Children who spend an excessive amount of time in front of a screen may have an increased risk of attention problems and reduced ability to communicate effectively in the real world. Too much screen time can also increase the risk of weight gain and sleep deprivation, so it is essentially bad for both mental and physical health. With this in mind, parents should try to encourage their children to partake in activities that don’t involve a screen. Here are some suggestions from a private school in Bristol.
The great thing about journaling is that your child can write about whatever they want. For instance, they could keep a gratitude journal in which they jot down some of the things that they appreciate each day, or they could write about their future goals. If they’re interested in nature, they could write about any wildlife they’ve spotted that day or talk about the progress their home-grown vegetables are making. If they like creative writing, they could keep a poetry journal. The options are endless and it’s a great way for them to practise key skills and develop their vocabulary, while taking some much-needed time away from the screen.
2. Arts & Crafts
Again, the options are endless when it comes to arts and crafts. You child could make their own birthday cards for friends and family, create puppets out of socks, or use natural materials like twigs and leaves to craft a sculpture. Arty activities are great for helping them develop their fine motor and hand-eye co-ordination skills, as well as an outlet for self-expression.
For older children, it might be nice for them to spend some time helping out in the community, such as volunteering at a care home or getting a job in a charity store. Alternatively, they could help clear up some little or assist an elderly neighbour with some household chores. There’s nothing as rewarding as helping those in need and giving back.
Kitchen skills are important for young people to develop and can help them with their independence and prepare for adulthood. Perhaps they could prepare one meal a week for the rest of the family or bake some tasty treats. Either way, it’s a fun and rewarding way for them to spend their time.
5. Board Games
Believe it or not, board games are more educational than you might think. Monopoly, for instance, is great for help youngsters with their numeracy skills as it involves basic sums, and Scrabble is a fantastic way for them to develop their vocabulary. Plus, it’s a chance for the whole family to spend some quality time together, bonding and having fun rather than silently watching TV.