Screen Time: Reduce, Replace, Balance


Screentime: Reduce, Replace, Balance is a resource to help families fighting the battle of too much screen time with their children. Technology and devices are here to stay. For some families devices such as phones and iPads can cause major headaches for parents. There is often a wrestle with their children to achieve balance in their lives.

Screen Time: Reduce, Replace, Balance
ScreenTime: Reduce, Replace, Balance


  • Negotiate with your child a written plan to set boundaries for screen use, including digital-free zones in your home and times. It is important to also set consequences if they don’t adhere to the plan.  The Telethon Children’s Institute recommends device use should not occur in bedrooms, and all screens should be switched off at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Include rules that teach children to prioritise.  On a school day, this may mean no electronics until they finish their homework or chores are complete.
  • Kids learn more from what they see than from what you say, so model healthy electronics use.  Show your child you can put your device down too.
  • Turn off notifications and alerts.  Those pings and pop-ups immediately draw our attention to our devices and away from each other.

Our resources to help reduce screen time include:

Screen Time Guidelines

Controlling WiFi Access

Apple Screen Time

Google Family Link

Parental Screen Time Use

Family Media Plan


Reduce screen time by encouraging outdoor play
Reduce screen time by encouraging outdoor play

What your child does on their device is more important than how much time they spend on it.  Look for games and apps that encourage children to get active and creative, and join in the fun with them.  Some apps and games to consider are:

Apps: Nature Play WA’s Nature Passport, Pokemon Go and Geocaching

Console/Computer Games: Wii Fit U, Just Dance or Shape Up (Xbox One)

To help harness technology and inspire active play, check out our section on Screen Play


  • Use technology with your kids.  Supervise, monitor and join them.  Have shoulder to shoulder conversations and use the time to talk, to understand what they love, and to guide them (if needed).
  • Talk about privacy, security and good digital citizenship. 
  • Help your child find other ways to have fun; outdoor play, sport, creative play, reading and socialising.  If you’re looking for ideas, check out our Resources for Families section.
  • Set aside dedicated tech-free family time each week to connect with your kids.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.  Sometimes the simplest things – like a family bike ride, a picnic or a trip to the beach – can be the most memorable.

For more information, visit Building Digital Literacy and Active Play Ideas.

Top Tips to Balance Screen Time

  • Technology can be a positive influence when used appropriately
  • Balance technology use with active, creative and social non-screen activities
  • Actively engage with children while using technology
  • Model appropriate technology use
  • Have fun with your kids – it’s one of the most influential experiences for self-regulation

Useful Screen Resources

Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Raising Children Network screen time resources

American Academy of Pediatrics & Common Sense Media guidebook on Age-Based Media Use Advice

Telethon Children’s Institute CoLab

Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour screen time recommendations

Nature Play WA digital wellbeing resources

Cyber Savvy website

Australian Parent’s Council screentime recommendations

Replace screen time with outdoor activities.Balance screentime with healthier choicesReduce Screentime with other options

Article from Nature Play WA