Last month I shared a new website my kids and I love called Animal Jam. Not only does it have an awesome online “playground,” but they offer a LOT of amazing free resources… printables with coloring pages and connect-the-dots, science experiments, crafts, educational sheets on animals, and more. Endless hours of fun (and learning)!
Last month we painted rocks from our yard to look like ladybugs, while we chatted about them and other insects. This month has been very busy with Ryan starting preschool, but he loves to sit at my laptop and play on the Animal Jam website. Especially after coming home from a busy day at school, it’s something he does to rest a bit.
Do you manage your child’s screen time? We love Animal Jam and how educational it is, but felt Ryan still needed to limit his time on the screen. I’m all about the positives and instead of “taking away,” I wanted to “give” the screen time and allow Ryan to earn it. Then it’s extra special to him AND it helps determine how much the screen time really means to him, because he has to work for it
“How to earn screen time” free printable
free printable: CLICK to open the full size & right-click to download
It’s really easy to earn screen time with typical toddler chores around your home. I used our common chores, tried to name them more open-ended for everyone to use, and made it into a FREE printable for you. I left the minutes area blank so you can determine what works for YOU. There are checkboxes because it’s half the fun for your kid to mark off their accomplishments!
If you choose to use my printable, chat with your child about what each of these will mean for you. “Pick up toys” could just mean clean their bedroom or it could mean anywhere in the house they’ve left out toys. “Set and/or clear the table?” Circle the “and” or the one task you’d like them to complete. “Use manners” could mean playing nicely with siblings, helping out mom during cooking, or remembering to use “please” and “thank you.” You get the point–make this work for you.
The Animal Jam interactive playground is awesome. I WANT Ryan to earn his screen time because I love watching and listening to him play. Your kids will get to go through the whole process of choosing their animal and naming it. We’ve created 2 accounts because Ryan has wanted two different animals (or, probably more likely, two different funny names, haha).
There’s Explorer Kookybear! Ryan thinks it’s COOKIE Bear You can see all the other online players, too! Ryan’s other player is Pioneer Zanypirate (the Monkey).
And if Ryan doesn’t earn enough screen time to play Animal Jam as long as he wants? We head to their other awesome resources. Check their Pinterest page for boards FULL of free printables and the Animal Jam Academy for more ideas. These are also great for Ryan’s little 2-year-old sister that can’t play the online playground… she can stay busy coloring the pages of animals she sees on Ryan’s screen!
Written in partnership with Animal Jam. Any opinions are my own!