Don’t let screen time replace play time - Expert Parenting Tips

Don’t let screen time replace play time

Screen time

With new phone games grabbing our children’s attention every day, it may seem impossible to peel them away from the screen. Take a look at some of these indoor games to help limit your child’s screen time and not let it replace play time.

Game on

Taking time to play with your child is a helpful way to manage their smartphone use and also show them the joy of being away from the screen. While smartphone games can take your child on a new adventure, sometimes, all it takes is some imagination and some household items to inject some fun into the everyday and reduce their screen time too:

1. Indoor obstacle course

Create an adventure just for your child outside the virtual world. Gather some chairs, blankets, hula hoops, and anything that you think will be useful in creating an a-maze-ing (pun intended) obstacle course. Set up the obstacle course according to the range of space in your house. You can make as many rules as you want and each obstacle may require different methods to cross over. For instance, you can ask your child to roll over a blanket or crawl under a chair before he/she moves on to the next obstacle. No matter what, just make sure your child has fun.


2. Pictionary

Can’t seem to get your hands on the board game? Well, you can DIY it! Get some paper and pencils then write down different words on pieces of paper and drop them into a hat or a bowl. Ask your child to pick one randomly and draw what’s written on a piece of paper without telling you what he/she fished out. After junior finishes his masterpiece, it’s time to start guessing.


3. Ice excavation

Bring out junior’s inner archaeologist with an ice excavation. All you need is a container big enough to hold some toys and deep enough to fill with a substantial amount of water. Place the container filled with toys and water into the freezer and wait until the water turns into ice. After it has frozen over, gently take the ice block out of the container. Pass your child some ‘tools’, like salt, a towel, water, you name it, to defrost the ice block and save the trapped toys.


4. Sensory box

This box will keep junior entertained and his/her imagination alive. Grab an old shoe box and cut two holes, big enough for your child to fit his hand in, at the side. Place different objects into the box and get your child to identify them using his sense of touch. Some examples of objects may be slime, a feather, or even just a simple stuffed toy.

5. Treasure hunt

Nothing beats a good-ol-fashioned treasure hunt to give the little ones an adventure away from screen time. Simply write some clues on scraps of paper, number them, and leave the first one in an obvious location. Leave the rest of the clues all over the house – from the bathroom to the bedroom to the garden, get creative. Keep junior moving all around the house to find the prize at the end, but don’t forget to leave some random prizes at various points throughout to encourage them.

Fun beyond the screen

Games don’t always have to come from a little screen in your child’s palms. The phone is a great source of entertainment, but it’s necessary to manage how your little one is using it. Excessive screen time can have negative consequences for your child’s eye health. Using your imagination and some everyday household items can go a long way in entertaining your child and keeping their eyes healthy. If you need some help to keep your child busy away from the screen, check out the planoShop for a bunch of different activities your children can enjoy outdoors.

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