5 Screen-Free Activities For Your Kids Wellbeing
The Biggest Challenge For Stay At Home Moms In 2020…
With schools being closed and the kids online at home, and trying to both educate and entertain my children, one of the hardest things to keep track of is the time my kids are spending on devices. The responsibilities of being a good parent can weigh heavily as my children are now attending on-line classes or checking in with family and friends on Face-Time, Skype or any number of programs and apps that I am slowly learning about, and this generally means that screen time has increased.
What is important to remember is that for the first time in history, every single child on the planet is in the same position, and so are all parents. Not being able to attend school, no play-dates with friends, no seeing extended family (especially grandparents) no holidays, no cinemas and at least one parent always home.
As a Mum and owner of a parenting blog website I have oodles of experience with keeping kids active and away from screens as well lots of positive parenting tips.
5 Screen-Free Activities To Keep You & The Kids Sane During Lockdown
Tip 1: Build A Fitness Circuit
If you are lucky enough to have a backyard, why not create a fitness circuit? This does not mean going out and buying a truckload of expensive equipment!
Think skipping ropes, rocks and logs for step-ups, yoga mats for stretches, push-ups and sit-ups.
Get creative and mark lines on the ground where they can sprint. Resistance bands can work just as well as weights for older children.
Use some imagination and set up some obstacles that kids have to climb over, under or through – let’s face it, we may be stuck at home for a while.
You could even take it to the next level and build a Ninja Warrior Course!
Tip 2: Get Your Kids Cooking
After all that exercise, the munchkins are sure to be hungry!!! Teaching your children to cook is an art that sadly has been mostly lost in our modern world.
What with both parents working and kids having tons of outside of school activities, it’s a testament that parents even get kids to sit at the table to eat!
My children started learning to cook when they were quite young. As a very busy Mum each of my children had to come up with an idea for 1 dinner every week. We then looked at the ingredients, wrote the shopping list and then I helped them prepare.
Of course it started out with nachos and Spaghetti Bolognese. But as they get older, the menu has expanded.
The hidden upside is that kids will generally WANT to eat something they have created so getting them involved in the kitchen can really help with those “fussy eaters”.
Tip 3: Get Out In The Garden
I love my garden!!! And judging by the lack of veggie seedlings in any store with a garden department lately, so does everybody else!
The upsides to getting out in the dirt and potting mix are many. Not only can you teach your children how things grow, they learn that just like us, plants need food, water and shelter to survive.
Another unknown upside is that getting down and dirty has major mental health benefits and there is even talk that exposure to micro-organisms can have real health benefits.
There is nothing better than watching children learn where their food comes from – and believe me, once they have eaten a home grown tomato they will not want to go back to mass-produced, tasteless ones from the supermarket.
True, some vegetables, and any fruit may take a long time to produce – so for quick picks try lettuce of any variety, spinach, strawberries, beans and herbs such as coriander, basil, parsley, chives, oregano and thyme.
The best part of all of the above is that they will grow in containers so are great for apartment or townhouse living.
Tip 4: Yoga Fun For The Family
With gyms being closed as well as exercise studios, yoga is a great exercise that the entire family can enjoy.
Added bonuses are that you don’t need any special equipment and any age can participate as you work to your own level.
What a great way to teach your children some healthy habits.
Try to add a daily yoga class to the family routine. Start at a beginners level and learn the moves with your kids.
Did you know that many of the yoga postures are derived from animals? – Cobra pose, Downward Facing Dog, Cow Pose and even a Cat Pose. My kids think that’s hilarious!
Tip 5: Go Camping In The Backyard
Or in the courtyard, on the balcony or the living room if you don’t have a backyard!
Kids love camping.
You can pitch the tent, set up the camp chairs and BBQ and if you can be a little creative and organised, even have a fire pit to roast marshmallows.
Ban the devices and get each child to tell a story. Sing some songs, tell some jokes and enjoy spending time as a family with no distractions.
Some day in the future once lockdown is finished and we look at what it was like to be a stay at home mom during the great COVID lockdown of 2020, I bet your children will remember your backyard camping trip!!
I hope this have given you some ideas of how you can reduce the time your children spend staring at their screens during the COVID stay at home lockdown.
I use these techniques and a few others to keep my kids and myself active, healthy and engaged so that I can keep sane and have time to spend on my positive parenting tips website.
If you follow the tips in this article, not only may you just make it through these lockdown, self-isolation conditions, you and your family may even emerge healthier and happier!
Sara Cronain runs Famous Parenting, a website with tips and advice for parents with children of any age. She is also a crazy gardener who preserves everything that the family can’t eat and is passionate about getting children healthy and happy.