Switching on the TV, handing them gamepads, phones and tablets are all great ways to keep your kids engaged, but it gets too much every once in a while. Looking for practical screen time alternatives for your kids?
Grab yourself a drink and relax.
You’ll love this one:
1. Quality Family Time Outdoors
Having the family spend some time outdoors doing fun stuff is a great way to get the kids to stop thinking about grabbing their tablets or switching on the TV.
When the whole family is having a great time outside the home, kids won’t miss the screens that much.
So, start now. Get your family interested in the outdoors by raising their curiosity. Plan exciting outdoor adventures like a treasure hunt in the park, a festival, a visit to a zoo, the beach, or a tour of a nearby park.
You also do not have to go outside your immediate environment.
The great outdoors is a fantastic opportunity to guide your children in the ways of the world, talk, and bond with them, and just listen to all family members enjoy the simplicity of being together without distractions from a screen.
2. Get Together With Other Families
My money is on you’re not the only mum considering screen time alternatives for her kids.
So, put a colleague, family friend, or relative in on your plan to go screen-free and get together with them. It might be easier for your kids to play creatively when they’re around friends who also are screen-free.
Reach out to a family or two you’d like to invite and have everyone share ideas and activities that may be based on the kids’ preferences.
Such activities could be like a picnic in the park or a trip to a museum.
3. Get Crafty
Encourage your kids to get creative by providing them a free reign of materials to groom their artistic abilities.
They can make crafts, draw, colour, or write imaginative stories. This way, they
will see these activities as fun rather than a sad replacement for television. And when you can, sit down together and do creative activities that involve the whole family.
Challenge your kids to create with paints, crayons, colored pencils, popsicle sticks, some fabric scraps, glitter, paper, cardboard, magazines, and other craft items.
Allocate some time each day for them to be creative in their art and make something.
4. Bake Stuff
Imagine baking your little ones some treats like their favourite pastry/dessert.
This is a fair motivation for why baking should be on the front row of screen time alternatives for your kids.
Don’t hold back in this department, but also do not do anything that takes too long.
We are big fans of getting a really awesome box mix and adding things to it.
Think milk, butter, flour, coconut flakes, with flavour, etc.
You can get a unique cake by mixing it all together.
Kids are obsessed with cracking eggs and whisking stuff, and washing dishes, so, let them.
You will be surprised at how engaging they will find this activity.
They’ll learn, plus get a sweet treat when all’s said and done.
5. Read And Write
If you love books yourself, you’ll know that reading can be just as fun and vivid as watching a TV show or movie.
Introduce your children to stories that help them travel to real or/and imaginary worlds.
Use the time away from the screens as an opportunity to have them pick up a book or two that they can really get lost in.
Alternatively, you can ask them to write a letter to a favourite cousin, friend, or grandparent.
Have you read: How To Manage, Control Your Child’s Screen Time
You can also make reading all the more interesting by telling your kids about the books you enjoyed as a kid.
6. Puzzles And Board Games Are Good Screen Time Alternatives
Board games, jigsaw puzzles, etc. are great for all ages when piece sizes and counts are appropriate.
Yes, there might be room for mild to moderate competitiveness to bickering for at least a solid hour, but your kids are bound to get carried away in the fun and frenzy of it all.
“Time spent with parents and siblings is rich and enjoyable” is a point your kids will soon learn as they spend more time away from the screens.
7. Photo Albums
Nostalgia has its claws on all humans, even the young.
So, if your kids pre-date the Instagram and Facebook-only sharing era, reach up on those closet shelves and bring out their Baby pictures/your family albums.
Alternatively, create your own family albums. See this as an opportunity to document the times by capturing memories of the present.
You can get/go to a professional photographer, but in this smartphone age, I’ll say not very needed. Capture along as they happen; you’ll look back and be glad you did.
Get more resources on parenting here.