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What to Do with Unplanned Time Off

What to do when your kids have an unexpected school closure.

You still need to work, but your kids suddenly have nothing scheduled—and right now, it could be for an extended period. The easiest solution, of course, is to drop a device into their hands, but doing so can be harmful to them in the long run, as research has shown that extended screen use for children can lead to unhealthy habits and lifestyles.

We’ve got a few tips to help limit screen time during some unscheduled time off from school:

  1. Set the tone. The rules still apply and screens aren’t a replacement for school. Let them know that they don’t just get to use screens whenever they want.

  2. Lead by example. Hold yourself to the same standard as your kids. Circle’s Time Limits let you set a screen time schedule, so when time’s up, it’s devices down. If you’re working from home, let your kids know that you are required to be on a screen for work and give them other options for things to do.

  3. Activities! Give your kids alternative things to do besides jumping on their phones, tablets, or consoles. Reading books, art, board games, or taking care of pets can help pass the time. (Check out our list of 60 simple ideas for family fun if you need inspiration!

  4. Take some time off. This is the perfect time to hang out with them. Jump in on a board game or other family activity, or just hang out and catch up, offline.

  5. Screen-free zones. Make sure you have set areas where screens aren’t allowed, such as bedrooms or the dinner table. With Circle, you can Pause the Internet® to make sure everyone has devices down at dinnertime.

  6. Give them a to-do list. There’s always stuff to get done around the house, so giving your kids a to-do list will also make the time fly. As an added bonus, write a time value next to each task (for example: five minutes for taking out the trash, 30 minutes for cleaning the bathroom, and so on) and use Circle Rewards to give them a couple extra minutes on their favorite device.

While screens can be a convenient solution, letting it get out of hand is all too easy. Find out more about what you can do to help avoid screen time addiction in our Resources, and you can pick up a Circle here.

Have more ideas? Share them with us on social media!


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