Computers, smartphones, tablets, TV; technology abounds in today’s world, and kids are using it more than ever.
While yes, using technology certainly provides many benefits for kids (and it gives them entertained while you’re doing what you need to do;) however, too much screen time can be detrimental to their physical and mental health.
Instead of caving in and letting your kids watch TV or play on their tablets, here are some creative screen-free activities that are fun, entertaining and will give your kids the physical activity they need.
Have a Bike Race
Riding bikes is a fun activity for kids all on its own; but, if your kids are craving a bit more action, give them a challenge to complete by setting up a bike race.
Set up a course on your street (if it’s safe,) in a park or somewhere where there isn’t a lot of traffic. You can use cones to outline the course and you can even set up a starting line and a finish line with some tape. On your mark, let your kids ride their bikes and race to the finish line.
Go on a Nature Walk
Spend some quality time outdoors with your kids and teach them about the wonders of the natural world while taking a nature walk.
Before or after dinner, or any other time of the day, take your kids for a walk outside. Take a walk in different locations, if possible; but, even if you can only walk around your neighborhood, there are plenty of ways that you can explore nature together. Examine birds and flowers, talk about the changing leaves, gather nature items (pinecones, acorns, sticks, etc) and create a craft with them when you get back home.
Plant a Garden
- Physical activity? Check.
- Getting outside? Check.
- Learning responsibility? Check.
- Seeing how their efforts make a difference? Check.
Planting a garden is an excellent activity for your kids to partake in! Choose a spot in your yard, give your little ones some kid-friendly gardening tools, seeds and watering cans and let them work the land and plant a garden. They can even create some colorful signs and stepping stones for their garden! They’ll have a blast and they’ll get a real thrill when they reap what they sow.
Create An Obstacle Course
Kids love jumping and climbing, which is why an obstacle course is something they will really enjoy.
Use couch cushions, pillows, toys, tables and anything else you can think of to create an obstacle course for your kids. Let them climb, jump, crawl and wriggle on their bellies to complete the course. They’ll have tons of fun, plenty of giggles and get in some good quality physical activity.
Get some hula hoops and let your kids explore using them. Show them how to move their hips to keep them up and see who can keep their hoop up the longest. Set them out on the floor and jump from hoop to hoop. Use them as a fun alternative to a jump rope. There are so many fun ways you can play with hula hoops and keep your kids active!
Present your kids with these activities and they’ll definitely spend less time on the couch and more time being active.
This post is written by Amy Williams. Amy
is a free-lance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.
Kassandra Brown is a coach based in Boulder, CO.