Educational Benefits of Screen Time

We look at how, if with moderation and the correct media plan, screen time can actually serve as an educational tool for helping our children develop and learn.

Screen time is something that is here to stay and we cannot avoid the fact that our children's lives will ever increasingly be influenced by technology and media. But what we can do is empower our children to use their time online and in front of a screen effectively.

All screen use is not equal.

Michael Robb, report author and senior director of research at Common Sense Media

Educational but not obviously educational 

We have access to unlimited content with the evolution of streaming services, content creators and social media. Finding a show that is both educational and entertaining can be a game changer when viewed in moderation. As parents we understand the dilemma, and we’ve done a lot of research on screen time guidance. We wanted to find ways to integrate education into our normal routines so if we’re putting the TV on, we’ll find a show with an educational element, or if we’re giving our children and younger relatives a phone or tablet we’ll give them something where they can be actively engaged.

As parents, we know it can seem like finding a needle in a haystack, wanting to find something educational but not too educational that your child will want to engage with. Which is why when we started to create our rhymes and stories we made sure they were funny and captured kids' attention. The good news is that through thorough research we’ve found evidence that screen time can have a positive influence. With the right media plan and controlled usage, screen time can be beneficial to children.

Language and social skills

“Beginning at about 2 years, quality TV—well-designed, age-appropriate programs with specific educational goals—can provide an additional route to early language and literacy for children” [1] a Canadian Paediatric Society 2017 study has shown. The study also found that quality digital content can enhance social skills for children aged 2 years and older. [1]

In addition to TV shows, apps have been found to also support educational development for children. In a 2020 review The American Academy of Paediatric found evidence of a learning benefit when interactive apps were used for early academic skills was found across multiple studies, particularly for early mathematics learning in typically developing children. [2] Over the last few years there has been an increase in schools using technology like this to support maths and reading.

Even gaming has been found to help improve reading abilities in children who do not enjoy reading. The Literacy Trust report “3 in 5 (59.5%) video game players feel a greater sense of immersion in a story when playing video games compared with book-based texts. This increases to almost three quarters (73.1%) of young people who say that they do not enjoy reading, suggesting that video games play a role as an access point into the world of stories, particularly for young people that don’t enjoy reading.” [3]

Future learning

More than ever before, children have access to all human knowledge at the touch of a button. Having that kind of accessibility opens up endless opportunities to children more than ever before and helps break down social barriers that may have hindered certain children in the past. Recent research found strong evidence that children are utilising their screen time to explore and enhance their understanding of any topic they find interesting.

Having access to the internet has led to an increase in independent learning outside of school. While looking into the effects of the pandemic on tweens & teens media use, Common Sense Media found “almost four in five 8- to 18-year-olds went online to learn— outside of school. Young people used digital tools as a way to keep learning, creating, and sharing their creativity and interests during the pandemic. Seventy-eight percent went online to learn how to do something they were interested in[4]

Like anything else, screen time is a powerful tool when used correctly. As data continues to be collected and studied, our understanding of the benefits of screen time will only improve.

We purposefully created stories for digital devices. For parents who want to access captivating stories at home or on the go. Many of our members use their phones to have story time.


[1] Screen time and young children: Promoting health and development in a digital world | Oxford University Press

[2] Apps As Learning Tools: A Systematic Review | American Academy of Pediatrics

[3] Video game playing and literacy: a survey of young people aged 11 to 16 | The Literacy Trust

[4] The Role Of Media During The Pandemic: Connection, Creativity, And Learning For Tweens And Teens | Common Sense Media

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