Kids are spending more time on screens now than ever before.
According to Common Sense Media, kids between the ages of 8-12 average just under 5 hours of screen time per day — and that’s not including time spent online doing schoolwork. Their research also determined that 53% of kids get their first smartphone by age 11. The article linked above showed many surprising statistics surrounding media consumption in children.
And this was all as of 2019. Those numbers have likely increased in the last few years, especially during the height of COVID.
What are the ramifications of kids spending so much time in front of a screen each day?
A 2021 study revealed a startling link between the increase of screen time and mental health symptoms. Essentially, the more time kids spent on screens, the more anxious and depressed they were. That’s just a broad overview, but it’s research well worth reading.
So what can parents do? We live in a digital world. It’s not like we can ban all screens in our home. Even if we could, we can’t necessarily stop our kids from using screens at school.
We’d be doing kids a disservice if we didn’t expose them to technology and institute healthy screen time limits. Avoiding the issue doesn’t fix it. It actually makes it worse. Kids will grow up into adults who don’t know how to manage their time on technology.
The solution, as mentioned above, is healthy screen time limits.
What does that mean exactly? There is no “one size fits all” answer. Each family is unique and what’s right for your family may not be right for someone else’s.
Basically, kids need face time with family and friends, fresh air, physical activity, and plenty of sleep. If they’re spending every waking minute in front of a screen, those things aren’t happening.
If you’re looking for creative ways to keep kids entertained without screens, Pinna is the answer.
Bonus: podcasts and audiobooks offer excellent mood-boosting benefits for kids feeling sad or stressed.
8 Podcasts and Audiobooks for Awesome Kids Having a Tough Time
1. The Escape Series
The Escape series is Pinna’s debut collection of voice-activated adventure podcasts: Escape the Marshmallow Dream Forest, Escape the Haunted House, and Escape the Sinking Ship. The titles in this series are short and sweet and perfect for a distraction at a stressful doctor’s appointment or when your kiddo needs a break between homework assignments.
2. Dream Breachers
Dream Breachers is an immersive experience that will transport your child to an incredible new world. It’s narrated by a talented cast of voice actors and the sound effects are top notch. The audio is so good, you can almost see the story playing out right before your eyes. Plus, there are two full seasons to binge the next time your child needs an escape from life’s daily stressors.
3. The Start
When your little one is having a hard time, sometimes the best thing you can do is help them get out of their head. The Start is one way to do that. This podcast features soundscapes — or audio “prompts” — that can be the jumping-off point for a story, a poem, a song, or even a play. When your child engages their imagination, their focus shifts from the things they’re worried about to the positive stories they can create.
4. Anytime Art
Art is a therapeutic outlet for many people. Like The Start, Anytime Art allows your child to get out of their head and create something beautiful. Anytime Art has 10 different projects to choose from and each lesson is led by Sasha, an art teacher who guides with a compelling voice and a kind heart.
5. Phobia Chat
They say the only thing to fear is fear itself. And they say knowledge is power. Who are they, anyway? Oh well…no matter. Phobia Chat is a Pinna Original podcast with bite size episodes discussing the different types of fears, or phobias, that exist in the world. Maybe your kiddo will hear their phobia explained and gain a better understanding of the way their brain works.
6. HiLL-LaRRy-uS! Jokes Every Day
According to Mayo Clinic, laughter really is the best medicine for managing stress. And Pinna has plenty of funny content to choose from. HiLL-LaRRy-uS! Jokes Every Day is a podcast featuring a silly joke for every day of the year — and more. You can’t help but laugh when listening to HiLL-LaRRy-uS!
7. The I Survived Series
When kids are going through a difficult time, no matter the circumstances, it can be helpful to hear stories of other kids who have faced challenging situations and come out the other side. The I Survived books feature fictional characters who live through many of the biggest disasters in known history. Listening to stories from the viewpoint of these characters can offer both encouragement and a fresh perspective.
- I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
- I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916
- I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
- I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944
- I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011
- I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011
- I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
- I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871
- I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980
- I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, A.D. 79
- I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
- I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
- I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001
- I Survived the American Revolution, 1776
- I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
8. Bedtime Explorers
When we’re stressed, sleep doesn’t always come easy. Mindfulness and meditation are proven practices to help relax the body and brain — and as a bonus, they are known to improve sleep. Check out Bedtime Explorers for a gentle podcast to lull your little one drift off to dreamland. Want to try mediation at other times of the day? Check out Daytime Explorers, Relax and Be Happy, and Peace Out for a bit more variety.
Pinna is an excellent tool for screen-free learning and fun all year round. Keep your kids engaged and entertained with Pinna’s comprehensive and growing library.
We’re all ears!