What Are Screen Time Tokens?

Using Screen Time Tokens to encourage positive behaviour

Screen Time Tokens are the latest trend in the world of token reward systems. The idea is simple, and incredibly easy to integrate both at home and in the classroom. Screen Time Tokens are commonly used by parents to control the amount of time their children spend in front of the TV, on their phones, glued to the games console, and generally being engrossed in a screen.

Manufacturers of Screen Time Tokens recommend that parents allocate seven 10-hour tokens at the start of each week to their children, to be used whenever the children feel ready to exchange their tokens for screen time. As the tokens come in 60,30,10 and 5 minute forms, the degree of control that the child has over the amount of screen time they have teaches them to value their leisure time in front of the screens.

The Latest Form of a Token Economy

At TokensFor, we encourage educational establishments to utilise tokens as a method of behaviour management within the classroom. Token economies have proven to work time and again from nurseries and primary schools, and Screen Time Tokens are a natural evolution of the classic token when it comes to influencing the behaviour of a class.

So, how can Screen Time Tokens be used in the classroom?

Rather than allocating screen time tokens at the start of each week, tokens can be rewarded to pupils for good behaviour, and used in exchange for leisure time or for a specific reward. The ingenuity of the screen time tokens is that they can work as both an individual and group reward system, promoting positive behaviour amongst pupils within a class to work collectively towards a reward in order to achieve their goal.

For instance, a teacher may reward one hour of Screen Time Tokens at the end of the week, dependant on the behaviour of the whole class in achieving goals throughout the week. This can include very clear action and reward methods of promoting positive behaviour, such as:

  • Rewarding Screen Time Tokens to the whole class if a homework assignment is completed by a certain percentage of the class
  • If a certain number of pupils have exhibited positive behaviour (and thus the whole class is rewarded and understand how their good behaviour has positive effects on the rest of the class and not just their selves).

Are Tokens Effective in The Classroom?

There are many arguments both for and against the use of physical and non-physical reward systems both in a home environment or within the classroom. However, this is commonly related more to the idea of tackling negative behaviour via ‘shaming’, under the assumption that children will feel guilty for acting negatively, and therefore act positively in future situations.

The ingenuity of time tokens is that, in a classroom setting, pupils must work together to achieve a shared goal in order to receive a time token reward as a class.

As can be expected, children will often start each week by using up the majority of tokens, before regretting their actions later in the week when the token amounts have quickly dwindled.

However, this is where the valuable lesson of time management and learning to appreciate time with the family truly comes in to play. A recent criticism of time tokens in general is that they will not be effective if parents are weak willed when enforcing a token economy in the home.

Yet, parents will not know their resolve when it comes to introducing a physical method of behavioural conditioning unless they try, and many will be surprised with the results that systems such as Screen Time Tokens can provide. Just remember that, whether at home or in the classroom, no means no when the tokens for the allotted time or activity are used. Looking for certain types of tokens for the home, classroom, or even for events and festivals? Browse our complete tokens range or enquire about our custom tokens today.