Get your kids away from a screen this summer

Old materials used in new ways

Old materials used in new ways

We’re constantly told that our kids are more unfit, inactive and over weight than ever before and that easy entertainment in front of technology is much to blame. It’s a deathly habit to drop into this time stealing activity without bothering to think up something else to do.

So here are some ideas to get your kids away from screens this summer (although you might need to do a bit of sneaky research online first):

Ten things to do;

–          Grow some cress. It’s quick and easy and you can grow it in any containers including eggshells. (Draw a face underneath and the growing cress looks like green hair).

–          Potato printing. Cut in half and make shapes in the smooth side (any veg or fruit will do), paint and print onto paper.

–          Reading doesn’t have to mean heavy books; comics, magazines, Manga and graphic novels are just as valuable reading experiences.

–          Baking; brownies, flapjack, cookies, cupcakes, bread rolls, dinner!

–          Den making. Outdoors or in. Improvise with any furniture, cushions, sheets, etc you have to hand. Huge boxes are also great for endless play.

–          Collage or model making. The most famous artists use the weirdest materials. Use junk, waste, any little bits and pieces, pasta, dried pulses, off cuts of materials or string or dismantled technology.

–          Jewellery can be made from paper beads (rolled magazine/comic pages) old wire, nuts and bolts, safety pins, threads, tin foil, etc

–          Make a miniature garden in a tin or old pot/tray using cacti, sand, stones, small models and toys.

–          Origami – find books or ideas on the web, library, cheap book outlets. (Pop up card making is another idea).

–          Source old books at charity shops and use them for cutting up and making artworks.

Five places to visit:

–          Plant centres. They’re free and the big ones have more than plants. They often have pets and fish too and adventure playgrounds.

–          The library – let them browse whatever they want.

–          Different habitats you might not regularly go to like riversides, woods, church yards, cemeteries, big house or estate grounds (usually free even if the house isn’t) wetlands. Explore!

–          Local recycling centres – you get masses of materials to be inventive with.

–          Local craft centres or games shops for workshops and clubs.

Enjoy your time with your children without losing it to a screen. Not only will it help them be less sedentary, your relationships will improve too!

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5 thoughts on “Get your kids away from a screen this summer

  1. I don’t see why you can’t do both, Ross. I firmly believe you can have lots of outdoors fun in nature, free and wild play, time doing crafts and being with friends AND enjoy any number of the myriad different activities that people do in front of a screen. I think when parents are scared of technology and don’t understand it, or feel left out when their child is having some enjoyable screen time they can feel a bit jealous but actually screentime can be a world of fun and it doesn’t mean they cant also do all sorts of other things in their life too! (Like build dens and make mudpies and all the other fun, ‘wholesome’ stuff too). I don’t think it has to be one or the other x

    • I agree – sorry if I wrote that as if I was suggesting that it should be one or the other. It was just that I know in so many households screen sitting is all the kids do and some parents don’t have time or inclination to think up other activities and I wanted to give an alternative! I always maintain that contrast and variety is the best – and screen time is an important part of that. Thanks so much for commenting.

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