Kid's Screen Time Rules and Punchcards (Free Printable) (2024)

Screen time can be managed when it comes to children, here is a free screen time rules and punch card printable to help you keep track!

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Most of us parents have kept our little ones occupied by giving them that magical screen, whether it has been at church, in a waiting room, or in a restaurant. It ends up being the one thing you can count on to keep your child quiet. Today I’ve got an awesome free printable for kids screen time rules that will help keep track of it all.

That magical screen has also become a babysitter at home, when mom needs to get on with the hundreds of things that needs to be done. With Summer upon us, it seems to be that the magical screen babysitter will most likely be working overtime.

Research shows that the consequences of children having too much screen time results in stunted cognitive development, hindering of social interaction, and disengagement.

Even if there are educational apps and games, getting a child hooked on smartphones and tablets results in damaging their brain, that’s still developing.

When it comes to screen time, there are four main categories:

Content Creation: which involves using a device to make music or digital art

Interactive Consumption: which involves browsing the internet and playing games

Communication: which involves using social media and video-chatting

Passive Consumption: which involves listening to music, reading, and watching TV.

When your children watch TV, hang out online, or play video games- observe their behavior during and after. If the media is age-appropriate and high-quality, their behavior will be positive. If their screen time is balanced with screen-free time, then there’s no need for you to worry.

However, if you’re concerned about excessive screen time, you should create a schedule that will work for your family. This may include limiting your child to the kinds of screens that they use, setting screen-time limits for the week and creating guidelines on what they can do.

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Here are some guidelines for reasonable screen time :

–Children that are younger than 18 months should not have screen time, they should only video chat.

–If you introduce your 18-24 month old child to screen time, make sure to find co-play, co-view, and high-quality programming.

–Children aged 2-5 should have limited screen time of 1 hour daily.

–Children aged 6 and above should be encouraged to have healthy habits, and to limit their activities that include a screen.

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The Importance of Screen Time Rules for Kids

In an age where digital devices have become ubiquitous, parents find themselves facing a new challenge: how to manage their children’s screen time. Screens are everywhere, serving as tools for learning, sources of entertainment, and platforms for social interaction. But too much screen time can have negative consequences, such as sleep issues, decreased physical activity, and potential exposure to inappropriate content. Consequently, setting up screen time rules for kids has become an essential aspect of modern parenting.

Balancing Screen Time with Other Activities

One of the primary concerns with excessive screen time is that it often comes at the expense of other crucial activities like physical exercise, reading, and quality family time. Therefore, it’s important to set limits that encourage a balanced lifestyle. For instance, parents can make rules like no screens during meals or an hour before bedtime. This helps kids develop better sleep habits and ensures that they’re engaged during family activities.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines

Setting age-appropriate guidelines is another vital factor to consider. Younger kids, particularly those under the age of 5, are still developing critical physical and cognitive skills that require a variety of activities and interactions. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 2 to 5 should have no more than one hour of screen time per day and that it should involve high-quality programs that are educational and interactive. For older kids and teenagers, the focus should be on the quality of the content and how it fits into their daily routine rather than setting a specific time limit.

Parental Controls and Monitoring

Parental controls are software tools that allow you to control what content your kids can access. They can be highly useful in ensuring that your children are not exposed to inappropriate material. Some platforms even provide detailed reports about what your kids are watching or playing, giving you better insight into how they’re spending their screen time. However, it’s essential to remember that technology is not a substitute for parental supervision. Ongoing conversations about online safety and responsible behavior are crucial for helping kids understand the importance of boundaries in the digital world.

Involving Kids in the Decision-Making Process

When setting up screen time rules, it’s beneficial to involve your kids in the decision-making process. This gives them a sense of ownership and makes them more likely to follow the rules. Let them have a say in choosing which shows to watch or games to play within the limits you set. This encourages them to make more informed choices and helps them understand the rationale behind the restrictions.

Screen-Free Zones

Creating screen-free zones in the home can also contribute to reducing screen time. For example, keeping TVs and computers out of bedrooms can discourage binge-watching and promote better sleep hygiene. Similarly, declaring the dining room a screen-free zone encourages more meaningful family interactions during meals.

In today’s digital world, setting screen time rules for kids is not just about limiting their access to screens but about teaching them how to use technology responsibly. Through balanced time management, age-appropriate guidelines, parental controls, and open communication, parents can help their children develop a healthier relationship with digital devices. Remember, the goal is not to eliminate screen time but to make it a part of a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.

–Create a media plan for the family, including rules, that will be enforced for the kids that are older.

–During outings and family meals, turn off all smartphones and tablets.

–Learn about parental controls and use them.

–Don’t use smartphones and tablets as babysitters, to stop tantrums, and as pacifiers.

30-60 minutes before bedtime, make sure to turn off the screens and remove them from your kid’s bedroom.

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It’s never to late or early to develop a screen-time plan for your family. Let the kids get involved and let them share their concerns and ideas. Screens can offer positives too, and after all, they are here to stay. Here are some tips to keep in mind :

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–Encourage your kids to get involved with physical activities such as hobbies, sports, art, and music- that don’t involve screen-time.

–Teach your kids about online safety and privacy.

–Decide actively when your kids are ready to have a personal device.

–Consider your kid or teen’s habits and maturity, there is no specific right plan. This is because a plan that’s a good fit for one family, may not be a good fit for another.

–Lead by example with your own healthy and safe screen habits.

–Encourage ways of building connection and creativity with family and friends when using screens.

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It’s possible to have healthy and positive screen-time use with the proper consistency and guidance.

Check out these printables for kids!

  • Silly Questions To Ask Kids: Free Printable Sheet
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Kids Screen Time Printable

I’ve got two fun pages for you today including a screen time punch card and a screen time rules sheet that will help you and the kids keep track of how much screen time they are consuming!

Download the Screen Time Rules PDF Sheet Here

Download the Screen Time Punch Card PDF Sheet Here

Found this printable helpful? Check out these Browser Hacks and Tips to Make Internet Safe for Kids!

How much screen time do you give your children?

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Kid's Screen Time Rules and Punchcards (Free Printable) (2024)


What rules do you follow for your kids screen time? ›

Setting limits for older children

Create tech-free zones or times, such as during mealtime or one night a week. Discourage use of media entertainment during homework. Set and enforce daily or weekly screen time limits and curfews, such as no exposure to devices or screens one hour before bedtime.

How long should a 12 year old have screen time? ›

11-12 years: Time for a weekly budget

90 minutes a day maximum – this is the expert advice for kids on the verge of puberty.

Should a 14 year old have screen time limit? ›

What parent hasn't tried to wrestle their teenager's phone away from them? For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended a maximum of two hours' screen time a day. Any more, it warned, and your child could get obese, sleep deprived and depressed.

What age should parents stop using screen time? ›

Between 18 and 24 months screen time should be limited to watching educational programming with a caregiver. For children 2-5, limit non-educational screen time to about 1 hour per weekday and 3 hours on the weekend days. For ages 6 and older, encourage healthy habits and limit activities that include screens.

What is the policy for screen time? ›

Avoid screen media for infants or toddlers younger than age 2, and limit the amount of time older children watch or use media. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children preschool-age and older should have no more than two hours of total screen time per day.

What are the four C's of parenting? ›

The Four Cs are Choices, Consequences, Consistency and Compassion, and each is as important as the next, and none can be left out of effective parenting.

What are the symptoms of too much screen time? ›

Excessive screen usage can also lead to problems in social-emotional development, including obesity, sleep disturbances, depression, and anxiety. It can impair emotional comprehension, promote aggressive behavior, and hinder social and emotional competence.

How many hours of screen time is unhealthy? ›

For instance, this study found that those spending six hours or more per day watching screens had a higher risk for depression, and this study found that limiting social media use to 30 minutes per day lead to a "significant improvement in well-being." The type and quality of screen time also play a role.

Does TV count as screen time? ›

“Screen time” refers to any time spent looking at a screen. How much screen time is ok for my child? Advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that children should have TV free days, or have a two hour limit on the time spent in front of screens.

Should a 17 year old have screen time limits? ›

Screen time can impact on myopia development and progression, and is also linked to dry eye syndrome, digital eyestrain, and poor head and neck postures which can cause pain. Teenagers are recommended to have no more than 2 hours of sedentary, recreational screen time per day.

Is screen time making children lazy? ›

Too much screen time also disrupts your child's sleep, which can cause mood disturbance and cognitive issues. A child behind the screen has less time for active, creative play and exercise, putting them at greater risk for obesity and emotional issues.

Why shouldn't parents limit screen time? ›

When it's restricted your child is more likely to binge, hyper-focus, get anxious or sneak time when you're not watching. They can never fully relax and enjoy their play or viewing because they will be worried that it will be taken away.

Is screen time bad for ADHD kids? ›

Excessive screen exposure may significantly contribute to the development of ADHD in children. Therefore, it is necessary to reduce screen time per day in children to prevent the occurrence of ADHD.

Do parental controls turn off at 13? ›

On the day they turn 13, children can choose whether they want to manage their own Google Account or continue to have their parent manage it for them. As a parent, you can also choose to remove supervision at any time when the child is over the age of 13.

What happens to Apple ID when child turns 13? ›

Once your child reaches the age of 13 (or equivalent minimum age depending on jurisdiction), they will be permitted to maintain their account without participating in Family Sharing.

What are the nice guidelines for screen time for children? ›

“Screen time” refers to any time spent looking at a screen. How much screen time is ok for my child? Advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that children should have TV free days, or have a two hour limit on the time spent in front of screens.

What are the recommended guidelines for screen time? ›

National guidelines for screen time

Across a 24-hour period, they recommend: infants younger than 2 have no screen time. children aged 2-5 have no more than one hour per day. children and young people aged between 5-17 years have less than 2 hours a day of sedentary recreational screen time.

What are the CDC guidelines for screen time? ›

The CDC advises parents to not give any screen time to children under the age of 2. The CDC asks parents to remove TVs from a child's bedroom and limit screen time to 1-2 hours daily for children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Who guidelines on screen time for children? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) screen time guidelines recommend no screen time for infants and toddlers up to age 2 years (World Health Organization, 2019), and<1 h/day for children aged 2–4 years (World Health Organization, 2019).

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