Parenting / 15 March, 2022 / Ellie Thompson

Why Screen Time Can Be Hugely Beneficial To Our Kids

Screen time is prone to having a bad rep in the world of parenting, but there are genuine benefits to screen time – in moderation. Learning to prioritise the quality and quantity of screen time can be tricky, but we’ve teamed up with Samsung to bring you some handy tips that can help.

How much screen time should my child be allowed?

A study by the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University conducted in partnership with Cardiff University and Cambridge University, found that moderate levels of screen time can benefit children’s wellbeing and mental health.

Experts recommend that children under five years of age should spend less than an hour a day using screens, while kids aged five to 17 should limit their daily screen time to two hours. Sonia Livingstone points out that “…rather than worrying about the catch-all notion of ‘screen time,’ it might be better to focus on whether, when and why particular digital activities help or harm individual children.”

Types of screen time

According to The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, there are four main categories of screen time. And you’ve guessed it, it’s all about finding the right balance between each digital activity and making sure all online activity is age-appropriate.

  1. Passive consumption: watching TV, reading, and listening to music
  2. Interactive consumption: playing games and browsing the Internet
  3. Communication: video-chatting and using social media
  4. Content creation: using devices to make digital art or music

According to child development expert Dr. Jacqueline Harding, screen time should always be:

  • Empowering: enables the child to feel confident and as independent as possible in their developing abilities within a safe digital environment
  • Engaging: causes the child to be motivated and inspired
  • Stimulating: encourages the child to feel curious to learn more
  • Safe: provides the child with the space to explore the digital experience at no risk

Samsung Galaxy Tab8 Ultra

If you’re shopping for a tablet for your older child, the Samsung Galaxy Tab8 Ultra is a great shout. As well as being brilliant value for money, its impressive battery life, vibrant 14.6-inch display and sophisticated features make this tablet a brilliant choice for tweens and teens.

The Galaxy Tab 8 is home to lots of educational apps and tools that’ll teach children new skills and enhance others. There’s Clip Studio Paint to bring out your natural artist and S PenWrite, for sketching, doodling and drawing all your wildest ideas. Add a keyboard and transform the tablet into a full-blown laptop so they can use it for homework assignments too.

Parental controls

Choosing a device for your child is an important decision, and setting parental controls is a must. With Samsung, it’s all made easy.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab products can be managed with the Kids Mode app, which provides children with age-appropriate content while allowing parents to restrict access to apps and stored media content on the device. You can restrict your child’s app usage by setting up parental controls through Google’s Family Link app. Once you do, you’ll be able to prevent them from accessing certain apps and also keep an eye on how long they use their phone or tablet.

And if they need to swap to laptop mode, that’s easy. With an optional keyboard and bundled S Pen, the Tab S8 Ultra works just like a laptop, and despite its size, it’s lightweight, sleek and slim.

Quality and quantity of screen time

Try to resist treating the internet as a solo activity and get involved with what they’re up to online. Do your research and download high-quality programmes and apps. If you’ve got younger kids, use the tablet together, co-view, co-play and look for fun ways to interact with online content.

And for the parents of older kids, it’s time to have a conversation about what’s going on online. Be aware of what they’re doing and discuss the apps they’re using.

Mother of three and author of Raising a Screen-Smart Kid: Embrace the Good and Avoid the Bad in the Digital Age Julianna Miner compares screen time to nutrition. “… There’s like digital broccoli and digital ice cream… It really depends on what the child is using the screens for. For example, reading on an e-reader is definitely digital broccoli. And while you don’t want your kid to overdo it on broccoli because they’re going to have an upset stomach, the amount of broccoli that you’re going to allow them to eat every day is going to be far greater than the junk food, right?”

Six reasons screen time is actually great for our kids

Screen time and digital technology is a great way for kids to learn new skills. When used strategically in moderation, evidence suggests that screen time can help develop problem-solving, cognitive, creative, social and communication skills.

Development of fine motor skills

Internet Matters reports that “Interacting with computers improves both visual intelligence and hand-eye coordination.”

Problem-solving skills

Video games and apps can inspire learning and enhance critical thinking skills without kids even realising that they’re learning.

Social skills

In spite of what you may think, screen time can actually benefit your child’s mental and emotional wellbeing, and help develop important social skills. According to Internet Matters, “technology takes away physical barriers to social connections, which is important for children who find it hard to make friends or have special interests or special needs.”

According to Miner, gaming can be a really meaningful social outlet. “They’re connecting with friends and community and interacting in many of the same ways they would in person. But they’re doing it like living room to living room, as opposed to in the backyard or at the park. And they still have all those needs to express, like feeling rambunctious and powerful and getting their aggression out.”

School Readiness

Screen time can be a great learning tool for little ones, so it’s OK to embrace the digital world at an early age. There are lots of educational apps and games that can help prepare your child for starting school. And access to a tablet or a laptop is a must for kids from year one onwards, with websites such as Top Marks and Phonics Play being widely recommended by teachers.


Screen time exposes kids to a variety of unique experiences that can promote creativity. Digital art, photography and music apps or learning how to code a game are great examples of how screen time encourages creativity and foster imagination.

Literacy and communication skills

Screen time isn’t just about Netflix, YouTube and Disney, oh no! Screen time gives kids the chance to embrace the wonderful world of narrative in the form of e-books and audiobooks, with an endless supply of literature. And that’s not all. Email, notes, Word and Google Docs are all great examples of how screen time can promote literacy and communication skills.

Setting limits to screen time

Setting limits is really important. We all know what it’s like to spend hours on end glued to a device. Children find screen time equally addictive. Create a good balance between online and offline and explain the benefits of both. It’s all about finding balancing screen time with other activities to benefit your child’s learning and development.

Implementing limits and boundaries can be challenging for parents and children. It’s important that your child understands why the restrictions are in place or they may interpret the limitation as a punishment. Internet Matters have created some fantastic resources with the help of Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos to guide parents in teaching children how to stay safe online.

Shop now

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In The Spotlight

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is a great choice if you’re in the market for a tablet-laptop combo for kids. There are three tablets in the Tab S8 series to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that fits the bill. Perfect for streaming, homework and playing games, the tablet is brimming with super-cool features and state-of-the-art tech. With superior, easy-to-use parental controls, the Galaxy Tab S8 series is an incredible kid-friendly range that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Save up to £200 on the Galaxy S8 Series* Plus get a free Keyboard worth up to £299**. Offer valid from 15.03.23 to 11.04.23.

*Purchase from by 11.04.23. T&Cs apply. **Purchase from by 27.03.23. Free keyboard automatically added to basket with qualifying items. While stocks last.


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