Technology has created many fantastic gadgets that help entertain and educate our children. However, they can quickly get far too absorbed in those screens. The result is, it becomes difficult to peel them away from their gadgets and have them do other things.
As parents, it’s our responsibility to enforce screen limitations. This is particularly important when your kids can’t help but whine and tell you they’re bored. Luckily, there are many options to keep your children engaged, entertained, and far away from their screens.
Here are some of them.
1. Board Games
Board games are not only a blast for kids, but they can be fun for the entire family! Board games have really taken off in the last several years, and there are so many more options out there than you may remember as a kid. Pick up some games that everyone can do, like a drawing and guessing game, or select a newer Euro-style game that even older kids can enjoy. The best games are inherently replayable and can absorb their attention for a few hours at a time.
Similar to board games, puzzles are an excellent activity for kids and parents alike. They are a fantastic team-building pastime that will use their analytical and spatial skills. At the same time, they help each other along the way.
Clear off a table, pour out the pieces, and work together to complete the challenge. For particularly tricky puzzles, consider framing it so you can always remember the time you spent putting it together as a family.
3. Build a Fort
Building a fort is sure to get your kids off the couch and excited to participate! This activity is frugal, too, because it uses items you already have in abundance in your house, like sheets, blankets, and pillows. Once they’ve created a cozy spot, it also doubles as a perfect place for naps or other quiet activities. Bring in a flashlight for a shadow puppet show, and they may never want to leave!
4. Read a Book Aloud
Some kids loathe reading, but for others, it’s a favorite activity. For many children, reading aloud can be nerve-wracking at first, but with practice, it will enhance their skills and give them more confidence when speaking in public as well. For smaller kids who haven’t yet learned to read, let them follow along as you or an older sibling read to them. This will help them start to learn sight words, setting them up for success in school.
5. Paint a Picture
Let loose their inner Picassos! Get out your dusty art supplies and watch as your kids create their own masterpieces. Even if you don’t have paint, crayons or markers will work just fine to jump start their imagination.
If they’re struggling where to begin, have them all draw a family member and compare pictures at the end. This would be an excellent gift for grandparents as well. Imagine the look on grandma’s face when she opens up an envelope filled with custom portraits of her done by her grandchildren!
6. Perform a Play
Putting on a play is a great way for larger families to do something together! Budding writers may not even realize their skills until they sit down to write their first script, but this could be all it takes to get those creative juices flowing. Those who are too shy to take the stage can be directors or prop masters, but you’re sure to have at least one star in your family who wants to shine.
Let your kids rehearse together before the curtain drops and make sure they’re met with thunderous applause at the end. Bonus points if there’s at least one musical number thrown in for good measure!
7. Create a Delicious Meal or Snack
Kids are never too young to learn kitchen skills, and this is something they’ll use for their entire lives. Select some recipes with fun shapes or bright colors that will appeal to them, and give them age-appropriate tasks. Little ones can help mix and decorate, while older kids can be responsible for chopping and working with the stove or oven. The best part is, everyone can enjoy the delicious fruits of their labor at the end, and your kids will feel a sense of pride at what they’ve created for their family.
The possibilities are endless when looking for ways to keep your kids busy. Although it may seem like their gadgets have an iron grip on their attention, once you’re able to direct them to another task, they’ll soon find that there’s more to life than what’s behind the screen.