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
  • Free Printable Age Appropriate Chores Chart For Kids
  • Mindfulness Activities For Kids | Free Printable
  • How To Help Kids Talk About BIG Feelings (Free Printable)

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)


How much screen time is healthy for a 12 year old? ›

Yousuf said pediatricians generally recommend the following guidelines: Under 2 years old: Zero screen time, except for video chatting with family or friends. 2-5 years old: No more than one hour per day co-viewing with a parent or sibling. 5-17 years old: Generally no more than two hours per day, except for homework.

What is the average screen time for a 10 year old? ›

8 - 12 years old

The American Academy of Child Psychiatry (AACP) says that on average, children ages 8-12 spend 4-6 hours each day watching or using screens. But rather than take a one-size fits all approach, the AACP and AAP recommend you talk to your kids about how much they use or watch screens.

How long should a 14 year old have screen time? ›

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.

What are the rules for kids and screens? ›

Developing screen time rules

If you introduce digital media to children ages 18 to 24 months, make sure it's high quality and avoid solo media use. For children ages 2 to 5, limit screen time to one hour a day of high-quality programming. As your child grows, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work as well.

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? ›

What's a healthy amount of screen time for adults? Experts say adults should limit screen time outside of work to less than two hours per day. Any time beyond that which you would typically spend on screens should instead be spent participating in physical activity.

Does TV count as screen time? ›

"Screen time" is a term used for activities done in front of a screen, such as watching TV, working on a computer, or playing video games. Screen time is a sedentary activity, meaning you are being physically inactive while sitting down. Very little energy is used during screen time.

What is the CDC recommendation for screen time by age? ›

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.

What are the negative effects of screen time on children? ›

Research has shown that screen time inhibits young children's ability to read faces and learn social skills, two key factors needed to develop empathy. Face-to-face interactions are the only way young children learn to understand non-verbal cues and interpret them.

Should I check my 14 year old's phone? ›

The phone plan is probably in your name and you probably bought the electronic devices. But even if not, you have every right and responsibility to check them if you've been given cause to do so because you have the right and obligation to keep your home safe, your child safe, and your other children safe.

What time should a 13 year old go to bed? ›

3-5 years old: should go to sleep between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. 6-12 years old: should go to sleep between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. 13-18 years old: should go to sleep around 10:00 pm. Bare in mind that once puberty hits, it will be difficult for teenagers to fall asleep until around 11 pm.

Is 12 hr screen time bad? ›

Yes, that is too much. According to research studies, 2–4 hours of daily screen time is the perfect amount. This will help you maintain a healthy balance, both for your physical body (your eyes especially) and your mental state.

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.

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.

What are healthy screen time rules for kids? ›

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these acceptable amount of screen time limits:
  • No screen time for children under 2.
  • One hour per day for children 2 to 12.
  • Two hours per day for teens and adults.
Apr 17, 2023

How many hours should a 12 year old watch phone? ›

from 12 years: about 14 hours per week

Especially as teens usually spend a lot of time out and about with their own smartphones. Two hours a day or 14 hours per week are considered to be reasonably realistic maximum mark.

How to limit screen time for a 12 year old? ›

5 tips to help your pre-teen balance screen time
  1. Set boundaries to help them build good online habits. ...
  2. Stay engaged in what they do online. ...
  3. Equip them with know-how to manage risks online. ...
  4. Give them the space to become digitally resilient. ...
  5. Encourage them to review when and how they use their screen time with tools.

How long should a 12 year old be on the phone? ›

According to the AHA (American Heart Association) survey, the average screen time for 12-year-olds is more than 7 hours per day. Note that this research covers kids between 8 to 18 years. Because of this finding, the organization urges parents to limit their kid's screen time to at least 2 hours per day.

How much game time should a 12 year old have? ›

How many hours of video games should a 12-year-old play? The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children over 6 should spend no more than 60 minutes gaming on school days and 2 hours on non-school days.


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