Childhood Unplugged: Balancing Screen Time With Fun Summer Camp Time!
Written By: Kayla Colbert | January 25, 2020
Everyone is talking about the risks of too much screen time for children and young adults, and there are valid reasons for that. A joint study by Common Sense Media and the Center for Humane Technology concluded that the average American child spends 50 hours engaged with screens per week, and 98% of American children 8 and under have access to a mobile device at home. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics has noticed that the “intensity of the online world” and its constant comparison to others’ “friend tallies, status updates, and pictures of others having a good time” can lead to classic depression symptoms in some preteens and teens.
Of course, there are also benefits to online communication, especially as it pertains to maintaining connections with friends and family in other cities. A child can keep in touch with a friend who moved away as they play Minecraft, miles apart but together. With so much information available on the web, with a safe search engine kids can learn an abundance of facts about the things they’re passionate about, from music to space to dinosaurs and more. Used constructively, the internet is great for strengthening existing bonds and learning new things.
We can all agree that technology is now an integral part of our daily life. But finding a balance is key to healthy online and real-life engagement in the world, and summer is the perfect opportunity for your child to find that balance. During the summer, children generally have much more unstructured time than they do while school is in session. Unstructured time can lead to lots of creative play, but it can also be very tempting for kids to spend their countless free hours looking at screens or scrolling endlessly through Instagram and Tik Tok.
As an alternative, participating in structured periods of creative time at a summer camp can be socially and mentally stimulating in ways that can’t be achieved through passive screen time. Unlike a traditional school setting, kids can choose specific summer camp activities based on their own interests and curiosities, which will make them naturally more engaged! Their interest in the small screen of a personal device could lead to interest in the big screen after attending a filmmaking camp. If they love watching covers on YouTube and have their own singing dreams, then a musical theater or vocal recording camp is a great idea. And following beauty influencers online could lead them to a stage makeup camp in order to learn the craft themselves. Many of their passions, from cooking to sports to science, can be discovered at summer camp.
Since most camps have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to phones and other personal tech devices, your child will be fully engaged with the material and with the campers and instructors around them. They will get to practice social skills like meeting new people, making friends, and teamwork. And because your child will be in a nurturing, kid-friendly environment all day, you won’t have to worry about them stumbling across inappropriate online content while at home.
Technology is important and navigating it is a valuable skill for young people to develop. As with all things in life though, a bit of healthy moderation goes a long way, and kids—like adults—can benefit from taking a break from their screens from time to time. It gives us the opportunity to spend more time doing activities we love, like theater or sports or spending time in nature. And it will give your child a more positive, detached approach to social media, one that doesn’t have them constantly refreshing apps, checking for every new like and follower. This summer explore your child’s interests offline and unlock their personal potential.
Trusted for over 30 years, PAW has 10 camp locations to choose from including; Brentwood, West LA, Manhattan Beach, RPV, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, East Pasadena, Old Town Pasadena, Northridge, and Studio City. For camp information call us at (310) 827-8827 or check out our website at www.PerformingArtsWorkshops.com.
Performing Arts Workshops ~ the ultimate ARTS experience.
Part Art…Part Play…ALL FUN!