How to Get Kids Off Screens

Are your kids glued to screens all day, every day? Desperately trying to get them off the computer or phone can be a challenge. You are not alone! It’s common for parents of today’s tech-savvy generations to struggle with how much time their children spend playing video games or scrolling through social media.

Fear not; there are simple and effective strategies you can use to help balance screen time in your home and encourage creative activities that will engage both your kids’ brains and bodies.

How to Get Kids Off Screens

With technology increasingly becoming intertwined in our lives, it can be difficult to keep our children away from screens and mobile devices. But while we recognize there are both challenges and advantages that come with using digital media, it’s important to take steps to ensure our kids don’t become overly reliant on them. In this post, we’ll discuss practical strategies about how to get kids off screens!

Why is It Important to Get Kids Off Screens?

1 . To Promote Healthy Habits

Excessive screen time can lead to physical health problems such as obesity, eye strain, and disrupted sleep patterns. Encouraging children to minimize their screen time and participate in activities can help keep them physically active and develop good habits early on.

2 . To Foster Social Skills

Face-to-face interaction with others is crucial for a child’s social development. When kids spend too much time on screens, they miss out on opportunities to interact with others and develop important social skills such as communication, empathy, and conflict resolution.

3 . To Encourage Imagination and Creativity

Screens often provide instant entertainment and stimulation for children, leaving little room for imaginative play. Getting kids off screens can allow them to use their creativity and imagination to come up with their own games, stories, and activities.

4 . To Improve Mental Health

Research has shown a link between excessive screen time and mental health issues in children such as depression, anxiety, and attention problems. Limiting screen time can help improve a child’s overall well-being.

5 . To Promote Learning

While there are educational resources available on screens, excessive screen time can actually hinder a child’s learning. Getting kids off screens and engaging them in hands-on activities can help improve their cognitive skills and critical thinking abilities.

 Engaging in Hands-on Activities

6 . To Avoid Exposure to Inappropriate Content

The internet is filled with content that is not suitable for children. Without proper supervision, kids may come across inappropriate material that can have negative effects on their development. Setting limits on screen time can help protect children from exposure to harmful content.

7 . To Teach Time Management

By setting boundaries around screen time, children can learn the importance of managing their time effectively. This skill will be valuable for them in the future as they balance different responsibilities and activities.

8 . To Promote Family Bonding

With busy schedules, it can be challenging for families to find quality time to spend together. Getting kids off screens and engaging in activities as a family can help strengthen relationships and create lasting memories.

9 . To Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Screens often serve as a distraction or escape from real-life problems. By limiting screen time, children can learn to cope with emotions and stress in a healthy manner, such as through physical activity or creative outlets.

10 . To Set a Positive Example

Children often mimic the behaviors of those around them, especially their parents. By limiting our own screen time and actively engaging in other activities, we can set a positive example for children and encourage them to do the same.

Overall, there are many reasons why it is important to get kids off screens. By limiting screen time and encouraging alternative activities, we can promote physical and mental health, social skills, learning, and healthy habits for our children. It may not always be easy, but the long-term benefits make it worthwhile. So let’s take action now and help our children lead a well-balanced and fulfilling life.

15 Ideas on How to Get Kids Off Screens

1 . Set Time Limits

Children are more likely to spend excessive amounts of time on screens if there are no time limits in place. Setting a predetermined amount of screen time each day can help reduce overall usage. This will also help children understand that screen time is a privilege and not a right.

 Predetermined Amount of Screen Time

2 . Encourage Outdoor Activities

Getting kids outdoors is one of the best ways to get them off screens. Take advantage of local parks and outdoor spaces, or plan family outings such as hiking, camping, or biking. These activities not only offer a break from screens but also provide opportunities for physical activity and connection with nature.

3 . Plan Screen-Free Activities

Make a list of fun and engaging activities that do not involve screens. This could include board games, arts and crafts, or sports. Encourage your children to choose from this list when they are looking for something to do instead of turning to a screen.

4 . Lead by Example

Children often mimic their parents’ behavior, so it is important for adults to limit their screen time. Set a good example by engaging in screen-free activities or limiting your own usage when around your children.

5 . Create Screen-Free Zones

Designate specific areas of the house as screen-free zones, such as the dinner table, bedrooms, or play areas. This will help establish boundaries and allow for more face-to-face interaction without the distraction of screens.

6 . Get Involved in Your Child’s Screen Time

Rather than banning screens altogether, get involved in your child’s screen time. Ask them to show you what they’re watching or playing, and take an interest in their online activities. This can also open up opportunities for discussions about appropriate content and online safety.

Involved in Your Child's Screen Time

7 . Provide Alternative Forms of Entertainment

Provide alternatives to screen time, such as books, puzzles, or musical instruments. These activities can be just as engaging and beneficial for children’s development without the negative effects of excessive screen usage.

8 . Establish Screen-Free Times

Set specific times during the day when screens are not allowed, such as during meals or before bedtime. This will help reduce the overall amount of screen time and encourage healthy habits.

9 . Use Parental Controls and Monitoring Apps

Utilize parental controls to restrict access to certain content and set time limits on screens. There are also monitoring apps available that can track your child’s usage and alert you if they exceed their allotted screen time.

10 . Make Technology-Free Nights

Pick one night a week where screens are not allowed, and spend the evening engaging in other activities as a family. This could include game nights, cooking together, or going for a walk. This will not only reduce screen time but also create quality family bonding time.

11 . Encourage Social Interactions

Screens can often isolate children from social interactions, so it is important to encourage face-to-face interactions and playdates with friends. This will also help foster important social skills and relationships.

12 . Limit Excessive Screen Time

Research has shown that children who spend excessive amounts of time on screens can experience negative effects on their mental and physical health. Set limits and stick to them, making sure your child is engaging in a variety of activities each day.

13 . Get Involved in Community Events

Participate in community events or volunteer opportunities that do not involve screens. This will provide alternative forms of entertainment for children while also promoting a sense of community and connection.

Participate in Community Events

14 . Educate Children on the Negative Effects of Screens

Teach your children about the negative effects of excessive screen time, such as eye strain, disrupted sleep patterns, and decreased physical activity. This will help them understand the importance of limiting their usage and making healthier choices.

15 . Be Patient and Consistent

Getting kids off screens can be a challenging task, but it is important to be patient and consistent with your efforts. Encourage and praise them when they engage in non-screen activities, and continue to reinforce the importance of balance and moderation when it comes to screen time.

With time and effort, you can help your children develop healthier habits when it comes to technology usage. It may take some trial and error, but finding the right balance for your family will have long-term benefits for their well-being.

Remember to lead by example and prioritize quality time together without screens. So try out these strategies and see what works best for your family in reducing screen time and fostering a healthier lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Question

Can I Get My Kids Off Screens Without Using Force?

Absolutely! The key is to understand why your child is so drawn to screens in the first place. Once you know what drives this behavior, you can work with your child to find healthier alternatives that they will enjoy just as much. This may include finding activities they are passionate about, spending quality time together as a family, or setting specific screen-free times during the day.

Is It Okay for My Child to Use Screens Sometimes?

Yes, screens can be a useful tool in moderation. The problem arises when screens become a substitute for all other activities and start to interfere with daily life. As long as your child is also engaging in other activities, such as playing with friends, reading, or pursuing hobbies, it is okay for them to use screens in moderation.

How Can I Get My Child Interested in Non-Screen Activities?

Children are naturally curious and love to explore new things. Encourage this natural curiosity by introducing your child to a variety of activities and hobbies. This may include outdoor activities, art projects, sports, or music. By exposing your child to different options and allowing them to choose what they enjoy, you can help them develop a love for non-screen activities.

Include Outdoor Activities

What About My Child’s Education? Won’t Limiting Screen Time Affect Their Learning?

It is important to find a balance between screen time and other forms of learning. While screens can be a helpful tool for education, it is important to also engage in hands-on learning experiences and activities. Encourage your child to participate in school activities, explore their interests outside of screens, and read books related to their favorite topics. This will help them develop well-rounded skills and knowledge.


To wrap up, making sure kids get off screens is a challenge for many parents. It’s something that requires patience and understanding, but also proactively setting rules and limits on screen time.

From talking about the issue with your child to implementing strategies for getting them off screens, there are plenty of great ways to help avoid tech addiction in kids. Working together and setting an example of healthy technology use is key – so don’t forget to model the behavior you would like to see from your children.

Now you know how to get kids off screens! Ultimately, unplugging does not have to be a chore – it can instead become an opportunity for countless learning experiences and relationships that will benefit your child’s development. The time is now – start thinking of ways to introduce more exciting activities into your kid’s lives today!

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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