Imagine this - your little one returns home from playing with their friends and the first thing they ask for is…. your mobile phone or they switch on the TV and activate couch-potato mode. If this scene is a reality check for you, then you might be concerned about their screen time use. Or how much time they spend on their gadgets and the impact it will have on them.
If you struggle to reduce your child’s screen time, you are not alone. Most parents face this issue. If you want them to reduce their screen time, we’ll help you wean them off the tech diet with this article. While it’s easier said than done, it is quite possible to break your child out of the tech den and bring them back to the real world. We’ve given it plenty of thought and here are some ways to keep your child occupied without using tech devices:
1. Drawing and painting contests:
Children love to scribble and colour to their heart's content. So use their passion for art as a distraction from their tech devices, you can host an art-based activity or competition for your little one. Give your child a drawing book, coloured pencils, and some art supplies, and let them scribble, draw and create masterpieces. Avoid butting in with your suggestions. Once they finish, encourage your little one with positive feedback. Your child can try different painting techniques like finger painting, vegetable painting (using cut-out pieces of ladyfingers, broccoli, carrot, etc), and stamp painting. The best part? Years later, you will look at your child’s artwork with fondness
2. Take an adventure at home:
When your kids go outside and exercise regularly, they will get stronger. This is because the body needs more calories to stay active and build muscle. They can choose activities that challenge them, but make sure they are aerobic in nature and don’t focus on building muscle. Climbing a tree, running laps around the block, or playing tag are good options. Once your kids are stronger, you can start to do more challenging activities that challenge your body, such as lifting weights or playing sports.
3. Make a spider web:
Channel your little one’s superhero mode by constructing the perfect Spiderman theme setup. All you need is – some tape, white colour wool, or paper streamers. Arrange the string or streamers to run across each other in any design you wish. Instruct your kids to use their survival skills like crawling, climbing, and twisting to manoeuvre through the maze. Their objective is to make it out of the maze without touching the “webs”.
4. Host dance parties:
Let your bunny dance away! Host dance parties with your little one and convert your living room into a dance floor. Decorate the dance space with different coloured lights and play your child’s favourite tunes. Or teach them all-time favourite dances like the Macarena, the YMCA, etc.
5. Let them play indoor games:
Most parents envision a wreckage at the thought of letting their children play indoor games. It might bring to mind images of broken light bulbs, broken vases, or furniture tossed to the ground, it’s enough to instil horror into the mind of any parent. Lucky for you, we did some digging and thought of ideas to help your child play at home while preventing such mishaps from occurring and here they are:
- Volleyball: Let your little sport play volleyball with a balloon. You can set up a net (use a stoleif you don’t have a net) and shoot the balloon back and forth from you to your child.
- Bowling: A little DIY bowling wouldn’t hurt anybody. For this fun game, you need 10-12 empty plastic bottles or empty cold drink cans (use them as bowling pins if you don’t have any), white colour tape, and a soft cricket ball or sponge ball. Stick the tape on the ground to form the bowling lane (keep in mind your child’s age and physical capabilities while doing so) and arrange your ‘bowling pins’ at the end of this lane. Teach your child the objective of the game and let them ‘bowl’ you over.
- Socketball: Confused about the name of the game? This game is simply a different take on basketball. Instead of a ball and hoop, use socks and a clothes hamper. Roll up the socks into little balls and ask your little one to throw them into the hamper
Instead of lecturing your child about the ill effects that technology might have on their growing minds, you can distract them from its influence by interacting with them. Make your home a safe space for them to have fun and enjoy the time you spend with them. We hope these ideas will help you bond with your little ones and create some fun memories with them that will last a lifetime.