Screen Time Alternatives
Covid-19 brought many challenges for families. Seeing friends has been through a screen, classrooms became screens, activities we once went to were now online. The importance of our devices and their functionality, for our functionality, became all the more apparent.
Technology allowed us to stay close to people, and feel connected, for that we can only be thankful. But giving with one hand while taking with the other seems to be the order of life. Increased screen time has its pitfalls, with all this extra time on screens, I’m sure most parents have been concerned at some point. While data and research on the topic are still so new, there’s a strong argument for reducing screen time where possible.
Similarly, being part of our children’s online journey is important, we can understand how they are spending their time, and what exactly they are consuming. Setting screen schedules, keeping mealtimes screen-free and taking breaks are encouraged. Also making sure our kids look out the window regularly, so they’re shifting their focus and no screens before bed are all key tips from the HSE.
If you’re looking for alternatives to screens for entertainment, then it’s going back to basics that can help. Some top screen alternative activities include:
1. Old photos
Old photo albums are a perfect afternoon activity for little ones. They’ll get to see themselves as babies, their family, and get a sense of their rich heritage and identity. Expect lots of questions and a trip down memory lane. There will no doubt be sad stories, happy, funny, and children will want to return to the albums again and again.
Get everyone involved in dinner time. Giving responsibility to little ones shows respect and trust. Trying to make this a weekly routine is a great way to have some quality time while teaching kids about the cooking process (getting everyone involved in cleaning saves time, too!!).
3. Get Outside
Sounds basic, but we’re spending more time inside than ever before (and this was a pre covid finding). Taking time every day to be outside is an important part of any child’s development. Trying to make a routine of getting out and playing will help children’s activity levels and sleeping.
4. Get creative
Reading bedtime stories is wonderful for our kid’s imagination, allowing them to use their creativity, and encouraging it will help foster creativity for life. Encourage little ones to write stories, plays, movies and be part of the creative process with them. Great for our inner-child as well!
This might require a bit of trickery, but getting our kids to be part of the cleaning up process is a useful life skill and will help them work together. Position it as something they are allowed to do, and make them feel special. Before you know it they’ll be volunteering themselves!
6. Real-Life Challenges
If your kids love video games, then setting them tasks in real life can feel like the next best thing. Have them find some old toys in the attic or old family gems. Set a challenge with a time limit. When they’ve completed their mission they can invent games with the retrieved goods.
Using what we already have around us as alternatives can offer something different and exciting for our little ones. It’s been a hard year for everyone and trying something new, and getting the whole family involved can be the perfect level of escapism and quality time we all need.
Social media copy
Instagram – There’s no doubt Covid has increased our screen time. I’m guilty of it too. My latest blog post is for anyone looking for screen time alternatives. I hope you enjoy and if anyone has any other ideas or tips, leave them in the comments below. Link to blog in bio.
Facebook – My newest blog post is for anyone looking for some alternatives to screen time for their kids. All very easy to do, and using things around the house. I’d love you to give it a read and if you have any screen time alternatives leave them in the comments below