Screen time is sedentary behaviour that involves a person using a computer or laptop, watching television, playing electronic games, tablets or phones for recreation - particularly when they’re not doing anything else that is physically active.
While screens can play a part in learning and communication, too much screen time for children can be unhealthy.
Screen time usually involves time spent sitting instead of children being active. Most children have enough exposure to screen time at home, so screens should be limited within the early childhood setting.
- How can my Service Support this Message?
- Having a clear policy on appropriate screen use
- Ensuring the program has minimal periods of inactivity (no more than one hour at a time)
- Using Monitor learning experiences with preschoolers
- In extreme weather, encouraging Move experiences
- Only select screen time experiences that encourage children to move around and be active
- Not using screen time as a reward
- Role model enjoyment of non-screen based activities and not using personal devices in front of children
- Share the Screen Time message with families and display the poster in your service
- Role Modelling
It is so important that all staff role model good screen time habits for the children.
Munch & Move encourages services to consider including information in your technology or relevant screen policy about staff role modelling appropriate screen use on the floor. Appropriate use of screens in services is for illustrating educational concepts, supporting indoor physical activity and music and movement, and for learning and language support programs. Educators should not use personal devices in front of the children. Educators are also encouraged to role model enjoyment of active play that is not screen based.
- Monitor Case Studies
To help get you started with implementing the Monitor message at your service, check out these great examples of how other Munch & Move services have implemented a Monitor learning experience with their children.
- Monitor Resources
We have a range of resources to help encourage our monitor key message. These resources provide ideas to reduce screen time in services and get more active; or how to use screen time for physical activity or educational purposes. There are also resources to share with families, so they can learn how to manage screen time at their homes.
NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS) 2015