Tips for Parents

How Much Time Should My Child Spend on the Computer?

By Susan Magsamen, SVP Early Learning

Sometimes it might seem impossible to peel ourselves from our computers! Whether we’re engrossed in answering urgent work emails, reading our favorite blog, or just staying up-to-date on the latest breaking news, computers and other gadgets have become ingrained in our daily routines. But how much is too much? And are there any good rules about screen time for children?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting children’s screen time—including television, movies, videos, and computers—to no more than two hours a day. Many U.S. children, the AAP claims, spend more than three hours a day on the computer alone! Excessive screen time is linked with health issues like obesity and disrupted sleep patterns, on top of behavioral and psychological problems that can negatively affect academic performance.

Curiosityville's recommendations for a child’s time online are determined by the Fred Rogers Center for Screen-Time Awareness and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. They are as follows:

Ages 3 to 4: 20 minutes
Ages 5 to 6: 30 minutes
Ages 7 to 8: 45 minutes

We start calculating time online from the beginning of actual game play. When the suggested time limit is reached, a pop-up appears at the end of the game in process, reminding kids to go out and play!

While monitoring your child’s screen time, take care to arrange all screens, keyboards, and chairs at comfortable, ergonomically-sound levels. Computer usage can lead to neck, shoulder, wrist, and back pain—we don’t want this for ourselves, let alone our young kids!

If possible, make your child’s time online a family activity, as research has shown that social interaction during game play can enhance the learning experience. Also remember the “quality over quantity” rule—and select games that your child both learns from and enjoys. Then when you’re ready for some offline fun and adventure, check out our recommended titles below. They’re full of learning and, of course, fun!

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