Let me preface this by saying I feel my kids are plugged in way too much. I try to offer different options and alternatives, but with two teens and a 10-year-old, sometimes it’s them against me. Sound familiar? Here are a few ways to encourage your kids to ditch the electronics for non-virtual pursuits.
1) Activity in a Box
I found one company that sends a science project each month. There are boxes that include crafts, art projects, cooking tools and recipes, or toys kids can build themselves. How fun is that? What kid wouldn’t like to receive a package in the mail every month?
2) Learn Something New
Many kids are involved in sports, but you can expand their interests by enrolling them in an art, cooking, language, music, coding, or martial arts class, to give just a few example. Let your kids pick something they’re interested in and they may discover a hidden talent or a new love!
3) Many Magazines
When we think of reading we usually think of books, but magazines are great for kids of all ages. Periodicals feature short articles, real life advice, and word games. My daughter subscribed to three magazines every month from about age eight to 13, and she looked forward to reading them every month.
4) Museums and Other Outings
Are there museums or science centers in your area, or not too far away? Some libraries offer free passes to local museums, aquariums, and other sites. Nothing beats a day at a museum if you ask me!
5) Fabulous Family Time
Sometimes on weekends, Mom and Dad get busy with shopping and household chores, and the kids are left to their screens. Of course, chores need to get done, but be sure to make time for family outings, too. Divvy up the chores with the promise of an outing and a picnic when all the work is done. Then go to the park, explore a local village, pack the car with bikes, or go to the beach. With the leaves turning, it’s a wonderful time of year to head to a county park or to a farm where you can visit the animals and pick apples, pumpkins, and other fall produce.
In the electronics age, it takes some creativity to get the kids off their devices. But guess what? It’s so worth it!