7 Screenless Activities for Kids
LONG TIME AGO, IN HOMES NOT FAR FAR AWAY, parents didn’t have to compete for their children’s attention. This attention that is now fixated on electronic devices, for the most part. A Nielsen report found that almost half of all children ages 10 to 12 have their own cell phone. Kids ages 5 to 16 are spending six and a half hours per day in front of a screen, more than double the amount of screen time just 20 years ago. What’s more, according to a Common Sense Research Study, 38% of children under 2 use a mobile device for media.
Not only is technology affecting our children’s interpersonal communication skills, we as parents have lost the “in the moment” experiences we want to cherish with our children. A recent Nielsen report indicates that American adults spend more than 11 hours a day on average in front of a screen, a considerable increase from the previous year.
How many times have we captured memories looking through the screens of our phones as we forget to live in the moment in front of us, while focusing more on getting the shot right? Or, we glanced away for a quick sec because of a “ping” and missed an epic moment with our kids.
When was the last time you put down your shiny devices and actually engaged in activities with your children? You know, the moments you’ll reference for years to come a family dinners and game nights? Suz Lipman, author of “Fed Up With Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World” notes that, “In multiple studies, kids report feeling neglected because of their parents’ media habits.”
While it’s easy to become a part of these statistics because the demands of work and the pull of social media vie for our time, with a little intentional planning, JetHeart can help your family realign its priorities and spend more meaningful time together. At JetHeart, our activities for parents and children are great ways to spend time with children and teens who are typically glued to technology. This screen-free, one-on-one time builds trust and strengthen bonds while family members demonstrate their devotion to prioritizing time together by putting down the devices.
1. Take a pottery class together
If you can’t shell out for the full summer camp experience, choose a few activities you loved as a child and introduce them to your family. Get your hands a little dirty and take a pottery class together. It’s hard to hold a phone when your hands are slimy with clay. Your children will be surprised what they can make with their own two hands and you’ll leave with a souvenir of fun time spent together, or at the very least an ugly flower vase that will make you all laugh every time you look at it!
2. Read the same book
Remind your children that real paper books existed before the world of e-readers, tablets and cell phones. Take a trip to your local library and check out the same book then cozy up at a coffee shop or on your own couch to enjoy it. Have a discussion about the book after everybody’s done and you’re certain to learn more about each other through the different perspectives on the same piece of literature. Use this time to learn what is of interest to your children and what drives their reactions to what they read.
3. Cook a meal together
Instilling a love of cooking and appreciation for healthy, nutritious food starts at a young age. Get children involved in recipe selection and the cooking process so they can learn to be self sufficient and proud of their own creations. Choose a new recipe and cook a meal together. The fun is in the process and you may find both a new favorite dish and an engaging hobby.
4. Explore an arts and crafts fair together
Face it, some of your favorite parts of school probably focused on arts and crafts. That’s because it’s just plain fun to create something by yourself, letting your creativity steer you where it wants you to go. Kids of all ages (and their parents too!) will have fun exploring an arts and crafts fair. The benefit is two-fold because not only is it a fun activity in and of itself, it will spark ideas that will lead to hours of entertainment down the line when children want to recreate the projects they saw at the fair. Win win!
5. Design a scavenger hunt
It might take a little effort and creativity but designing a scavenger hunt for your kids is sure to ignite their imaginations and get rid of the “I’m bored” blues. Bonus points if you can manage to incorporate their hobbies or other favorite things. You’ll earn cool parent points while finding a great way to entertain the family sans-screens.
6. Play a round of miniature golf
You don’t have to be Tiger Woods to have a fun time playing mini golf. Grab your clubs and get ready to laugh because chances are, none of you are as good as you think you are. If you have to ask what is the maximum score you can record per hole, that’s ok, because you’re in this for the memories, not bragging rights.
7. Go to a carnival or fair together
Funnel cakes. Ferris wheels. Ridiculously large stuffed animal prizes. Admit it, these words just conjured up some fond memories from your childhood. It’s time to make these memories with your own family by taking them to a carnival or fair. Let them experience the silliness of fun house mirrors and get a little dizzy on the spinning rides. It will be a day they won’t forget because it was quality time spent together doing something fun.
These adventures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to screenless activities you and your kids can get involved in. Visit our shop for more adventures that keep you all having endless fun, away from any screens.
Wishing you happiness.