In a world where we are connected to the internet 24/7 with smartphones, tablets, and computers, it's important to be mindful of the effect these devices are having on young children.
This is not easy, since most working parents have a hard enough time disconnecting from their own phones, let alone keeping track of how much time their children are spending in front of the many screens found in a typical American household.
However, too much screen time for a young mind can be harmful, and hinder a child's cognitive development. To encourage healthy screen time habits parents must provide other opportunities to their children and set a good example by participating in offline activities.
One great alternative to screen time is listening to classical music. Most orchestras have a children's concert series to provide age appropriate concerts and educational programs to families. Visit the League of American Orchestras to get in touch with your local symphony and attend a concert this season.
You can also listen to classical music at home or in the car (use a CD player to avoid unnecessary screen time). Peter and the Wolf is a classic piece of symphonic music written in 1936 by the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. It includes a narrated story that teaches children the sounds and instruments of the orchestra. This story in music has been enjoyed by families for generations and is a great go-to when you're ready for a break from the smartphones and screens.
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