We are in a digital age, and screen time has become a big part of our lives and our children’s lives. While there are many benefits to this, there are also downsides to constant screen time. Helping reduce screen time can be difficult, especially during winter months when it isn’t as easy to go outside. We’ve gathered some out of the box ideas to help engage your child and their imagination that don’t include screens.
from: Written & Bound
Play library or school: Pretending is a really good for your child’s development. Children can learn more about themselves and the world around them through pretend play, while also allowing them to learn to share or problem solve. Let them be the librarian and read a book to you, or allow them to be the teacher and teach you something. Make this as interactive as you choose! Does your child want to create library cards or this activity, or do a fun assignment? You decide what works best for your child and yourself!
from: What to Expect
Go to the library, museum, aquarium, or zoo: Take the day to explore a local museum, aquarium, or zoo. Many of these places also have fun activities available for children to take part in during your visit. Go to the library, let your child pick some books that interest them, or pick some together. Many local libraries offer classes or take home activities for children as well!
from: What Moms Love
Have a game day: Spend some time playing board games, card games, charades, or building puzzles with your little one. This isn’t simply playing a game, but it helps your child learn to take turns, make decisions, and self-control skills. Take turns choosing your favorite games and letting your child pick their favorite game. This could be turned into a fun playdate game where each child brings their favorite game to share with their friends.
from: Real Simple
Build a fort or obstacle course: If you’re looking for ideas to help your child stay moving, building a fort or an obstacle course is a great way for them to move their body. You don’t need a large space for either of these activities, you only need your imagination. Let your child help brainstorm ways to make the fort or obstacle course. Not only can they use problem solving skills in the building process, but they can also use their motor skills too!
from: Momma Poppins
Science experiments: This activity will require adult supervision, as well as tailoring an experiment to fit with your child’s age. Science experiments don’t have to be boring, there are many fun experiments, for all ages, out there for your child. Don’t feel overwhelmed, you can keep this activity as simple or complicated as you’d like.
from: Every Mum
Arts and Crafts: Painting, coloring, writing a letter, playdoh, making something new are always a hit with children. Again, this activity can be as intensive as you’d like. Some children may need a little help and assurance to get started, but then let them use their imagination to create something of their own. Doing this can help their self-confidence, as well as their motor skills!
Build with legos or magnets: Again, this is another activity that allows your child to use problem solving skills, motor skills, and their imagination. Depending on your child’s personality, they may want to follow detailed instructions to build something specific, or they may want to create something of their very own creation! Between towers, mazes, or houses this activity is always a crowd pleaser!
from: Charlotte Family
Baking: While baking with your child can sometimes feel extremely messing and overwhelming for parents, children love helping in the kitchen! Choose a recipe together and go for it! While baking with your child may be messy, they will remember spending time with you. This will also give them a sense of pride in creating something they and others can enjoy!
These ideas are available for you to help replace some screen time with your child. Depending on the age of your child, some activities may require more adult involvement. Don’t feel discouraged if you allow your child to use screens. We live in a digital world and your child is likely to use them in some form throughout their life. Choose an alternative activity that works best for you and your family. Don’t forget to have fun!