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How to Avoid Constant Screen Time on Summer Vacation

Mom and Dad are taking a break, too.

Summer vacation is just around the corner. For children it typically means freedom from the day-to-day routine of school. However, for parents the words “summer vacation” tend to conjure up a dilemma: how to make sure devices and screens don’t fill every waking minute of every day for two months.

Too much screen time has indeed been linked to sensory overload, lack of sleep, diminished ability to recognize emotions and even genuine addiction. On top of that, by keeping themselves glued to their screens, your kids may be missing out on many of the summer pastimes that have marked childhood since time began, from going to the beach, exploring the neighborhood with their friends to simply dealing with being bored.

In limiting screen time for kids, you are working to create a healthy “play diet” that balances many types of play. You can keep screen time as part of this play diet, while also ensuring your kids get in some social, physical, unstructured, and creative play.

But how to achieve this balance?

Here are some tips for limiting screen time while helping your kids enjoy a fun and memorable summer. And remember: success comes when parents enforce the family rules while demonstrating by by example.

Tips for Limiting Screen Time in Summer

Kids these days use their devices for everything: research for school projects, texting with friends, letting us know they’re safe when they’re out, as well as for gaming and consuming media. Yet kids need to spend time outdoors or reading books, or simply just thinking.

However, it can be difficult to set and then reliably and consistently enforcing rules. As with most everything else in life, developing a game plan can help pave the way for success.

summer screen time with kids

Tip 1: Be Realistic

“Forbidden fruit is the tastiest,” says Lucy Jo Palladino, a clinical psychologist and author of Parenting in the Age of Attention Snatchers. Completely banning screen time may simply double the desire of your kids to get online.

Instead, be realistic: devices are a part of everyday life for kids. Accept that fact, and create a flexible plan that manages screen time.

Tip 2: Start With an Endpoint

Negotiate the length and amount of screentime with your kids ahead of time. Either set firm time limits, or limit screentime to the duration of a specific program. That way, one show won’t flow into the other, and you can avoid commercials.

Because most games don’t have built-in endings (and are, in fact, designed to make kids play as long as possible), set a timer or some other cue that says “time to stop.”

Tip 3: Help Kids Balance Their Day

Kids need guidance from you on a daily plan that includes a little bit of time for everything. Kids whose parents make an effort to limit media use spend less time with media than their peers do, according to a study. As parents, it can be easy to nag kids to try to get them to do things, but this will not necessarily work with limiting screen time.

Instead, it’s best to work on a concrete plan that structures activities throughout the day. This gives kids a sense of predictability, and also lets them know what your expectations are. They can also more easily refrain from turning to devices when bored by focusing on some other activity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ worksheets to create a family media plan that can help you and your kids balance their day.

Tip 4: Walk the Talk 

If you want to make sure your kids reduce screen time this summer, it’s important to model behavior. It’s tempting for adults to keep reaching for your phone to check email, texts, Facebook, or the news. But your kids will be the first to call you out for not “walking the talk.” Plus, they’ll pick up habits from you.

Model the media behavior, and enjoy your summer, too!

Why Not Take a Family Vacation in Turks and Caicos?

If you want to make sure your kids have plenty of things to do besides stare at a screen, why not plan a family vacation in Turks and Caicos? Check out our blog post 5 Fun Activities In Turks and Caicos to get some ideas about what to do while you’re here.

Turks Caicos Information

The Provo Art Crawl is Back in Spring 2016

provo art crawl 2016

The Art Crawl returns to Providenciales in Turks and Caicos this winter and in early spring.

The Provo Art Crawl is a fun and casual night of wining and dining at local cafes and restaurants. It’s a great way to try out as many restaurants in Turks and Caicos as possible… including, of course The Sands at Grace Bay’s own beachfront Hemingway’s Restaurant & Bar.

The Art Crawl occurs on the third Wednesday of the month: Here’s the Art Crawl schedule for 2016:

  • Wednesday, January 20th
  • Wednesday, February 17th
  • Wednesday, March 16th
  • Wednesday, April 20th

Providenciales Art Crawl Details

The real attraction of course is browsing the wide variety of local art galleries that dot the Grace Bay area. Resort guests and Islanders alike can join in the crawl wherever they would like for some art, food and drinks.

A trail has been provided for ease but, true to our Caribbean island lifestyle, there are no set times or route that must be followed.

Each location will stamp your map and once you have all the stamps, you will be entered in the PAC raffle for one of three unique prizes.

Here are some images from the January 2016 art crawl:

The Provo art scene is unique and growing:

Provo Art Walk Map

Here’s the most recent map from 2015. We’re expecting the organizers to post a new map in February, 2016.

Things To Do In The Caribbean Turks Caicos Information

Private Turks and Caicos Tours With Caicos Dream Tours

Plan Your Perfect Day In Providenciales

Caicos Dream Tours offers some of the best Turks and Caicos tours. Private charters give resort guests of The Sands at Grace Bay the option to choose from their impressive fleet of power boats and catamarans to reserve for a half or full day. With boats that can accommodate up to 12 guests, there are plenty of sights to see and things you can do during your private charter excursion including snorkeling the Barrier Reef, bottom fishing, exploring secluded islands and private beaches, sightseeing around the cays, tubing, conch diving and more. Caicos Dream Tours will help you customize your perfect half or full day trip based on your specific interests and group size. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway for two, a family reunion, a wedding party or a fun trip with friends, the fully equipped boats and professional Caicos Dream Tours staff and boat captains will help make your special occasion even more spectacular.





Half-Day Private Charters:

Half-day charters are offered for a 4-hour reservation time period with both morning (9:00am) and afternoon (1:30pm) departure options. The charter includes complimentary gourmet sandwiches, freshly grilled fish and lobster (when in season), conch salad and light snacks and refreshments including beer, rum punch, soft drinks and water. The private half-day charter costs $1,100 for up to 12 guests, with an additional charge of $89 per person for groups of more than 12 people.

Full-Day Private Charters:

Full-day charters may be reserved for an 8-hour time period, with 9:00am departure times. The full day charters include a beach BBQ complete with chicken and freshly grilled fish and lobster (when in season), conch salad and light snacks and refreshments including beer, rum punch, soft drinks and water. The full-day charter costs $2,200 for up to 12 guests, with an additional charge of $179 per person for groups of more than 12 people.


Guests of all ages and abilities are welcome on this tour. Children under two years of age are complimentary. Persons with limited mobilities are welcome but please provide Caicos Dream Tours with prior notice so they may arrange special transport to the marina and provide extra assistance and/or accommodations as needed. For cancellations or to reschedule a tour: call a minimum of 24 hours prior to your tour to avoid cancellation charges. Credit card information is required to reserve your spot on this excursion but guests will not be charged until after the excursion takes place.

For more information, visit: 




Things To Do In The Caribbean

5 Fun Activities In Turks and Caicos

A Luxury Travel Blog featured 5 experiences not to miss in Provo and we wanted to share these recommendations with our resort guests, as fun and optional day activities during your stay at The Sands at Grace Bay:

  1. Watch Mermaids Swim: The Undersea Explorer offers semi-submarine tours that allow kids to see a real life “Bella the Mermaid” – a free diver who swims in a mermaid suit for all to experience during this underwater excursion adventure.
  1. Snuba: This cross between snorkeling and scuba diving allows travelers (8 years and older) to stay underwater for long periods of time and see the gorgeous underwater sights of Provo without the hassle of wearing a scuba tank or taking scuba dive lessons. Enjoy the gorgeous barrier reef with bright corals and abundant marine life by booking a Snuba excursion on your next trip to Turks & Caicos.
  1. Visit Iguana Island: Endangered Turks & Caicos native Rock Iguanas have made “Iguana Island” their home. Just a short boat ride away from Provo, this uninhabited and protected island allows visitors to view friendly and harmless Rock Iguanas sunning themselves on the beach and rocks and is a favorite day trip for families. Island tour and excursion providers including Caicos Dream Tours offer snorkeling adventure excursions that include stops to Iguana Island for a truly fun family outing. Caicos_Dream_Tours_DG_0118
  1. Good Ship Atabeyra: Offering sunset cruises and glow worm tours, this ship used to be a trading schooner that ferried commodities between the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Turks & Caicos.
  1. Island’s Weekly Fish Fry: Experience the island’s weekly Thursday night Fish Fry and celebration, that boasts freshly caught fish and seafood, local bands and entertainment, dancers and much more. This celebration brings together tourists and locals for a fun night of everything “Turks & Caicos.”

To checkout the blog article, visit the following link:

For an extensive list of Turks & Caicos excursions and activities in Providenciales, visit our enhanced “excursions” page at the following link: 


Turks Caicos Information

10 Active Adventures in Turks & Caicos Islands

Through a special relationship with local water sports provider, Ocean Vibes Scuba & Watersports, The Sands at Grace Bay is able to offer guests numerous ways to stay active outdoors and explore the Turks & Caicos Islands with a long list of exciting adventures. For outdoor adventurers and sun-seeking guests, The Sands at Grace Bay provides free use of bikes, kayaks, windsurfing equipment, snorkel gear and Hobie Cats.  For visitors seeking off-site adventure, below is a list of 10 exciting Turks & Caicos Island excursions that The Sands at Grace Bay can help guests arrange on their next visit:

1. SCUBA Diving: Day trips, night dives and customized SCUBA  charters to the islands’ best dive sites. Not Scuba certified? Ocean Vibes can have you underwater in a matter of hours!

2. SNUBA Excursions: SNUBA allows guests to go beyond snorkeling and more fully experience the wonders of the underwater world. SNUBA is a unique, shallow water diving system that bridges the gap between snorkeling and Scuba diving allowing you to go 20 feet below the water’s surface – it’s safe, easy and does not require certification!

3. SAILING: sailing aboard a custom-made catamaran with SCUBA/snorkeling stops at the world-famous North East shore of Providenciales, Iguana Island and beautiful uninhabited desert cays.

4. PARASAILING: Single or tandem parasailing offers guests the most breath-taking views of the islands from high in the sky.

5. SPELUNKING ON MIDDLE CAICOS: This adventure begins with a scenic boat ride from Provo to North Caicos, where you’ll stop along the way to snorkel on the barrier reef, and then you will set off to explore the conch bar caves and venture deep inside the earth with your native guide to view stalactites & stalagmites, bats, white owls and incredible limestone formations.

6. CATAMARAN SAILING: A popular and romantic option for adults is the 2-hour CHAMPAGNE SUNSET CRUISE – where you will have time to snorkel, visit Iguana Island, sip champagne and enjoy finger foods while sailing off into the sunset with a guest.

7. FISHING: Bone Fishing on the flats (spin rods included, fly rods available); bottom fishing for snapper, grouper and barracuda; and deep sea fishing (trolling) for tuna, wahoo, marlin and mahi-mahi are incredible day trips for both experienced and novice anglers!

8. SNORKELING TRIPS: Half and full-day snorkel trips and private snorkel charters enable guests to experience some of the best spots that make the Turks & Caicos Islands a world-famous snorkeling destination. On the half-day snorkel trip you’ll visit Iguana Island, snorkel along the barrier reef, dive for conch and watch the crew prepare a fresh conch salad and enjoy complimentary snacks, drinks and rum punch!

9. PRIVATE ISLAND ESCAPE/BOAT RENTAL:  Want to set your own schedule and enjoy a private island escape with your family or loved one? We can offer you our 24-foot boat rental for Iguana Island trips, snorkeling or just cruising the beautiful waters of Grace Bay and the North Side of Providenciales. Beach pick-up, drinks, and snacks are provided!

10. HORSEBACK RIDING: horseback riding along the secluded beaches at Long Bay is a truly unforgettable experience. We allow proficient equestrians to ride along the beach, and trained professionals can assist riders of all abilities.

In addition to this sampling of excursions, guests can also design their own out-island excursions, ATV along the beach and partake in a Glow Worm Cruise, Kayak Tour and much more. With Ocean Vibes’ concierge desk located just a couple of steps the resort’s main pool and beach access – guests can simply charge these services right to their room and book everything in a bathing suit.  Visitour website for the list of excursions offered by The Sands at Grace Bay and Ocean Vibes, as well as for pricing and additional information.