Bramell, Party of Five: Guest Post: Monitoring Your Kids' Tech Time

Monday, January 13, 2014

Guest Post: Monitoring Your Kids' Tech Time

I'm starting something new on my blog today.  My plan is to introduce you to one of my favorite blogs (and blogger friends) once a month. I'm going to ask my buddies to contribute a post here and provide a link to direct you to their blogs.  First up is my friend Fawn, who shares a very practical and easy way that she monitors her children's tech time.  I hope you'll also check out her blog and add her to your blog list, if she's not there already. --Rhonda 

DIY Technology Tickets
Tablets, hand held games, TV, smart phones, xbox, and so on.  Kids love technology. Sometimes a little too much.  Inspired by this Pinterest pin, I decided to start using technology tickets at our house to make sure that we weren’t overdoing it with our screen time. 
Our system works like this:
  •  Each technology ticket is worth 30 minutes of any kind of technology use.
  •  Each child gets a total of 8 tickets to use each week (4 hours worth).
  •  It is their choice of when to use them, but if they run out they’re done for the week.
  •  If two children are playing a video game together or watching the same TV show, they both pay.
  •  Parental discretion gives us the right to deny access to the technology when  needed.
  • We generally don’t make them pay for things like family movie night or if they are up and moving around with an active Kinect video game. 

You can set your own rules and guidelines – this is just what works for us.

Now, our technology tickets are not as pretty as the example I saw on Pinterest, but getting my kids involved in creating the tickets helped them understand how the system would work, and also (surprisingly) got them excited about it.

Here’s how we made our technology tickets:

·         Index cards (or other cardstock paper)
·         Paint pens (markers or crayons would work fine too)
·         Scrapbooking Scissors – the kind that cut different patterns
·         A hole punch – we used a large circle punch so the tickets would fit on our coat hooks, but you can use whatever size you like.


1.       Trim the short sides of each index card with the scrapbooking scissors to make it look like a ticket.

2.  Punch a hole in the top of each ticket.

3.       Have your child write their name on the bottom of each ticket.
4.       Label each ticket with “Technology Ticket”

5.       Find a “home” for them where the kids can easily see how many tickets they have available to them.  Our technology tickets hang in our backpack command center .

6.       You may want to have the kids make a few extra tickets in case their tickets get lost or torn.

7.       I also made REWARD tickets. The kids know they can earn these for doing something extra nice or for outstanding behavior.

The Finished Product:

This system not only keeps the kids in check, it keeps me in check too. It also taught some interesting lessons in budgeting and kindness.  I was amazed when my preschooler started keeping track of how many tickets he had left, would ask me how many days were left in the week, and often opted for a non-screen activity based on his tickets to days remaining ratio. One day when he was out of tickets, his sister used her tickets to pay his way to a TV show so that they could both watch together.  I hope this little tool will pave the way to more peaceful technology use at your house too.
Fawn Rechkemmer writes about motherhood, being green, health and fitness, travel, and other things that make her go, “hmm…” on her blog, Instead of the Dishes.




  1. This is such a good idea. I have to get a handle on the screen time at our house...

  2. What a great idea. We don't have screen time issues at my house...yet. I know the day is coming, and probably sooner that I am ready for.


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