Writer | Mother
How does your kid spend their free time? If you say “with the iPad,” we have a huge problem. If it’s the iPad and then the TV and then the iPad again, it’s time to introduce some off-screen activities for your kids.
Not sure what to do? It’s okay! You have so many things on your mind that getting creative can be hard. We’ll suggest 10 ideas for screen-free activities that you can easily try with your kids.
You can play it in the safe zone in the front yard or around your home. You just need to hide small items, such as fake gems, toys, or even candy. Give your kid a list of hidden things, so they will know what they need to find in order to complete a level. Give them a magnifying glass, too, so they will feel like real explorers.
Then, just tell them to hunt for the treasures. You’ll give hints as they go.
Remember Hide and Seek?
Today’s parents are a bit skeptical about this game, thinking that the neighborhoods are not as safe as they used to be.
But you can still play this game in safe surroundings. If you have a group of children on a birthday party or a barbecue, why not have a parents vs. kids game? It will be really fun for everyone.
You need at least three players for this game. One of them will seek and the others will hide. The seeker will close their eyes and count up to 10, 20, or any other given number. Once they are done counting, they will say “Ready or not, here I come,” and the seeking game will begin. The player who’s found last is the winner, and they will be the seeker in the next round.
If you play the game in teams, you can have multiple seekers and hiders.
Pick Berries and Turn Them into a Delicious Jam
Kids won’t learn about the value of food if you don’t teach them. They have to understand that food doesn’t come from the fridge or the store. It comes from the nature and they have to respect that.
So take them in the forest and pick some berries. Find an easy recipe online, and prepare a delicious jam at home.
Take the Dog Out for a Walk
Your kid loves playing with the dog? That’s great, but animals are not only for playing. As humans, we have a responsibility to provide them with higher quality of life, and that involves daily exercise.
Morning walks are a must for your dog! If you include your kid in this activity, you’ll achieve two things: you’ll take them away from the screen and you’ll teach them about the responsibilities of owning a pet.
Walk the dog at the same time every single day. Morning walks are recommended, but you may even schedule two walks per day. You and your kid will take the dog and you’ll go to the park nearby. It’s a simple, but useful activity for everyone involved.
Use That Sports Equipment from Your Garage
You have all kinds of balls and equipment just sitting there and collecting dust? It’s time to use them. Invite the kids from the neighborhood to have a sports tournament over the weekend. Of course, you’ll first arrange the details with their parents, and you’ll all provide snacks, water, and proper adult supervision.
You may have a game of football, baseball, soccer, basketball, athletics… anything.
Build an Obstacle Track
Don’t worry; you’ll make it completely safe for your kids. You can use balls, hula hoops, and all kinds of safe items to create a quick and safe track for your toddler.
They should run and do something with each item as they come across it. If, for example, they come across a rope, they should jump over it (you’ll position it closer to the ground, so no one will get hurt). If they get to a ball, they should throw it and precisely hit another object with it (it may be a chair or a door).
Go to a Museum
Your kid loves dinosaurs and loves seeing them on the iPad? Well why don’t you search for a prehistoric museum in your area and take your kid there?
Whatever your kid’s interests are, you’ll find a relevant museum. Maybe they love nature, animals, art, water, or sports? Just do your research and get the tickets! You will have a great family day out.
Read Together – Outside!
You love reading on the porch because you enjoy the fresh breeze and the birds singing? Well your kid will definitely enjoy that, too. Pick an interesting book and head off into the world of fantasy together.
It’s important to set a good example for your kid. If they see you reading, they will understand that it’s an enjoyable activity and they will make an effort to accompany you. If the kid can’t read yet, you have a great opportunity to create a bond through stories.
Take Advantage of Local Attractions
It doesn’t matter where you live; there surely is something interesting to see. Even if the closest amusement park is a one-hour drive away, you should still go there as often as possible.
All kids will enjoy waterfalls, water parks, monuments, museums, parks, and all other kinds of attractions. Usually, you don’t have to go too far to search for something like that.
Look at the Stars
The stars are among the most mysterious things for kids. They trigger their fantasy. Where do they come from? How do they hang up there? Who hanged them? How do they look up close?
It’s important to nurture this natural curiosity. Why don’t you get an affordable telescope and observe these wonders of the universe at night?
There are so many fun things to do with your kid! You can still let them use the iPad, but you’ll show them that there’s more to the world than they assume if you include other activities. Hopefully, the list above gave you the inspiration you needed.
Silvia Woolard is a professional writer at SuperiorPapers from Phoenix, AZ and mother to a beautiful five-year-old girl. She mostly writes and works in a field of popular psychology, business and marketing. In her free time she loves to travel around the globe with her family. You can follow Silvia in her Twitter.