Unplug and Play: 10 Ways to Get Your Kids Off Their Phones and Into Family Time
We live in a digital age where we are surrounded by devices and technology every day. It's hard to deny the advancements in our lives that have been made thanks to technology, but it also comes with its unique challenges.
One such challenge is getting our kids to unplug from their digital devices and experience the real world that is around them. We want our kids to spend quality time with us and make meaningful connections in their lives, but they need help to put down their phones and look up from the screens.
And that's why we're here! We've got ten fun activities your kids can do to unplug and play. So whether you are looking for some outdoor activities or something more creative inside the house, we've got it all. Read on!
1. Set Rules
The first step in getting your kids off their devices is to set clear rules outlining how much time they are allowed to be on them. Set a timer and enforce a strict rule that they must power off their device when the timer is up.
It's not the ultimate 'fun' activity, but establishing these rules will help you keep track of your kids' screen time and give you more control over it. So next time you suggest unplugging and playing, your kids won't feel like they are going to miss out.
2. Outdoor Adventures
Heading outdoors with your kids is a great way to get them away from their screens. Take a nature walk, go for a hike, or take a bike ride. These activities will remind your kids of the beauty and adventure outside their digital lives.
It's a great way to explore nature and get your kids moving, plus it's a perfect opportunity for you to talk about the world around them. So grab your rain boots and sunscreen, and head outdoors!
3. Indoor Activities
Sometimes heading outside is not an option. But don't worry, and you can do plenty of indoor activities with your kids. You can break out the board games or puzzles (we’re pretty big fans of Oh Nutz and Portal Potties), have a dance party, or even create your own art project.
These activities are the perfect opportunity to bond with your kids and show them that there is a world beyond the digital one. So turn off those screens and get creative!
4. Family Projects
Another great way to get your kids away from their devices is to work together on a family project. It can be as simple as tidying up the house or creating an outdoor garden, but the important thing is that it's something your kids can help with and be proud of.
You'll find that when your kids have a sense of ownership over the project, they will be more likely to stay away from their screens. Plus, it's a great way to teach them valuable skills and work together as a family.
5. Brainstorm screen-free activities
Sit down with your kids and brainstorm ideas for activities they can do without screens. Please encourage them to think of things they enjoy doing and would like to spend more time on.
The key is to create a list of activities that are both engaging and productive, so your kids can feel like they are getting something out of it. This will help them see that there is more to life than just screens and will get them excited to unplug and play.
6. Take a day of rest
It can be hard to unplug completely from the digital world, but it is possible. Choose a day during the week when everyone can take a break from their electronics and enjoy the present moment.
If taking an entire day off sounds daunting to you, start with a shorter period of time (e.g., Sunday afternoons from 12-5) and see if you can work your way up to a full day. Even if you pick one day a month, that's a win. Find what can work for your family and go from there.
7. Set Limits on Platforms/Games
This may seem obvious, but one easy way to reduce the allure of screens is to limit which platforms and games your kids can use. For example, you may decide that your child can start using Instagram instead of Snapchat and VSCO. You can do the same by limiting which video games they can play.
Sure, your kids may give you a hard time about it, but by limiting what they can use, you'll be teaching them an important lesson about personal discipline and self-control. Plus, it will reduce the number of desired distractions.
8. Summer camps
Summer camps are a great way to get your kids away from their screens and into the real world. Sign them up for a camp focusing on engineering, art, or sports activities.
This will give your kids a chance to practice their skills, explore new interests, and meet new people. Plus, it will give them a chance to have a real-life experience that doesn't involve their screens.
9. No screens before bed
It's well known that screens can have a negative effect on sleep quality. So, it's important to set a rule in your house that no screens can be used before bed.
This will help your kids relax and get into a better sleep pattern. Plus, they'll have more time to read a book or talk with their siblings before bedtime.
10. Be a role model
Remember, the best way to get your kids off their devices is to be a positive example. If you are constantly checking your emails or scrolling through social media, it's time to take a break.
Make sure you are spending time away from your screens and doing things that bring you joy. Show your kids that you can have a life outside the digital world, and they will be inspired to do the same.
It may seem daunting to get your kids off their devices, but it is possible with some creativity and dedication. By setting clear boundaries, setting limits, and taking a break from screens, you can help your kids make positive changes in their lives.