23 Mar 10 Tips for Unplugged Fun With Your Kids
With children and many parents at home across the nation for the next few weeks, it can be easy to feel like you’re running out of things to do. While technology is a key tool for e-learning, educational games, and virtually connecting with others, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to less than two hours a day for children over the age of 2.
Rather than having your kids watch TV, play video games, or browse the internet during their free time, consider the various other ways to have “unplugged” fun at home!
- Create a schedule. It’s important to have your children maintain some sort of routine- even if you have to create a new one. Just like they have a schedule at school, work with them to create a schedule at home. Work with your child to include a variety of subjects, including physical activities and “quiet time” ones- Crafts, educational topics, playtime, exercise, and more!
- Supplement their education with fun and hands-on learning activities. Sites like Pinterest are a great tool for finding age-appropriate science experiments, educational crafts and model-building, and sensory and fine-motor enhancing activities!
- Teach them valuable home economics skills. Now is the perfect time for having some little “helpers” around the house! Have them help you prepare dinner, bake together, have them match the socks in the laundry, or sort the dishes and load them into the dishwasher.
- Get creative together. Think outside the box to create your own activities that the whole family can participate in. Use household items to create an obstacle course, think of a theme and create a scavenger hunt, or have your child pick two objects from every room in the house and create a Rube Goldberg
(chain reaction) machine.
- Play traditional family games. Take it back to the basics, with games like Charades, Pictionary, card games, Jenga, and classic board games. Feeling creative? You can even create your own family board game, complete with characters or important locations in your family!
- Complete a puzzle together. Whether you have a puzzle picked out or create your own, completing a puzzle as a family can make for hours of fun!
- Have designated “quiet time”. Whether you take some time to read, write, or just close your eyes and relax, taking some time to unwind each day can make a huge difference in the unsettling emotions and anxiety levels that come along with times of change and uncertainty.
- Stay active and get some fresh air when possible. Make sure to stay active, even inside the home. Whether you play a more active game like freeze dance or musical chairs or do short family workouts, pilates, or yoga, there are still plenty of options to stay active indoors. If the weather permits, let your children play in front of the house or in your backyard. At a time like this, your children should not have friends or neighbors over or visit any playgrounds.
- Have a family storytime. Have your children pick out their favorite books and take some time to unwind at the end of the day and read together. You can also create your own mad lib templates to create stories together as a family.
- Encourage siblings to play together. As we grow older, many come to realize that our siblings are our greatest friends. Use this opportunity to bring your children closer to one another. If your children are of different ages, have the older sibling lead the younger one in an activity, read to them, and so on.
Remember that it’s important to make the most out of every situation. If you and your family are in good health and spending this time together, it is important to remind yourself of everything you do have at this time. Take advantage of these few weeks when your children are home to spend quality time as a family. Whatever you do, do it together, and before you know it, everything will be back to normal.