Technology is incredible, we have the world at our finger tips. Of course, with all the benefits of this, it is easy, even as adults, for us to become consumed and reliant. We are going to take a look at reducing screen time with 5 fun activities to do with your children.
How many times have we all decided to scroll on social media for five minutes, then two hours later are still sat there? For children, the internet, tablets, TV and so on can be extremely educational and rewarding, but it can equally be detrimental. The National Institute for Health states that too much screen time can cause sleep disruption, changes in mood and may ‘play a role in depression’.
Whilst we love the fact we can learn, relax and enjoy our time in front of screens, we all need a break. Here are five activities to explore with your children.
A Walk in the Woods
It doesn’t need to be the woods, it could be the park, around where you live or just get out in the garden if you’re able to.
Aside from the obvious increase in exercise by going for a walk, there are other benefits to getting outside in the fresh air. One of the biggest ones is aiding better sleep, as well as getting your brain engaged and of course boosting your mental wellbeing.
This doesn’t have to be boring either, especially for children. Aside from all of the nature they can experience and the fun playing whilst out, you can make the experience educational too. Why not try a scavenger hunt? How many animals and what types? Who can find the tallest tree? Or the prettiest flowers? There is a whole host of ways to increase the fun factor.
We’ve created a basic Scavenger Hunt Sheet to get you started! You can download it here or from our Free Resources page.
Please note all downloads are the property of The Wonderment and for personal use only. They not to be sold, distributed, altered or presented as your own in any way. Thank you!
This is always a winner with children, get out your crafting supplies and make some memories.
Crafting helps with coordination, imagination and all importantly can improve wellbeing, just by being creative. It doesn’t need to be anything too taxing, ask the kids what they’d like to make. Create some art, paper mache a dinosaur, design something for an upcoming event or just get some playdoh out and make aliens.
Whatever craft you choose, the kids will have hours of fun creating and imagining.
There is something special about creating a masterpiece from nothing. Get out the Lego bricks, collect all of your old cardboard boxes, gather toilet roll tubes, or perhaps use some sticks you found on your nature walk.
There is a whole host of ways in which you can build things with the children and this will get their imaginations going full speed, even when things don’t go according to plan, the laughter and enjoyment from building together can really help with their mental health and reconnecting with the world around them away from screens.
If you feel really brave, why not build a fort? For this you can use whatever you have to hand such as blankets, pillows, cushions and chairs. This can be an exciting endeavour for kids, the prospect of building a space where they can play, read or maybe even sleep as a treat. With this idea you can go all out by adding fairy lights, signs and a comfy place to lay!
Play Board Games
Another favourite pastime is to dust off the board games and have an afternoon of fun.
Board games have evolved since our childhood, now there are a plethora of games aimed at children that go beyond the age old favourites of Monopoly and Scrabble. There are games that require you to solve mysteries, race to the finish line, collect resources and uncover clues. Some take half an hour, while others may take an entire afternoon to play.
Whichever type of game suits your family, you are bound to find one that will keep the kids intrigued and eager to play.
Another idea is to create a game with the kids. All you need is a board which you can make out of cardboard, some counters and a dice, as well as an idea. You can then set about getting the children to work out how the game will work, designing the look of the game and how you win! In itself this can be an extremely rewarding activity that will result in a brand new game they can play again and again.
Have a Sports Day at Home
At first blush this might seem like it would be a bit of a feat to achieve, but in reality you can make this activity your own, much like the others we have explored.
You can do this indoors or outdoors and you really don’t need any specialist equipment. Think back to the days of being a child and using jumpers as goal posts, you can utilise any object to mark out a course or create an event.
Include all manner of games such as an obstacle course where they need to crawl under chairs and over sofas, navigate boxes or jump over cushions. You can have standard races, ones where they have to collect items and get back before the other person, or see who can hop the longest.
The ideas are endless, as will their fun be. You’ll have them exercising, laughing, solving problems and just having a good time. They’ll also be exhausted by the end of it, which supports getting a good nights sleep.
A favourite idea of ours for this activity is to create an event for The Floor is Lava. Use cushions, coloured pieces of card or paper, even random items of clothing and dot them around the room. You can use a dice, colour spinner or just have a person call out a colour/item of clothing for everyone to move to, remembering the remove the ones they were just standing on.