Technological advancements have made life easier for all of us, but there are definitely some downsides to technology. While a tablet is a great way to keep your little one occupied for a while, too much screen time can have a negative effect on both their health and emotional wellbeing.
And research has found that the average British child spends around six hours a daylooking at screens (which is nearly the same length of time as a full day at work!). This can cause sleep problems, obesity and emotional issues,so it is important to make sure that your little ones are having off-screen fun, too.
If you want to find fun, affordable screen free activities for children, we can help. Here are eight inexpensive ways to have fun with your kids (without a screen in sight!).
1. Screen Free Activities For Children: Let Them Try Gardening
Get your children to experience the outdoors by sectioning off a small part of the garden for them. And we don’t just mean letting them dig around; instead let them plant flowers and vegetables to see if they grow! This will teach them about the beauty of nature, but it will also teach them valuable skills such as patience and responsibility.
And nature is great for your little one’s wellbeing; studies have found that spending time in nature improves confidence and sense of self, and it can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
2. Try A Science Experiment
Set up a science station in the kitchen by filling dishes with interesting (but basic) ingredients. Vinegar, baking soda, corn starch and seltzer can all be combined to make fizzy, dissolving liquids, which is a lot of fun for children. However you will need to supervise this experiment, especially if you have younger children, so make sure you plan it for a day when you can get some of your own work done in the kitchen!
3. Cook A Meal Together
Get your children to help out with the cooking process while cooking their favourite meal. For instance, they could stir the food while you prepare the ingredients. This is a great way to teach your child useful life skills, and it also gives you the chance to spend some quality time together. Just make sure to start with simple, easy recipes that don’t require too much chopping or slicing!
4. Ask Them To Surprise You
Younger children love to impress their mums and dads, so ask them to come up with a play, story or dance to perform for you later in the day. This gives them something to focus on while you make dinner, and you even get some after dinner entertainment, too.
5. Get Crafty
Get out the craft box and ask your children to create something beautiful for the home. Maybe they will paint a picture to go on the fridge, or maybe they will make Christmas or birthday decorations. If you are short on ideas you can google to find fun DIY projects for children, but it is likely that your child will quickly come up with a DIY vision of their own!
6. Make Art
This idea is another crafty idea for creative children. Cover the table with a big piece of paper and ask your children to create a beautiful mural for their room. This should occupy them for a few hours, especially if they have lots of materials to work with (such as glitter, paint and crayons).
7. Check Out The Local Library
If you want to get out of the house but the weather isn’t great (which is most days in the UK!), consider taking them to the local library. There will be lots of books and games for them to check out, and it is likely that there will also be other children there that they can socialise with – and best of all, it is completely free!
8. Replace Screens With Another Obsession
If your child really, really loves screen time and it is hard to pull them away, try to replace the screen with another obsession. Something that they really love, that will be able to hold their attention for at least a small while. Maybe they love reading comics, or maybe they are competitive and like competitions. If so you could arrange a family sports day with egg races and other events. This option is different for every child, so spend some time thinking about other activities that make their face light up.