5 Ways To Encourage Kids To Play Without Gadgets
Get your kids off their devices with these simple tricks!
In this modern age, parents are facing challenges that their own parents never would have thought of. One of the most pressing challenges is that of gadgets. While you were happy to play with your toys, today's kids want to play with their gadgets. Be they game consoles, phones, or computers, it can feel nigh on impossible to get them away from them. Here are some ways you can encourage your kids to play, without the help of a screen.
1. Set The Example
Let's be honest, you're more than likely spending your evenings scrolling through your phone while watching TV. There's nothing wrong with that every once in a while, but if you're asking your kids to get off their phones, you've got to set the example.
Try reducing your own time with your gadgets, so you can start showing your kids that you can have fun without them. This of course may be hard for you, as you're used to having your phone in your hand. Make the effort though, as you can't ask your kids to do the same if you won't do it.
2. Encourage Their Hobbies
Your children most likely have hobbies that they're interested in, so they're a great way to get them away from their screens. Encourage them to take part in their hobbies, whether they're into painting, soccer, puzzles, drawing, dancing, or anything else. Give them the chance to really enjoy these hobbies, away from their screens.
When they're engaging in their hobbies, they're building valuable skills and making friends, all away from those screens. That will set them up well for the future, and gives them constructive things to do with their free time.
3. Give Your Child A Role In Household Chores
If you're trying to get your child away from their gadgets, it's a good time to start teaching them responsibility around the home. You can set them up with a household chore that they're responsible for, which they'll need to complete without the use of screens.
What you ask them to do will depend on their age and ability level. A younger child, for example, can do a chore like picking up their toys at the end of the day. An older child can take on a weekly task like cleaning a bathroom. Asking them to do a regular chore teaches them responsibility, and will help them take time away from their screens.
4. Don't Ban Gadgets Entirely
If you feel like your kids are spending too much time on their phones, it's so tempting to ban gadgets entirely. It sounds like a good idea in theory, but you'll probably do more harm than good. A lot of gadgets will help your children stay in touch with their friends, in the same way you use them. As such, the key is to reduce rather than remove them altogether.
You can do this by setting limits on their use. How you do this will depend on your family's needs. For example, you may want to set time limits on them, or limit their use to only after chores are done. Having limits helps children use gadgets in a much healthier way.
5. Allow Kids To Be Bored
This is advice you may have heard before, and it's very good advice when followed in the right way. Think back to when you were a kid. When you were bored, you most likely would come up with new games to play, would sit and write stories or draw, or go play with friends. You want to give your kids the chance to do the same thing.
If your kids are saying they're bored without their gadgets, don't give in and give them back right away. Encourage them to find something else to do, so they can engage their creative thinking skills and entertain themselves without screens.
As you can see, there are several ways in which you can help your kids reduce their time with gadgets. They are fun and a good way to stay in touch with friends, but they shouldn't be the only thing your children play with. Try these tips to help your kids get quality time offline, too.
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About the Author
George J. Newton is a writer and editor for Academic Brits. He covers parenting tips for the site.