Screen Time Bucks: My Summer Sanity Saver

Happy Summer! Most of you probably have your kids out of school. If not, you soon will. Just thought I’d share what makes my summers pleasant and manageable: Screen Time Bucks

My kids are addicted to screen time and they will do just about anything to get it. But, I don’t allow too much. And, they have to earn what they get. So, to mesh these desires, I came up with Screen Time Bucks about three summers ago.

My kids can earn up to four screen time bucks a day. Each of these is worth 30 minutes of screen time. They earn them by doing four specific things each day.

1. One hour of exercise equals one screen time buck. We do this together every morning. I go to the park and run, they play. They are running, climbing, jumping, etc.

2. Mommy School: Every day after lunch for 45 minutes, we hold Mommy School. My kids work on what their report cards said they need the most. Let me know if you want a post detailing how I run my Mommy School. If you don’t want to do Mommy School, you can just have them read for 45 minutes.

3. Piano practice: My two oldest are taking piano lessons. Practice time earns them a screen time buck. My six-year-old isn’t taking lessons yet, so she does a small extra chore in place of practice time.

4. Chores: My kids have to complete their chores for the day to earn the final screen time buck.

All screen time bucks for the day must be earned before they can be spent. I set a timer once it is handed to me and tell them when their 30 minutes is up. They can quit or pay more to watch/play more if we don’t have other things going.

In an effort to encourage my kids to not spend all their screen time bucks, I have instituted a payment program. Every two weeks or so, my kids can turn in any unused screen time bucks for actual money. In our family, one screen time buck equals a quarter, not an actual dollar or I’d go broke, but use whatever money denomination works for your family. Below is a copy of what our screen time buck looks like. Feel free to print it off or make your own. (It took me about 30 seconds). I just write the child’s name in pen on it when they earn it so I know exactly whose is whose. I hope this idea helps your summer go more smoothly!

This Screen Time Buck good for 30 min of any screen, large or small, of your choice.

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