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Conversation about screen time through picture books

Updated: Dec 26, 2020


I find picture books as a great conversation starter with children on various topics. I have always used them with my child in situations when tough topic was on the table in order to avoid a dry discussion. Sometimes the best way to approach your child is through a book.

I am confident to assume that nowadays we all have the conversation about screen time as parents, teachers and/or friends. In this post, I wanted to share my top three picture books of many available out there that cover this hot topic.


TEK The Modern Cave Boy

by Patrick McDonnell


Children just LOVE this one because it looks like an iPad. It even has a password screen that I always pretend to enter secretly before reading the story. And of course, that works just the first-time children hear the story.

TEK is a story about a cave boy living in the Stone Age. The funny thing is, his father has already invented the internet and his son is surrounded by all kinds of gadgets. He is practically stuck in the cave playing video games and he couldn't care less about the world around him. Sounds familiar? Everyone tries to pull him out unsuccessfully, until one day a volcano erupts and TEK gets DISCONNECTED. He then sees the beauty of nature and outdoor play with his friend. A great story about finding the balance between screen time, nature and play time with friends.


Goodnight iPad - A Parody for the next generation

by Ann Droyd


If you have read the picture book classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown then you would figure out where the parody is coming from.

One night everyone in this bunny family is on a device watching a movie or sending messages, playing a game or watching YouTube. Screens glow all over the house, tweets and beeps everywhere and then finally poor mother Bunny has had enough. She gathers all the devices and throws them through the window. Don’t you want to do that sometimes? I would love to!!!...well, except my phone:). This is just a hilarious picture book illustrating our daily screen time struggles. It is for everyone: children, parents and I can assure you it would make a good present for a grown up.


Unplugged

by Steve Antony


A short and sweet story about Blip, who one day learns that the outside world is colorful and lots of fun. This book’s illustrations are perfect for the little ones to visualize the balance between time spend on the screen and time playing outside with friends.



While reading or after finishing the story I usually ask my students questions that lead to engaging discussions simply because they do relate to this topic.

- What are some things or situations in the book that remind you of your everyday interaction with technology?

- What are some rules in your home when it comes to use of devices?

- What makes you happy while you use technology?

- Why sometimes you might get upset or sad when you use a device?

- What can you do to find balance in how you use your free time?


Happy reading and chatting!


Photo by EVG Culture on Pexels

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