At some point in time, your child if they haven’t already got one will be pestering you for their own tablet or worse, snatching away and throwing tantrums at every opportunity to get yours out of your hands. Unfortunately, playing outdoors and living in a tech-free environment is a thing of the past and as I have found, tech has become integrated into my children’t lives whether I like it or not. From school, to friend and families houses and back into our own. Tech is everywhere.
Digital burnout is a very real and growing issue, I see this a lot in parents who can’t switch off, can’t get a decent nights sleep and who are dumbing down their senses and their enjoyment levels to anything non-smartphone or tablet related. It’s sad to watch but there are things you can do. Recognising the signs is the first step.
For me, my main concern is my children, knowing what I know I am highly primed to spot the signs of digital burnout in my children and the strategies I can put in place to ensure I have peace of mind and my children get to enjoy the many benefits technology can offer.
Many busy parents use media devices to keep their children occupied whilst they get stuff done, I hold my hands up to this as three children under 8 can be quite a handful at the best of times but I have found that it’s travelling where I get most stressed. If you’re anything like me, keeping the kids entertained whilst travelling can be an absolute nightmare, especially when they squabble in the back, causing major distractions, it’s actually really dangerous, as how can you concentrate on driving when you have arguing kids in the back.
I was over the moon to try out the new ‘On the Movies’ kids’ backpack range, which has been designed to keep the little terrors happy and entertained whilst on the move.
The bags, which each have a cute animal theme (choose from Pretty Kitty, Bouncy Tiger, Cheeky Monkey, and Lucky Ladybird) are designed to protect and store a 7in touch screen tablet, which slips into a transparent pocket on the front giving visibility through the pocket. Absolutely perfect for avoiding spillages and mucky podgy fingers, I chose the Pretty Kitty in pink for my 5 year old as she’s pink, purple and sparkly mad.
Addicted to the concept of it (her bag) already and hoarding it like a dog with a bone, over the shoulder it goes and she’s off to play games, watch films, listen to music (her latest being Bang Bang by Nicki Minaj, not sure I totally approve) And she just loves watching her movies like a big girl. She feels so grown up, I can just tell. We have a nice little schedule in place for her media usage, so she knows when, under what circumstances and how long she has to use it. A little bit of resistance but if you stay firm, this dissipates rapidly and they come to look forward to their ‘media time’.
The bag is well designed and the product is so well thought out, fantastic design and innovation as it appeals to both kids and adults with a mutual understanding and appreciation of what the technology can be used for. It makes it obvious to me and Phoebe at the very least that it is used more for entertainment purposes when we are out and about than as a tool for her to sit, open mouthed at home like a zombie for hours on end.
It takes earplugs without removing the tablet from the bag, so it’s not finicky….um…wow! Double wow and thumbs up as you don’t get driven insane by the kids’ songs or theme tunes. There’s only so much Ruby & Max or Mr Tumble I can stand.
Excellent, excellent value for money, bag on its own with no tablet is a steal at £24.95 or with the On The Movies tablet included it’s £89.95. It may look a lot on paper but when you think about the versatility of the product, it’s worth every single penny.
Comes with 8GB of storage, so is great for loading it up with enough things to keep even the most impatient and fickle child entertained. If your child is anything like mine and takes constant selfies, then this is perfect as has a lot of storage space. You can add another 32GB max in needed. Also has a great display resolution of 1024 x 800.
No more arguing with the ‘child boss’ of the house as I can lock-off the internet if necessary, perfect for parents who worry about internet consumption or exposure.
The tablet can be connected to other computers or the TV via USB and HDMI ports and with 4 hours of play time before re-charge, it’s perfect for car, train or plane journeys or just you know, in the trolley around the supermarket! No more tantrums or mysterious items appearing in your trolley at checkout.
Great as a bargaining tool too! If you don’t so and so, you won’t get to watch your tablet in a special bag in the car. Worked a treat for me many times over.
The 4 things you can do to keep things under control
- Set a timer
Probably the easiest way to limit screen time, I would say set one on your smartphone but a physical timer would be better, so you don’t get any back talk about using technology to limit technology…aaaah! Aren’t kids smart these days?! Simple strategy, when the timer goes off, so does the screen.
- Schedule media usage into their day
Weaving this into their daily schedule or ‘just at weekends’ is a very effective way to monitor and set clear boundaries for tech usage. Keep in mind thought to ensure their devices aren’t use one hour before bedtime as it can affect their sleep.
- Use apps to shut devices down
Parental guidance apps are available to lock off the internet
- Remember YOU control the device, not the child
Letting your children keep their device in their room? er no way Jose, not in my household! Sneaking in extra screen time is NOT on my agenda. Kids learn their behaviours from their parents so setting a good example and limiting your own screen time.
Product rating: ****
Where can I buy it? Direct from www.onthemovies.co.uk
How much does it cost? Back pack only is £24.95 and back pack with tablet is £89.95