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, enter these Screen Time Tokens.
The DS and Games in this post were provided by Nintendo. I was not obligated to write this post, we just love Nintendo! This post contains affiliate links.
We have absolutely loved having this tech minutes system in place. 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 bedtime or before homework is done, but can be redeemed anytime during their free time.
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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
- 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.)
Mario Kart 7 – Who doesn’t Love MarioKart
In the newest installment of the fan-favorite Mario Kart™ franchise, kids can race through the Mushroom Kingdom. For the first time, drivers (aka players) explore new competitive kart possibilities, such as soaring through the skies or plunging into the depths of the sea. New courses, strategic new abilities, and customizable karts bring the racing excitement to new heights. MSRP: $29.99
Mario Party: The Top 100 – Mario Party is my personal favorite game, so I love this new version
It’s the ultimate Mario party! The top 100 mini-games from the entire Mario Party series home console games are rolled up into one big party you can take on the go. MSRP: $39.99
The fan-favorite Tanooki suit makes its first appearance on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems in Super Mario 3D Land. Use the Tanooki suit’s tail to attack enemies or float gently down from great heights. Players can run, jump and stomp on enemies throughout the levels. MSRP: $19.99
Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems is the first portable entry in the renowned series, in which game worlds collide. Up to four players battle each other locally or online using some of Nintendo’s most well-known and iconic characters across beautifully designed stages inspired by classic portable Nintendo games. It’s a genuine, massive Super Smash Bros. experience that’s available to play on the go, anytime, anywhere. MSRP: $39.99
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – My kids are all over any Zelda Game
In this newly spun tale, Link™ transforms into a living painting to cross into a dark, parallel dimension mirroring Hyrule. Conquer the puzzles, traps, and hidden rooms of deadly dungeons to save both worlds from certain doom! Dungeons sink deep below the screen as Link and his attacks pop out, highlighting the nonstop action. The pace is faster than ever, especially since you can swap items on the Nintendo touch screen. Shoot an arrow, toss a boomerang, bomb a wall, then merge into a painting to slide between two worlds – all in a matter of seconds. With gameplay, visuals, and controls this smooth and consistent, no Zelda™ adventure has ever been so action-packed. MSRP: $19.99
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon – The perfect game for my Pokémon obsessed kids.
Take on the role of a Pokémon™ Trainer and unravel the mystery of the Legendary Pokémon Necrozma’s new forms: Dusk Mane Necrozma in the Pokémon Ultra Sun game and Dawn Wings Necrozma in the Pokémon Ultra Moon game. You can encounter and battle 400+ Pokémon, including new forms. A brand-new showdown awaits! MSRP: $39.99
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We have been playing these games on the new Nintendo 2DS XL, which is the latest in handheld systems from Nintendo. It is durable with XL screens. Our absolute favorite part? It allows Co-op play. One of my favorite memories is watching all of my nieces and nephews play a large game of MarioKart, each on their own devices this last Christmas. It is the perfect way to bring social interaction into electronic play.
Just a couple of days ago, I was in the car with my kids for a 2-hour car trip. I handed my older daughter this DS and expected my kids to each go into their own electronic zone. When I looked back my older daughter was sitting next to her little sister teaching her how to play Mario Kart and when her little sister struggled to make her car go and steering at the same time, she held down one of the buttons for her. It was an incredibly sweet moment and one that reminded me that technology can be such a wonderful thing that brings us together if we use it right
How do you use technology in your house?
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