Activities For Kids That Are Not Screen Based
And yes, some of us are old enough to relate to the term ‘square eyes’ back in the days when TV screens were, indeed, square. If we were to bring that expression up to date we’d be struggling – ‘wide, OLED, high definition eyes’ doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.
Of course, we haven’t even started on all the other screens we stick in our faces in almost perpetually these days. Mobile phones, laptops, notebooks and whatever video games today’s kids can get their hands on. They dominate their eyes and, sadly, they dominate lives.
Trees, parks, skateboard parks, even streets right outside homes; they’re all wondering what they’ve done wrong. Where are the kids that used to climb and play outside? Where are the lively neighbourhoods full of kids getting dirty as they roll around in the real world?
As parents, let’s remember one thing: our kids don’t come into this world thinking “Let’s get all this pooing, crying, crawling, walking and talking rubbish out of the way so I can get to the technology.”
We condition our kids to think technology is okay through our own laziness. Yes, it is blissfully quiet while our little treasure watches Dora go about her myriad adventures on the TV. And we all know how quiet a child can be if we hand them a mobile phone. We also know how loud they can be when we try to take that phone off them.
How many hours do your children spend on screen-based entertainment per day? How many hours do they spend on screen-free activities? Probably not enough.
We’re all guilty. We let it happen because we see each compromise as a one-off; a one-off that happens to occur every day.
So the question is: are we using all this new technology that wasn’t there when we were kids to be lazier parents? Possibly. But there are ways to redress the balance.
Here are some fun ways to cut the sedentary screen time and replace it with physical activity and healthy, creative pursuits.
Discover your backyard
Grab a few tools and a magnifying glass and find out just how diverse and teeming with life your own backyard really is.
Plant a garden
Few things captivate young minds more than seeing something they planted grow before their eyes. So, be it flowers, trees or veggies, sow some seeds for change.
Honestly, it’s okay for kids to fall over. So get your skates on and have some fun in the sun.
Make a slip and slide
A homemade slip and slide is a great way to get the kids screaming with delight. And it’s easy backyard entertainment.
Simply sit outside and see who can find the most cloud shapes; nice for bonding and stimulating young minds.
Pack a picnic
When was the last time you did that? Go to the beach or the park and enjoy a quality, fun-filled family afternoon.
Yes, the whole family, including Dad! If it looks silly and gets the kids falling about laughing, that’s kind of the idea.
Go to a park
Take a bat and ball, Frisbee, rugby ball, anything that gets the kids running around and discovering the joys of outdoor sport.
Jump in the car and drive to the nearest national park a great adventure at any age.
One of the simple joys of life is a weekend family bike ride to wherever. Stop for ice cream, then ride home.
Remember, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity, even in kids. So turn off the screens and turn on the fun.
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