Summer is finally here and that means more free time for kids. How will they spend their time?
- Playing outdoors doing physical activities?
- Spending sometimes doing hands-on learning with real things and or friends?
- Helping by doing some chores?
- More screen time activities with electronics?
With additional free time available for kids in the summer, the temptation to spend even more “screen time” playing with electronic tablets or devices is possible. Research¹ now shows kids spend approximately 5-7 hours of sedentary time engaging in “screen time” contributing to obesity, limited attention, anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Although structure and providing choices of active things to do are a great way to curtail too much screen time, here is a no cost method of controlling timed usage on the iPhone, iPad or iPod :
The original Apple Clock app provides a timer that can be set to lock your device after the timer goes off. It requires creating a passcode (Settings>Restrictions>Passcode) to lock your device. Here’s how to set the timer and lock the device when the timer is done:
1. Go to your iOS Apple Clock.
2. Go to the Clock Timer tool. Scroll to set the time. Recommended screen time for children over 2 years of age is 1-2 hours/day. Under 2 years of age screen time is not recommended.
3. Click the music symbol (between the Start and Pause button)
4. Scroll down to the bottom of the sound choices for “When Timer Ends” to Stop Playing. Select Stop Playing option and Set.
5. Select Start when you are ready to begin using the timer. When the timer time is done, the device locks (again, must have Restrictions on and a Passcode set) and returns you to the screen to enter a Passcode.
Easy and free. You may need to change your passcode often if the user has good visual memory when using your passcode! A sturdy case may also be a prudent choice, especially if being locked out causes some frustration.
For how to decrease screen time visit the National Institute of Health website for suggested activities.
1 Retrieved on June 7, 2014 from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000355.htm