Summer is approaching, which means many child care programs in Salt Lake City will soon take a summer recess. In today’s technology-driven world, parents — especially those of us who are busiest — might feel tempted to put our kids in front of the TV, turn on Paw Patrol, and finally get a moment to ourselves. However, the World Health Organization recommends no screen time for babies under 24 months and under one hour of screen time for children ages 2-5. In fact, studies show that screen time has actual effects on a child’s brain. The American Psychology Association cited a study that found that “more time per week spent on screens at ages 24 months and 36 months was linked with poorer performance on screening tests for behavioral, cognitive and social development at 36 months.”
Screens also keep kids indoors and sedentary instead of active and outside. According to Harvard Health Publishing, going outside helps kids get exercise, learn about risk-taking, develop executive function skills, socialize, and get vitamin D, which helps with bone and immune health.
Summer Daycare Alternatives in Salt Lake City
So the question remains: how do I get my kids outside in the summer instead of in front of screens? One answer is summer camp. Lit’l Scholars Learning Centers offers day camp in the summer for school-aged children. At this camp, not only will you children have opportunities to learn with other kids, do arts and craft, play games, and do nature activities, but your kids will also go on field trips. Field trips are a big part of Lit’l Scholars Summer Camp. Excursions include destinations like the aquarium, the zoo, swimming pools, parks, museums, and so much more. The best part is that Lit’l Scholars Summer Camp is all inclusive — tuition covers field trips, meals, and snacks.
Other Ways To Keep Children Active
There are also other ways to get kids away from screens and spending more time outside. An affordable, easy, and fun option is going to a local playground. The walk to the playground can be part of the fun. Collect rocks and leaves on the way, make stops if you see a stream or pond, and get your kid asking questions and making observations about nature. If your child develops an appreciation for nature early on, it will make it easier to get them outside down the road when there will inevitably be a smartphone standing in your way.
To make time at the playground really last, bring sunscreen, water, snacks, and toys. Whether your kid likes to kick a ball around or draw with chalk, there are countless ways to supplement a playground excursion. You can even bring lunch and make it a picnic, or make it an outdoor playdate, switching off with the other parents when it comes to who is chaperoning.
The health benefits of replacing screen time with time outdoors are more than evident. Whether your child ends up in Lit’l Scholars’ daycare alternative in Salt Lake City or makes the playground or backyard their new hangout spot, this summer is an opportunity for exercise, brain development, and fun!