In this hyper-personalized, autoplaying, all-you-can-eat mediascape, it helps to distinguish the healthy stuff from the junk. Fortnite? Probably not a great form of screen time. Is video chatting with grandma? What family-unifying wonders hath Jobs wrought! Screen time, then, has become a slippery concept. Does typing a paper in Google Docs count? What about using a mapping app? Fortunately, researchers are beginning to study screen-based media in all its forms, instead of just lumping everything together like they used to. Some types of screen fare are like sugar: Limit consumption, especially before bedtime, and watch for signs of overindulgence—obesity, aggression, grade slippage. Others are more like proteins and veggies: Make sure kids get a balanced diet that includes exercise, IRL socializing, snoozing, and yes, screens. Above all, though, know thy child—some kids might be more vulnerable to the latest offering from Epic Games than others.
1. USE SPARINGLY
Screens Before Bed
Cortisol-spiking content and melatonin-suppressing blue light impair sleep.
This reduces the number of words adults utter, potentially stunting kids’ language development.
Screens During Mealtime
The habit is linked to overeating as well as delayed social and language skills, due to missing out on family conversations.
2. USE OCCASIONALLY
To reduce the risk of kids stumbling onto iffy content, turn Autoplay off and Restricted Mode on.
First-Person Shooter Videogames
While violent media is linked to aggression, boys who abstain from videogames report more social isolation.
Most teens say social media helps them feel more connected to friends, although heavy use has been linked to depression and anxiety. Apps like RescueTime can help kids reflect on their screen use.
3. USE MODERATELY
Ebooks with lots of bells and whistles tend to reduce comprehension but may help kids who would otherwise lose interest.
For age-appropriate content, consult independent review sites like Common Sense Media.
Shows like The Wiggles and YouTube channels like Kidz Bop encourage children to dance.
Older exergaming consoles like Wii and Kinect, and newer games like Beat Saber and Rec Room, can help kids break a sweat.
4. USE FREELY
Video Chats With Family
While kids age 2 and under have a poor ability to learn from 2D sources, pediatricians approve of video chats starting at 18 months.
Sesame Street viewers got higher grades and were less likely to be held back; co-viewing can spark conversation and help kids critically evaluate messages.
Skill Building and Creating
Free resources like ScratchJr and Codecademy teach kids coding. Plus, iMovie, Wattpad, and Roblox are great creative tools.
Activist groups like the Harry Potter Alliance and others can foster “positive deviance”—uncommon behaviors that help solve problems.
Music, Audiobooks, and Podcasts
Actively engaging with music—singing, dancing, clapping along—can boost creativity, language development, and mood.
Shangri-La’s Little Chiefs Club is for children aged between 4 and 12 years old. The club is free for guests. Children aged under 4 need a babysitter or parent. There are different activities arranged each day based on two age groups 4-8-year-olds and 9-12-year-olds. Activities take place at the kids club or at the children’s pool, on the beach or at the children’s playground. The Little Chiefs Club is open every day from 9 am to 12noon and 1 pm to 5 pm.
Plantation Island has the ‘Coconut Club,’ a free kids club for guests. When you first visit the club, you get a free t-shirt which the kids get to decorate. The club is for kids aged 4 to 11 with kids under 4 requiring a babysitter or parent to attend. The club is open daily from 9 am to 1 pm, 2 pm to 5 pm and 6.30pm till 9 pm. The kids club room has a ball pit, jumping castle and TV and the activities feature a mixture of traditional games combined with Fijian cultural activities