With studies indicating that too much screen time can have a negative impact on children, many parents are searching for ways to protect their kids and regulate screen time.
Instead of taking their devices away (and possibly sparking an argument), try one of these offline activities that are safe, that your child enjoys and can be enjoyed at home.
So, we created a list of offline activities that can positively impact your children and provide them with the opportunity to grow, learn new skills and collect new experiences.
You could build a lego tower, a tower of playing cards or try to recreate a building you’ve seen using recycled materials. It's amazing what can be created with some egg boxes, cereal boxes and finished kitchen rolls. You could even make your own village!
Start a Nature Diary.
Look out the window each day and keep a note of what you see. Birds, flowers, changes in the weather, what else? This may encourage them to play outside more. Ask them questions about what they can see, smell, feel and hear.
Homemade Board Games.
Design and make a homemade board game and play it with the whole family. You could do research together and play the board games that you already own. Find out what you enjoy most about your favourite games and include this in your own creations.
Make a Life-Sized Drawing.
You will need a large roll of paper to measure out a piece a little longer than your child. Then put the sheet of paper on the floor, have your child lie down and you draw their outline on the paper. They can then colour themselves in, adding features, clothes, etc. You could go on to label the body parts.
Write a Postcard.
If you miss someone or cannot see someone for a period of time make them a postcard or write them a letter. This can include the picture on one side and the letter and address on the other side.
Homemade Obstacle Course!
Design and make an obstacle course inside or in the garden. Include hopping and sidestepping and traveling around the course in different ways. Make competitions, how fast can you complete the course?
Make a Collage.
Do you have a stack of old magazines? Get them out, along with some paper, glue and other art supplies and have a collage-making session.
Make a Playlist and Have a Disco.
Create your own playlists of your favourite songs. Why not pick 5 songs each that you all like, to add to your playlist, then put it on shuffle and have a disco in the house? Move back the furniture, and get moving! It’s a great way to get some physical exercise in and you could also use your playlist for some limbo dancing, musical statues, best and worst dancer competitions, and lots more!
Draw a Map.
Make a map of your local area, or of your garden. Take a walk (if you can) and point out what you’d like to include on your map or discuss a walk that you often take and start to map out the journey.
Write a song or a rap about a favourite subject or someone in the family. Can you make a beat to go along with the song? Do you have any instruments or anything at home to use as an instrument to play along with your newly written song.
Put on a puppet show for someone. Cuddly toys can also be used as puppets, if you don’t have any puppets. You could also make some out of old socks, or paper, card and lolly sticks. The children could write the play and name the characters, go on to take part themselves and include you in the play. If you wanted, you could go on to make props, costumes and tickets!
Ready, Steady, Cook!
Most children love to cook and bake, particularly with the promise of a sweet treat at the end! Getting children involved in the kitchen from an early age is a great way to introduce them to everything from new flavours and foods, to the maths and science of baking and cooking.
We have also shared lots more of the Benefits of Cooking with Children on our Blog.
If you have any indoor activities that you and your children love to do, please comment on this post and share them with us!