Children these days demand their screen time. The phrase “screen time”, absent until just a few years ago, is now a common utterance in most homes with young children. Parents and grandparents have to try hard to wean the kids away from the screen.

Screens are common in most urban Indian homes but kids growing obsessed with them is alarming and can be very unhealthy, especially if the activities and content available are mediocre. Rather than taking away the screens from kids, improvising the screen time with more productive activities and helpful content is a better solution.

Using modern technologies like Augmented Reality educational content can be merged with fun and immersive activities. Concepts like atomic structures, our solar system and the universe, etc. which children can’t actually see, can be brought to classrooms. Kids can interact with the 3D elements and get a better understanding of whats and hows.

Augmented Reality has the power to take kids to different places, introduce them to different cultures and traditions, and trigger a thirst for knowledge. With the enhanced curiosity of what the world is like around them, kids could actively participate in more learning activities. Education need not be force-fed to children.

Another salient feature of this immersive technology is that it facilitates kids to absorb a lot of knowledge in a short period and retain it longer. This almost isn’t the case with traditional educational methods using textbooks and assignments. AR-based educational toys and games not only enhance the quality of the content, they continuously provide feedback which benefits kids in taking the right approach.

Educators and parents can take advantage of these AR-powered educational toys and games to identify where a child’s aptitude lies at an early age. Thereby, efforts can be streamlined to ensure that children get all the necessary resources to excel in their chosen fields.

Augmented Reality is highly adaptable, and a number of subjects taught in the schools can benefit from this. One can create interactive activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Maths using the likes of AR. Many educational institutions in India are taking this approach. Regular play-cum-learning sessions with lots of different educational toys and games are proving worthy of investment.

AR-based educational toys and games aren’t just limited to formal educational content. These activities are known to imbibe and enhance essential life skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and logical reasoning among others. Often, these activities are a subtle blend of fun and information that children don’t even realise they’re learning. It is a win-win for both the kids and us. While they are getting their screen time, our worries regarding screen time not being productive are at bay.

(Vivek Goyal is Founder & CEO, Playshifu.)