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Most parents know allowing their kids to have unlimited access to technology is not a good idea. But in a world where everything – including our refrigerators – are becoming “smart,” how do we ensure our children aren’t being overexposed?

Some parenting experts are now saying that instead of allowing screen time to serve as an award or distraction, we should teach our kids to see technology in a new way. What if all of those blank screens were just blank canvases waiting for someone with an imagination? What about turning their playroom into a hooked up clubhouse filled with programmable coloured lights? Sit down with your kids and decide how they want their lighting to behave. Should it flick on and off whenever they play music? Change colours at the touch of a button? Installing this kind of tech creates an opportunity to teach your children basic programming skills and a chance for them to learn that tablets and computers do much more than display YouTube videos. And don’t forget to play to their interests and strengths. Does your son like movies? Help him create his own with a kid-friendly movie-making program. Does your daughter like to sing? Hook her up with her very own recording studio. All it takes is a little encouragement and soon your children will be coming up with their very own imaginative ways to use technology – enhancing their life instead of distracting them from it.