Screens are ubiquitous in our modern life. Whether it’s paying for a coffee, booking a taxi, or ordering shopping, a significant majority of our daily tasks are now done digitally.
And the same is true for our children. For both playing and learning, screens now play a key role. There are a multitude of benefits to this. Educational TV content has been shown to help improve behaviour, literacy, and cognitive skills for three to five year olds. Video games can benefit motor skills and coordination, and online communication platforms - when used safely - can be a great way to socialise and communicate. Digital technology, including screens, can be hugely beneficial.
So why is Voxblock screen free then?
Well, while we realise the merits of screens, we also believe that at times they invade spaces where they don’t belong.
The NHS recommends having designated screen free times and locations for children, and we wholeheartedly agree. Screen time in the lead up to sleep, for people of any age, has been shown to increase brain activity, at a time when you want to be winding down. Audiobooks are a great way to relax kids before bed, but screens can do the opposite.
Increased exposure to screens for preschool aged children has also been associated with attention span issues. Audiobooks have been shown to be hugely beneficial in developing decoding and comprehension skills, but to do so, children need to be able to concentrate on the story. Our worry is that listening to an audiobook on a screen-based device, not only enables, but encourages distraction.
We don’t hate screens, we just think they are best when balanced with lots of offline activity too. And an audiobook doesn’t need a screen. It really is that simple.
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