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AAP Suggests Traditional Toys for Young Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued an updated clinical report in Pediatrics recommending caregivers give traditional hands-on toys that stimulate imagination and creativity, such as puzzles, building blocks and cardboard boxes, to youths ages 5 and younger, instead of interactive electronic toys. The report also advised that those younger than 5 should only play developmentally appropriate computer or video games with parent or caregiver supervision.

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Create a Family Media Plan

Media should work for you & work within your family values & parenting style. When media is used thoughtfully & appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime & sleep.

By creating a Personalized Family Media Use Plan, you can be aware of when you are using media to achieve your purpose. This requires parents & users to think about what they want those purposes to be. The tool below will help you to think about media & create goals & rules that are in line with your family’s values.

Use this tool from the American Academy of Pediatrics to create a media plan for your family.

Kids And Screen Time: A Peek At Upcoming Guidance

Young boy in bedroom using laptop and listening to MP3 player

Adapted from NPR Ed

According to Common Sense Media, tweens log 4 1/2 hours of screen time a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. For teens, it’s even higher: nearly seven hours a day. And that doesn’t include time spent using devices for school or in school.

From babies with iPads to Chromebooks in classrooms, digital devices seem more ubiquitous every year. And one of the hottest issues today in both parenting and education circles is the proper role of electronic media in children’s lives.

There’s research to support both the benefits and dangers of digital media for developing minds. Plenty of questions remain unanswered.

But those of us raising and teaching children can’t afford to wait years for the final evidence to come in. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics plans to update its guidelines on media use later this year. Current recommendations are to avoid all screens for children under 2, and to allow a maximum of two hours per day of high-quality material for older children.

NPR spoke with David Hill, chairman of the AAP Council on Communications and Media and a member of the AAP Children, Adolescents and Media Leadership Working Group, to hear about the upcoming recommendations and to get some advice on how to use screens wisely.

Click here to read the interview