Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Screen Time Reward Tokens

  • “This post was sponsored by Nintendo as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

As a parent, I think it can be easy to demonize technology. All of our kids have thrown a tantrum or two about a game they wanted to play. It is easy to feel frustrated and want to cut it out of your life. I have tried to cut it out completely more than once and it has led to fights and hurt feelings. I have decided instead of focusing on my frustrations, I wanted to embrace technology. Find ways to bring it into our house in good ways.

The biggest thing we have done is created these tech minutes. There are tokens and a tracking page. Each kid is allowed to earn as many minutes as they want, after all of their daily chores and homework are done. You can download the printables at the end of this post.

I printed both the tracker and the chips, cut out the chips and then laminated them. I use a dry erase marker to fill in the sheet with extra chores the kids can do to earn minutes and how many minutes they will earn if they complete the chore. You can customize the chores and minutes earned to each child so you can change the difficulty as needed. Each chore has to be checked off by me and then I give her a tech minute chip that she can exchange when she wants for extra game time. In our house, tech minutes can't be redeemed at bed time or before homework is done, but can be redeemed anytime during their free time.

In our house, minutes are only earned after their daily chores are done. They don't receive minutes for cleaning their room or doing their homework, but after those things are done they can work for minutes. Here are some of the things we do in our house to earn minutes.

Ideas for earning minutes: 

  • Unloading/Loading Dishwasher
  • Sweeping
  • Mopping
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Cleaning Mirrors
  • Fold Laundry
  • Put Away Laundry
  • Mow the Lawn
  • Water Plants
  • Pull Weeds
  • Set The Table
  • Wash Windowsills
  • Wash Light Switches
  • Wash baseboards
  • Take Out Trash
  • Clean Microwave
  • Play with siblings (My daughter isn't old enough to babysit, so we have her play with her sister while parents work.) 

Another way we have changed how we use technology in our house is we thoroughly vet each game we bring in. I want to know my kids are playing something good without having to stand over their shoulder all the time. Our go to game is Yo-Kai Watch. This game was recommended to us by a friend and since we have had it in our home, our daughter has literally not put another game into her DS.

A Yo-Kai is a fun little mischievous friend that love to play tricks. Have you ever lost your keys? Maybe a Yo-Kai is to blame. In this game, your child tracks down Yo-Kai, catches them and turns them into teams to battle the other Yo-Kai. My daughter loves catching and naming her little friends. Yo-Kai Watch was originally created into Japan and it turned into a huge phenomenon. It is just now available in the United States and is made for the Nintendo 2DS and 3Ds.

As a parent, I have been really impressed with this game. It is just good clean fun. As a kid, my daughter is obsessed with this game. She willing does chores so she can turn in more tokens and play a little bit longer. 

I feel like we have struck a pretty good balance with technology in our house. We use it, love it, but don't let it control us. Between good games like Yo-Kai Watch and these tech minutes charts we are hitting the right tempo for our family. 

How do you use technology in your house?

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Tech Minutes Chart
Tech Minutes Chips

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