When you have spare time with your kids, whether it is because school has just finished, it’s a rainy day, or you are having a lazy weekend, the easiest way to keep them entertained is by giving them a phone, iPad or TV and allowing them some screen time. This is good to do in small doses; however, it is worth noting that too much screen time can be a bad thing and taking moments dedicated to more old-school forms of entertainment can also be a positive thing.
If you find yourself being concerned at the amount of screen time your kids are having and would like some tech-free ideas, then you’re in the right place. This list will comprise the top 10 old-school entertainment ideas that you can use to keep your kids entertained in lieu of screen time. They will be incredibly grateful for these unique ways to have fun.
- Put Together a Game Box with Them
What is a games box? It can be whatever you want. Essentially, it involves filling up a box with some of the best things that your child is able to do on their own. This will include the likes of coloring books, playing cards and simple to-do puzzles. If your kid is complaining of being bored, then you can then just give them some time with the box and let them play with all of the different items that you’ve put in there. Eventually, time with the box will become something that they accept as part of their regular routine.
2. Get Them to Try and Make Their Own Cartoon
This is something that your child will likely welcome in lieu of screen time because rather than having your child watch cartoons, you are encouraging them to engage with their creative side and put together their own cartoon instead. This is fun and something that even you can have a go at. You can try and make a sidekick for their cartoon. All you need to do is give them a piece of paper and some crayons / pencils / felt tips before getting them to put together their very own hero or bad guy (or both). You can ask them to give the character a name, a superpower and then also put together a small story about them.
3. Play a Cornhole Game
Cornhole games are a really fun game you can play as a family that is so engaging you will be surprised at just how quickly the time flies following your go with it. Not to mention, thanks to the different variations of cornhole games available on sites such as Cornhole Worldwide, you can get designs of things you know your child likes. You can get boards that are totally customizable as well, so you can get them with pictures of your family on.
4. Let Them Help You with Jobs Around the House
Regardless of what you are doing, whether it is cooking, cleaning or baking, if you let your kids assist, then it’s a good way to keep them entertained and a fun way to connect with them. You should naturally give them jobs that they would be comfortable doing depending on their age and ability. They could be the likes of stringing beans or setting the table, but either way, it is a lot of fun to let them get involved, and they will get a sense of achievement after they have helped contribute towards making dinner.
5. Put Together a Treasure Hunt
This is one of the best options if you want something that will keep you entertained as well. By putting together a treasure hunt, you will be able to have fun yourself by creating it and then watching them try to work it all out. This is not the only benefit either as you are also going to be promoting their decision-making by having them complete this treasure hunt; you are also going to be able to encourage them to work out things for themselves without asking you for help. As such, not only is this generally a good idea to cure your child’s boredom, but it will help their development as well.
6. Host a Play Date with Some of Your Child’s Friends
You should ask your child about other friends that they have at school and reach out to their parents with the intention of setting up a play date. This is a great way to encourage them to develop their social skills and form friendships with other kids in the neighborhood. If they are coming over to you, then you should set up some games for them to play, then in other instances, when your kid goes over to their friend’s house, you can enjoy simply having some alone time instead.
7. Build a Fort
Just using items as simple as a few pillows and a blanket, you can ask your child to turn the whole sofa into a fort. There is no chance that your child is going to turn down the opportunity to make a secret base, and as such, they will happily play independently as a means to put together their own secret fort.
8. Have Them Carry Out a Science Experiment
Why not take this opportunity to teach your kids something new about the world by carrying out their very own science experiments. There are lots of different ones that you can carry out, whether it is something a bit more technical like creating your very own erupting volcano or getting a magnet and asking them to work out what it sticks to and what it doesn’t. These suggestions only scratch the surface of the options available to you; if you begin to explore more of them, then you will really see the time fly by.
9. Give Them an Important Task to Carry Out
If you give your child a task and make out as if it is a really big deal, then you will be able to let them work hard on completing the task and reward them for carrying it out. You should give them a job such as drawing a picture for another relative or creating a fort for someone. If they are under the impression that it is a very important job, then they will be more than happy to work on it independently.
10. Encourage Playing Outdoors
Of course, this one might be a bit more difficult to do throughout the winter months, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great option when it comes to keeping your child entertained. If you give them a ball and create a goal for them, then they will pass their time in an incredibly easy way, simply by practicing their football skills and getting better as the day goes on. It’s also a really good way to ensure that your child is keeping healthy and active, which is very important.
When it comes to keeping your child entertained, it can be very easy to simply give them some screen time and let them pass the time that way. That being said, though this can be effective, too much screen time can be a bad thing. As such, you are going to want to make sure that they are also doing activities that consist of a lot of old-school entertainment too that does not involve screens. There are lots of different methods available to you, and those which work the most effectively will depend entirely on what it is that your child is into. The above list is a good place to start if you are wondering where you should begin with putting together these opportunities.