
Rockin’ the World
Leaving a Legacy
Don Miguel Ruiz: Our Sacred Agreement to Grandchildren
Keepsakes from the Heart
Do Kids Under 5 Get Too Much Screen Time?
Let the Learning Games Begin!
Falling into the Grandma Zone
A Special Grandmother
Ducky Butt, Not Tucky Butt!
GRAND Sponsor: ClearSounds Communications
Terrific Tech Gadgets for the Whole Family
The ABCs of Grandparenting: Who’s Teaching Whom?
Can Bribery Warm a Cold Shoulder?
Keep Your Marriage from Becoming a Casualty of Caregiving
Hidden Treasures

GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013