East Kootenay Families encouraged to Unplug and Spend More Time Together

East Kootenay Families encouraged to Unplug and Spend More Time Together

Kimberley, B. C. – November 14, 2017 – Parents with children aged 0 – 6 are invited to Project Playtime, a screen smart initiative happening in the East Kootenay region. Parents can register for a free Busy Bag Make and Take workshop where they will make 2 busy bags for their preschool aged children to use as an alternative to screen time. Offered in partnership by the Kimberley Early Years table, Children First, and Success by 6, the event will also provide an opportunity to learn about the effects of screen use on young children.

BUSY BAG MAKE & TAKE WORKSHOP ( FREE* for families of children aged 0-6 years old. )

Monday, November 20th Strongstart – 1850 Warren Ave (back entrance) 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Childminding and snacks provided. Registration required, See Danica Roussy at Strongstart or call 250-908-8101. Research clearly indicates children are spending too much time engaging with screens (i.e. TV, computer, DVD, ipads) and not enough time interacting with family, friends and caregivers.

Some studies suggest:

• On any given day, 29% of babies under the age of 1 are watching TV and videos for an average of about 90 minutes. 23% have a television in their bedroom.1 • Time with screens increases rapidly in the early years. Between their first and second birthday, on any given day, 64% of babies and toddlers are watching TV and videos, averaging slightly over 2 hours. Thirty-six percent have a television in their bedroom.

• Data varies on the amount of time preschool children spend with screen media, but even the most conservative findings show that children between the ages of two and five average 2.2 hours per day. Other studies show that preschoolers spend as much as 4.1 and 4.6 hours per day using screen media.

Dr. Michael Rich is an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, specializing in medicine and media. His “three major concerns with digital technology, or screen time, are how we sacrifice our ¬personal interactions with others in favour of an online existence, how our children are losing time for creative play, and losing their ability to manipulate the physical environment. Young children who spend excessive time looking at screens will likely be “impoverished” in the above three areas and—given the rapid brain development in the first three years—are in fact “pruning away circuitry they may need in the future.” media.

The Kimberley Early Year’s team is trying to help parents with activities and strategies that will reduce screen time and increase together time. Danica Roussy, Kimberley Early Years Coordinator suggests “It is imperative to understand the importance of corresponding screen time to alternative learn & play. It is suggested all parents become screen smart to allow for growth and development for the whole family. Our team looks forward to sharing as many resources as we can to improve the families in our communities become further educated on how to manage screen time within their household”.

The Kimberley Early Years Team is a multi-disciplinary community planning table, designed to promote a healthy community for Kimberley families. It is funded by Children First and Success by Six. The Children First Initiative strives to build the capacity of communities to support the healthy growth and development of young children and their families through a comprehensive and integrated service delivery system. Success by Six is a community-based, cross-sectoral partnership of people and organizations that share a common vision-children ready to succeed when they enter school.