We live in a time and place where we are surrounded by digital devices. From TVs to PCs, from smartphones to tablets, everyone is exposed to some form of screentime, whether they like it or not. Children, especially, are prone to be exposed to digital devices because of all the time they spend playing games, watching videos, and even creating content for their YouTube channels. ;
However, as much as technological devices are a blessing, children are not recommended to spend excessive time in front of their gadgets. Parents should proactively get themselves involved and provide alternative activities for their children instead of having way too much screen time. Here are a few things parents can teach their kids to do instead of picking up their smartphones and tablets.
1. Read a book
Regardless of age, kids love stories. From the Three Little Pigs to Tom Sawyer to Percy Jackson, books can take children on different adventures each and every time they open a book. Younger kids love being read to while older kids can improve their reading and comprehension skills by reading on their own.
2. Listen to a podcast or audiobook
Okay so this one still technically requires an electronic device to pull off, but at least they can do so at a very minimal rate. Although reading helps improve children’s reading skills, listening to podcasts and audiobooks allow both parents and kids to kick back, relax, and enjoy different stories told by someone else.
3. Spend time in the kitchen
One of the most rewarding activities where parents and children can bond is cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Cooking and baking and children may seem like a recipe for disaster, but given the right recipe, it can be quite educational for kids.
4. Build an indoor or outdoor den
There’s just something very safe about a cozy and comfy den so why not have kids design and build their own kiddie-sized den? Whether you decide to build one indoors or outdoors, it’s a good opportunity to build a child’s creativity, and resourcefulness so give it a go.
5. Gather the family to play board games
Remember those Friday nights when all you had to do after dinner was play board games with your folks because the internet wasn’t a thing back then? Well, you can still do that with kids now. Board games give families a great chance to bond and relax.
6. Have fun playing pretend
Digital devices limit a child’s imagination and creativity. There’s just nothing like some good old pretend-play. Take a blanket and wrap it around your neck, and you’re an instant superhero. Grab a few plastic carpenter tools and get to that roof installation on a playhouse.
7. Do arts and crafts
Another awesome alternative to screen time is to get those little hands coming up with something artistic and creative. Working in arts and crafts isn’t just a fine way to boost their creative and artistic genius. It’s also a great avenue to further develop their fine motor skills.
8. Have a picnic or an outdoor date
Going outdoors for play and a picnic is a good way to divert kids’ attention from their digital devices. It’s also a great way to get some much-needed time to soak up some sun; after all, being outdoors has some health benefits, as well.
9. Learn origami
Origami, just like arts and crafts, is great at fine-tuning a child’s motor skills. It also teaches them about patience and order as they learn the intricacies of this ancient Japanese art. Almost anything can be made out of paper with a few folds.
10. Take a walk outside
Walking is a great way to spend time together and squeeze in a decent workout. Encourage your child to go for a walk or even play outside when they feel like picking up a smartphone or tablet. Most kids will, of course, say no at first but there’s nothing a little coaxing with some ice cream can’t do.
11. Have a dance party
Do something crazy and have a really outrageous dance party at home even if you have two left feet. Play some fun tunes, crank up the volume, and dance like no one’s watching. When kids feel that kind of energy and freedom, they can’t help but join in every time.
Parenting in these difficult times can be hard, but there are activities you could do to make children take some time off the screen. Online education can give children stress, but these activities can give them the break they need to feel invigorated about school and family life.