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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Masshole Mommy said...

My boys have an allotted time on school days, but mine are older so that is basically their only fun in life these days.

Margaret Gallagher said...

Our favourite game is mine craft so much fun and learning tool too

Anonymous said...

I would have loved this when I was a kid! It makes it more fun to clean and be rewarded versus just cleaning!

Kait said...

I love the concept of earning minutes! I don't have children, but I love that parents like you get creative with having their kids learn about what it means to earn their "treats", whether it's a game, TV time, etc. Kudos to YOU, I think this rocks.

Hil'Lesha O'Nan said...

My son doesn't play video games much as he used to, but I love this idea! I'll have to keep it in mind.

Mary Madalene said...

I know my oldest would love to play that new anime game~ She is into Pokemon and I know this would be right up her alley

Monica Maloney Heidler said...

This is a great way to teach children to appreciate what they have. If they earn it they appreciate it more and other things that come in life. it's sad to see some who feel they are entitled to these privledges.

Veronica Pototska said...

The idea of earning as many minutes as they like is brilliant! I will share it with my friends who already have kids, I think it might become a good solution for many people

Author TP Keane said...

I've always gotten my kids to work for their rewards too. It create a sense of achievement for them, but also appreciation for the things they have.

Diedre said...

I love this idea! I forwarded to a friend who has twin autistic girls. This can also be a great idea for special needs kids. Love this!

Cara W said...

I love your suggestion of setting up how our kids can earn 'tech minutes' through tokens! When my daughter was young we cancelled cable TV altogether. She grew up not watching so much. As she got older we told her no to Facebook account or other social media sites. I know that was pretty hard core, but I didn't think about this tech minutes concept. It would have been a good way to compromise then!

April Grant said...

What an innovative way to track time. We were looking for something for my kids and this just might be it.

Shelly C. said...

I LOVE the idea of reward tokens! Right now my daughter is 4 and has minimal chores, however, we do use a chore chart. Each day she has a set of chores (clean her room, make bed, put clothes away, brush teeth twice a day). On the chart we put stickers next to each completed chore. When she gets all her chores done, I use that as an incentive to buy her a new toy she's been wanting.

Heather said...

This is an awesome idea! I have banned technology several times in our home, and it ends up coming back with a vengeance. It probably doesn't help that I can't completely get rid of tech in my own life...since my business is online :-) I love the idea of reward tokens though, I think my kids would love this!

Fatima Lora said...

I love the reward system you have going on here. It's worth trying on my iPad obsessed toddler. He helps around the house from time to time, but lately he's been addicted to the iPad.

Roxanne Ferber said...

Really great system!! Great way to help kids internalize self control. Is that a Norwex dusting MIT I see? :)

alexandria waning said...

This is a great idea. I dont mind my daughter playing on her pad for a while because she loses interest pretty quick anyways. So her playing for too long, is never an issue.

Michele ~ West Via Midwest said...

I wonder if this would work for my husband too.... lol I never get to use netflix so it would be a win for me! I love this idea.... I am definitely going to implement it!

LeAnne Matlach said...

Think i can use these on my husband? haha he's a video game addict and i need him to cut the cord.

Julie @ Girl on the Move said...

Absolutely love this system! I agree that technology shouldn't be made to be the bad game...sometimes it's nice to just play a game or watch a show but I love teaching kids to get the work done first!

Nikka Shae said...

What a good way to teach your daughter to do her chores. I have three teenagers and they want their chore money at the end of the week.

Laura - Eye Candy Creative Studio said...

This is such a great idea & a useful one to get them started early on the benefits of 'earning;. It helps so much as they get older and then hopefully makes them able to budget later ;)

Angela Ricardo. said...

This is definitely a great way to encourage kids. I love that this also promotes a better relationship between parents and kids. Thank you for sharing.

nicole said...

So cute what a great way to get the kids to help out around the house. We did the same when our kids were younger. It's rewarding for them and they feel better too.

Erin Shebish said...

You ever have a moment when the world comes full circle for you? Yeah, that just happened. My husband was seriously JUST talking about a token system for screen time and I grumbled about having to figure out how to make it work. And hello, its right here!!! So awesome!

Ali Nicole said...

My favorite video game is Mario anything and donkey kong

Jennifer Pilgrim said...

Cool idea! I had not thought of using tokens. I bet it works like a charm. Their own form of currency! Love!

Sara Syrett said...

This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday!