If you want your kids to minimise the amount of time your kids are on screens, whether that’s their mobile phones, laptops or playstations, we’ve got you!
We are all guilty of letting them on their screens while we run errands like cooking or cleaning the house, but by encouraging your child to do something more constructive, it’s worth the extra effort and gets them off of those screens!
Read our blog for more ways to get them off their screens and making them habits that they are happy to do.
Grab a box (let them make/decorate it for an extra idea) and fill it full of all bits that your child can do alone. Try adding in colouring books, paint-by-numbers, puzzles, playing cards and much more. Try adding stuff that you know they love doing at home or at school. When you need to keep them busy or off of their screens, give them the box. They may find it weird at the start, but the more you do it, the more they’ll see ‘game box time’ as their routine.
If you’re cooking, or cleaning, ask them to join you. You might think they’ll say no, but you may be surprised. Kids love doing things with their parents, and love doing something new. It could be peeling the potatoes for dinner, taking out the trash, setting the table or sweeping the house. Encourage clean up with games like this.
One in a million
If you give your child a task and make it a big deal, they’ll automatically think it’s an important job, and most likely won’t complain about working on it. This could be a picture for dad, a birthday card for their brother, or a fort for nan. Whatever it is, ensure you make it seem like no one else would be able to do what you’ve asked.
Forget video games when it comes to creativity, because creative toys last a lot longer than screaming at the screen and getting frustrated. Distract your child with Lego blocks, puzzles and Play-Dough. You’ll find that they will play with these for hours and you’ll be finding ways to overcome this instead.
Years ago we didn’t have video games or screens to entertain ourselves, so revert back, what did you do? Go outside and enjoy the sun! Grab a ball and let their imaginations run wild.
Or for the days that are too hot and sticky, go to your local MyFirstGym for air-conditioned goodness. A way to keep their fitness in tact too!
Books can be hard to let kids do independently as there’s a possibility that they won’t understand particular words and will need help. Instead, play an audiobook and tell them to flick through the pages as it goes along. It keeps them entertained, and keeps them learning. Win win!
Set up a big tarp on the floor, and give your child bundles of different arts and craft things and let their imagination run. Grab some bowls and stuff from the kitchen that you don’t mind getting messed up, and grab some paints, crayons and pipe cleaners. Guaranteed they will play without any attention needed.
You know them games you seem to play with your kids when you’re on a long car journey? Start playing them while you’re cooking/cleaning, it’ll pass the time for both of you! Play 20 questions, or pick a theme (i.e. cars) and get them to name the theme to each letter of the alphabet, or get them to find an object with the letter B for example.
Grow a garden
Woolworths strikes again! Give your child a small plant/herb to care for. Get them growing an herb, or flower, garden on the windowsill or a small patch in the garden. Have them take care of these plants as their sole responsibility, including watering everyday. When you need a few moments, ask them to check on the plants.
Start a long-term project
If you can find something that your child is passionate about, stick with it! You may be able to help realise it’s actually their passion. By doing a long-term project, it can teach your child all about planning and budgeting their time and money. Your child could build a new surfboard, sew a dress, learn guitar, restore a car, make a treehouse or take on some other big challenge. By dedicating a certain day/time to a project, you’ll see a reward and a habit over time, which will help them to forget all about their screens.
Get your kids in the kitchen with you, rather than keeping them distracted while you cook. Your child will love to help, while learning about how to prepare and cook, and how to eat healthy.