Are your Kids Spending Too Much Time Online? My Top 5 Device Free Family Activities.
Is this a Regular Occurance in Your Home?
Technology is a Great... Sometimes
I’m certain I am not alone, when feeling like maybe my kids spend too much time on their devices, and too little time learning to discover the world through their own eyes, and learning some simple life skills. I know as a parent myself, device time has become my in-home daycare.... but at what expense? Ever hear the saying, “smartphones make stupid people”
I work with a lot of young people, and it’s becoming more, and more evident that the saying is becoming true. Many young people rely on their devices for intelligence, non socializing (as I call it), entertainment, and often feel as if their ”being”, or worth is somehow attached to their devices,and platforms they use. It’s scary.
As a mom, I recognize the importance of our children staying in the times, in a world where technology is vastly used, and perhaps needed. I think it’s important, that we as parents take the initiative to limit device time, for the whole family, and find ways to interact old school together. Sometimes all we need is a simple article like this one to bring it to light, and help bring some change into our lives.
Fun Activities to Enjoy with your Kids.
I have created this list of some of my go-to favourite activities, to get my kids using their brains, learning, and growing some basic skills, and most of all having fun!
1. Family CookingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Every week my children pick 1-3 of our meals!
For each of these meals, we source recipes (unless it’s one we know), they help me shop and pay for the items we need, and they cook the meal with myself or my husband. This is fantastic bonding time, they learn so many life basics skills, it’s so much fun, and they are always so proud of themselves when they serve their family the meal they prepared. By far my favourite activity and theirs too!
2.GeocachingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Geocaching is an amazing opportunity to explore your own neighbourhood, or anywhere your family travels! Geocaching is a community of people, who hide what is called “caches” all over the world! It’s like an outdoor treasure hunt. Geocaching does use an app, although it’s not the main focus, you basically use your device as a compass. Our family has spent hours, and hours, and hours on these fun family adventures! It’s a great way to build teamwork, communication skills, and explore. Pack a picnic, make a day of it, you never know what you will find! For more information on Geocaching, I have posted the link below. This is one activity, I believe every family should enjoy together! We have geocached on every vacation we have taken, at night, in the rain, it is always available, and a perfect “I’m bored activity. You will discover wonderful places and adventures all around you, that you probably never noticed before. We love it!
There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world—there are probably some near you right now. Get the free Official Geocaching app and start finding them.
Hide and Seek in the Park, in the DarkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Another family favourite activity we have is playing hide and seek at a local park, in the dark. We pair up with the younger children and of course set some boundaries. This is a great family activity and so much fun for all ages, even our teenagers have fun. It’s an experience your children will never forget! You can play manhunt, capture the flag, Marko polo etc. My children get so excited about staying up past bedtime. We always enjoy exploring new parks and discovering new hiding places. The great bonus, your children will sleep so well after, and probably sleep in!
Family painting is so much fun! It’s a great activity to help your children and adults let their creativity flow! My children love seeing their artwork displayed in our home. Sometimes we copy a picture we find online, and see how different they all turn out, and sometimes we just create our own. You can find relatively cheap painting supplies at your local dollar store or on Amazon. It makes a great rainy day afternoon activity!
5. Family Board GamesClick thumbnail to view full-size
One of my favourite memories as a child growing up was playing board games with my grandma. She loved to play Canasta. This tradition is another fun way to spend time with your kids and also helps them with many skills. One of my family favourites is Rumoli. When I was a kid we played with pennies, but now we play with nickels (lucky kids!). Rumoli is a great game for a family group and helps the kids learn math & money skills. It’s always such a hoot! A few of my other kids favourites are Uno, Mousetrap, Perfection, and Go Fish... oh and let’s not forget Pie Face (parents beware hahaha) The other nice thing is, once the children become comfortable with the games, it’s also a great activity they can enjoy together if you have chores or something else to attend to.
Family Time is Priceless
Regardless of what activities you choose, it’s important to spend time with your children and encourage them to have a life outside devices. I think you will find cherish-able memories and important life skills will be learned and taught, that will influence your families lives. If you think back to when you were a child, often I find my best memories were those created as a family having fun. I would love to hear your suggestions below for activities you do with your family, maybe even try a few! Have fun and save those nickels, your gonna need them!
© 2018 Sarah Cook