TGIF! Although screen time is quite critical and unavoidable during this lockdown, excessive screen time has its disadvantages. Below are a few fun family-friendly screen-free activities to engage in this weekend. Have fun and stay safe!
Keep individual journals
Writing down your thoughts is a classic way to pass the time. You can encourage your family to keep a journal to record all offline adventures and their lockdown experience. You could also take some time after meals to discuss your day without a device. What is cooler than being a part of an important moment in history? Journaling will be a way to document the pandemic period from their own eyes/perspective; it will be a remarkable reminder in a few years. Schedule a time for this.
Have a family book club
Read books at the same time every day. It could be educational or non-academic as long as they are learning one or two life lessons from it. Note that your options are not limited to physical books. Audiobooks are great too as long as they are not staring at the screen non-stop. Audible has a great selection of quality books for children, and Librivox has a large selection of free public domain books. Download a few to your device, and either give your child some headphones or play the book over speakers while they play quietly. This podcast for Curious Kids titled “But Why” is great as well.
You can also try this read at home bingo, as your kids accomplish each reading task daily, they should cross off each bingo square.
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As schools around the country are closing and teachers are prepping weeks worth of learning resources, I thought a Read at Home BINGO game might be helpful! 📖 Keep kiddos reading with this fun twist! You can print the game out and send home with students if you’re still open, or feel free to send to parents online. Grab it at the link in my profile or http://bit.ly/CupcakeReadBingo 📚 Our county (in northern NJ) officially closed all schools for the next two weeks (at least). What’s happening in your area?
Play board games
Get the whole family together to play one of card games or group board games together. There’s Scrabble, Monopoly, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Chess, puzzles, you name it. See other ideas here
Have a drawing contest
Yes, have a drawing contest. May the best man win (or child, maybe we should let the kids win this one). A drawing contest will not only give a few minutes of deep concentration, peace and quiet, it will also help kids develop fine motor skills.
Everybody loves to play dress-up once especially now that we are always in house clothes most of the time. Suggest categories for outfits such as stylish or silly and unleash the fashionistas in your family. Don’t forget the runway, the music, and the flash of the paparazzi taking pictures.
This might actually sound crazy but it’s the truth – let them be bored! Sometimes they just have to figure out a way to entertain themselves. Leading child psychologists recommend that they can use the time to figure out stuff going on in their lives, explore their creativity or set goals for themselves. There are numerous benefits and it’s a skill for life! Make a rule that if your kid announces they are bored, they will have to do chores. To avoid doing chores, if they truly can’t think of anything off-hand to do, they will eventually think of something.
Are there any other screen-free activities you know? Please share with us. Read this article for 5 ways to keep kids physically active at home during a lockdown. Enjoy your weekend! Read also how Parents can help children overcome anxiety.