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Here are Healthy Harold’s tips for swapping screen time for green time

December 1, 2021 6:00PM Kids News

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Healthy Harold knows first hand that it can be easy to lose track of time when you’re on a screen. Picture: Life Education media_cameraHealthy Harold knows first hand that it can be easy to lose track of time when you’re on a screen. Picture: Life Education

ask healthy harold

Reading level: green

Harold and his friend, Lisa, were enjoying some screen time. They lost track of the time, and ended up on their devices much longer than they had planned.

Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever get distracted by screens? It’s easy to do.

Harold and Lisa decided it was time to swap screen time with some green time.

Harold loves getting outside. It helps keep him healthy, active and happy. One of his favourite things to do (besides eating carrots!) is to go on a painting picnic. That’s when he takes his pencils, paints and paper and spends some time outside, drawing. He packs a healthy picnic lunch, along with sunscreen and a hat.

There is so much inspiration outside! Harold loves drawing trees and flowers, and listening to the birds.

Girl On The Field Painting At Easel The View Of The Mountain - Close Up media_cameraNature provides lots of inspiration for a painting or drawing. Picture: iStock

Here are Healthy Harold’s top tips for swapping screen time for green time:

  • Make a list of all the green time things you like to do, so you have an easy reminder of how much fun it can be to get out and about in the fresh air.
  • Set a timer when you go on your device, so you don’t lose track of time.
  • Break up screen time with time outside. For example, after watching one episode of your favourite show, go outside for half an hour and jump on your trampoline, ride your bike, or simply enjoy reading a book under the shade of a tree.

What are some of your favourite ways to swap screen time with green time?

Healthy Harold's screen time tips

Here are Healthy Harold’s answers to some recent questions from Kids News readers:

Q: How long should I brush my teeth for?

A: Did you know, a grown giraffe has 32 teeth – just like a person! Brushing our teeth is super important. Baby teeth help children to eat and speak, and guide our permanent adult teeth into position, so we need to take care of them right from the start.

red-haired girl holds a toothbrush in hands over yellow background. media_cameraBrushing your teeth twice a day helps remove bacteria and plaque that can cause tooth decay. Picture: iStock

Brushing our teeth helps to remove the bacteria and plaque that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. We should brush our teeth twice a day – in the morning and before going to bed at night. You should take at least two minutes to brush your teeth.

I like to play a song, and make brushing noises to make this time fun! This is my favourite teeth-brushing song:
Brush your teeth up and down, brush your teeth round and round. Brush your teeth from left to right, brush your teeth in the morning and night!

Q: Why does my hand shake when scared?

A: Did you know that even giraffes can feel scared, nervous or worried sometimes? This happens to me when I have a test coming up at school, or before a really big soccer match.

My friend’s at Life Education tell me this is because our bodies release a hormone called adrenaline when we’re nervous. Adrenaline can cause shaky hands, sweating, and “butterflies” in the stomach. It can make our heartbeat and breathing faster. It can even make us feel like we need to use the bathroom more than usual!

Portrait of teenage African boy wearing headphones and lying on floor while enjoying music with eyes closed, copy space media_cameraListening to music is a good way to calm our bodies when we feel nervous, scared or worried. Picture: iStock

The good news is, there are things we can practise that will help to calm our bodies down during these scary times. Like slowing down our breathing, or doing quiet activities that you enjoy. I like to read a book, draw, or listen to music to help remove my jitters. I also tell myself to think on the bright side, about how much fun I am going to have playing my soccer game!

It is also very important to ask for help. Talk to your mum, dad, teacher or another trusted adult about why you are feeling scared so they can help you to feel better.


You can ask Healthy Harold a question by clicking HERE. Please don’t include names and personal information about yourself or others. It’s important we respect everyone’s privacy.

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