Parents, let’s admit it. We have those times when we just let our kids play with their gadgets instead of actually playing. We have different reasons for doing this. One could be to keep our children busy while we work or do the household chores. Another could be to entertain them in situations where their patience is tested, like during a long drive or while waiting for food in the restaurant. Still another reason is to alleviate their tantrums. There may be times when we also run out of ideas for activities that we can do with our children. While we all have our own reasons, parents of this generation are very much aware of the effects of screen addiction. We know how detrimental it can be to our kid’s total development, whether motor, speech, or even the social aspect. Kids addicted to their gadgets is what we want to avoid. So today, we’re listing down some activities that you can do with your kids to help lessen screen time.
1. Get artsy and make a scrapbook
Scrapbooking is a perfect way to preserve life’s memories. Whether it’s your child’s birthday, a family trip, a moving up day, or simply photos of your family having fun, there is no limit to what you can scrapbook. This is also an activity that can help stimulate your little one’s creative juices too! Include mementos like tickets, flyers, receipts, and drawings. Write notes, quotes, or details of the event. Play around with stickers, glitter, and colored glue. Help your child put it all together, but give him the freedom to decide on how to decorate it.
2. Cook up a storm
Cooking with your little ones offers a lot of opportunities for their development. Measuring a cup of water, stirring a mix, or rolling out a dough helps them improve their cognitive and motor skills. Labeling the ingredients and describing each step can also help increase their language development. Cooking involves real science, too. Too much salt, incorrect measurements, or wrong timing, and you can explain to your kids what happens and why.
3. Teach them patintero
If you want your kids to get moving and stay physical, teach them this classic and popular Filipino game. Physical activity gives your kids the opportunity to exercise and flex their muscles. This promotes better health and can help boost their immune system. Another plus? Staying outdoors! It helps them use their senses and discover what the real world is like. Playing with other kids nurtures relationships too.
4. Go camping
Want to connect with nature? Camping is a perfect way to educate them about the trees, animals, stars, and other environmental elements. This is a learning experience for kids to be resourceful through building fires, cooking, going fishing–basically how to function without all the comforts of home. And if this type of camping isn’t your style, just set up a tent indoors, tell each other stories, and make sure to prepare camp-style food. You won’t need to worry about leaving the comforts of your own home.
5. Plant a garden
This is an activity that is full of sensory benefits. Carrying a bag of dirt or digging deep holes are great for sensory development. For parents who have a hard time feeding their children greens, planting might just do the trick. What’s good about this activity is that you even don’t need a big space for it. A few small containers are good for plants like herbs and cherry tomatoes. Seeing a garden grow may spark your kids’ curiosity too! “How much water does this plant ‘drink’?” and “Why do plants need the sun?” are just some of the questions you should be prepared to answer.
6. Play some board games
A lot of skills can be enhanced while playing board games. Fine motor skills for when they have to move the small pieces around, spin spinners, or roll the dice. Reading skills for game cards and instructions. Cognitive skills which include logical thinking and problem solving. And social skills like taking turns and working together. Kids also learn how to cope with their emotions. Getting too excited, upset, or impatient is something little kids need to learn how to control.