Seven screen-free summer activities for children

Spending less time on screens and more time engaging with life in the real world will not only help your child to de-stress, it will set them up for the best summer ever!

Generally speaking, we know for a fact that our children are spending too much time on screens. Whether it’s for school, chatting online with friends or gaming, kids are spending a large proportion of their day absorbed by technology. With school breaking up for the summer and a few months of freedom ahead, this is the perfect opportunity to help our little ones to ‘log off’ and detach from the digital world.

Many of us have forgotten how much value there is to be found in non-digital activities. While their electronic counterparts keep kids entertained and occupied for hours at a time, it comes at a cost. Children are increasingly reliant on technology and less well-equipped to entertain themselves using analogue methods. Taking some time away from screens this summer will help your child to slow down a little and reconnect with themselves.

Become a bookworm

Research shows that children are reading less frequently than ever before. This is due in no small part to the prevalence of other forms of entertainment, namely a wealth of movies and videogames available on demand. Reading is a profoundly important skill, and one that we should encourage our children to take part in. It can broaden your child’s knowledge while also helping them to relax, improving their memory and communication skills. This summer, try as a family to incorporate reading into your daily schedule, and watch as your little one reaps the rewards.

Social butterfly

Summer is the perfect time to socialise more. Work with other parents to arrange playdates at home with your child’s friends and find ways to broaden their friend group. One great option is the huge range of summer camps on offer. These present a wonderful opportunity for your pride and joy to meet kids their own age who share similar interests. Spending time trying out new hobbies or activities is great for bonding, and will help your little one to make new friends away from screens.

Embrace art

With the schoolbooks closed, your child will undoubtedly have more time on their hands, making it a great chance to flex their creative muscles. Truthfully, every child has the capacity for creativity. It might be drawing, painting, making a collage, playing music, writing songs or poems, or just about anything else you can think of. Creativity is also a practice, so the very first time may not feel fun. Help your little one to push through the initial discomfort and encourage them to do something creative every day. Soon it’ll come more easily and they’ll be spending hours on their artistic endeavour instead of sitting in front of a screen.

A furry friend

Adopting a pet is not something to be done lightly. A huge amount of responsibility comes alongside it, as well as financial costs. However, if it is something that you are considering, then summer is arguably the ideal time to take the plunge. Include your child in the process and pass some of the new duties on to them. If you adopt a dog, perhaps your little one can help take it for regular walks. For cats, they can be tasked with ensuring the litter tray is kept clean and that the cat gets plenty of playtime. Pets can be truly special companions for children, while also teaching them lessons about responsibility, a skill that will stand to them through their lives.

Family time

School can be such a grind for everyone in the family, working through each week and trying to just rest and reset on the weekend. This summer, take advantage of the lack of school to spend more intentional time together as a family. You probably won’t be as worn out individually and, therefore, you can all be at your best while hanging out. Go on adventures together, play games, tell stories and make memories.

Get moving

One of the worst aspects of spending so much time on screens is that it’s a sedentary activity. Movement and exercise is so important for all of us, but none more so than children. Exercising doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking. If your child is happy to lace up their runners and go for a jog, or try out some bodyweight exercises, then don’t get in their way. For most children though, they can experience enough movement through playing tag, going on family walks or taking part in a treasure hunt. The trick is to make sure that there is a time each and every day that your child is exercising, whether they realise it or not. It will clear their mind and ensure their body stays fit and healthy.

Free play

The freedom to play is arguably the best part about being a child. Get involved with your little one and encourage them to use their imagination to its full extent. You can explore nature, role play, have water fights or anything else that you can come up with. It’s all about just letting go and allowing the true essence of play to dictate whatever you do. Playing in an uninhibited way will let your child bring their true selves to the fore and they’ll be more than happy to leave the screens turned off.

A summer to remember

So much of a child’s daily life revolves around screens. Using these tips, take this summer as an opportunity to help them unplug and engage with all of the beautiful things that life has to offer. You never know, you might find that you benefit from a little more tech-free time too!

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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