How Parents Can Help Children Put Technology Away and Pick Up a Book

DES MOINES, Iowa – According to United Way Central Iowa’s 5210 Healthy Choices program, children should not receive more than two hours of recreational screen time each day.

While kids are on winter break, parents might find it difficult to get children away from technology.

Supervising Librarian for Des Moines Public Library Sue Woody said to bring them in to the library and find a book that interests him or her.

“Let them choose their own reading material. They’ll get excited if they see ‘A Wimpy Kid’, ‘Harry Potter’ or something that they really want to read. Take out an arm load of books. Let them choose, let them decide. It’s really fun if you are traveling this time of the year especially. You could do an audio book that you can listen to together,” Woody said.

Woody said a great tool to help motivate children to read is simply say, “I’ll read one chapter and you read the next.”

“One of the most important things is finding what interests them. If they are a baseball fanatic, we’ve got tons of baseball books and that is where our librarians come in. Find out what is their special interest. Whether it is dinosaurs, animals, sports we can find books that are tailored to that child,” Woody said.

Woody said reading improves memory, health, empathy and vocabulary.

Dsm4kids Owner Nicole Ofper said she makes sure her children don’t fall behind on school work.

“We try to stick to our reading schedule a little bit for school. We set aside about 20 minutes each day to do reading and also a little time to do math. Just so we don’t have a little bit of slide before we go back to school,” Opfer said.

Adults can participate in the adult winter reading  challenge and help set an example for children who are hesitant about reading.