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Unplug and Play - Top Tips for managing screen time

Managing screen time is something that the whole family can take part in. It often helps if we can all work together to create good habits, so here are some ideas to help reduce screen time from local parents and health experts:

  • Create a morning routine that doesn’t involve screens – parents have found this leads to a calmer start to the day.
  • Make meals a time for your family to talk about the day without distraction from screens. Screen-free family meals encourage healthy eating and children who spend less time using screens eat healthier. 
  • Make memories by planning outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy together.  Spending time in nature is important for healthy child development. 
  • Take a break from your smartphone and other screens during periods of the day to give your child your uninterrupted attention.
  • Make bedtime routines screen-free— kids who use screens at night have more sleep problems. Keep screens out of bedrooms.
  • Rearrange the furniture so that the TV isn’t the focal point of the room.
  • Make screen time into a special event, such as a family 'movie night'.
  • Set boundaries at an early age so that you don't have to alter habits when children are older.
  • Use a timer and give children responsibility to manage their own screen time.
  • Encourage children to take part in a wide range of activities. 
  • Organise play dates with other parents/carers

To help us come up with ideas for our campaign, we asked local children what they liked to do to Unplug and Play and what tips their parents/carers had for switching off screens. Here are some photos of the brilliant ideas that you gave us:

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