Updated: Mar 5
Whilst it’s extremely inconvenient that the Coronavirus is restricting our movements, there are some up sides to the current situation. As I am writing this it’d be wise to bear in mind that it’s only the first few days of the children being away from school. It might be a completely different blog in a few weeks’ time!!
One of the biggest challenges facing parents in the next few weeks will be how to keep the kids entertained when a large proportion of the usual options are not available to us. And also, how to balance these activities with the use of electronic devices? I think most parents are aware that the amount of time children spend in front of screens can be a problem these days and that’s with school taking up most of their day.
Here’s some info on screen use in children.
The World Health Organisation guidelines on screen time for children below the age of five are that it should be limited to an hour a day, and infants should not be exposed at all. School aged children are not covered in these recommendations but it's advised to balance screen activities with more physical activities and have rules surrounding screen use in place.
Screen time can be part of a healthy lifestyle for children when it's balanced with other activities that are good for a child's development, like physical play, reading and socialising.
It's crucial for children's energy levels, development, sleep and overall health and well-being to get them moving around. If a child's having screen time, it's a good idea to encourage a break every half an hour and to use devices in short bursts. This can be done by using a timer to set breaks and doing something active when the timer goes off, like an activity on our list. Also make use of natural breaks – for example, a child could do a winners dance when they finish a level in a game.
Here's what they can do instead.
There's a load of different activities that children can enjoy more than being glued to a screen. Here are 15 fun things for kids to do that are entertaining enough to make them forget about their devices – for a while, anyway!
1. Go out for a walk in the countryside.
2. Go out for a bike ride.
3. Get them to help out in the kitchen.
4. Play dress up.
5. Read a book or write stories together.
6. Get the building/creative toys out.
7. Have an impromptu disco in the kitchen.
8. Do some gardening together.
9. Put on a puppet show.
10. Play hide and seek.
11. Build a fort with sticks and fabric.
12. Use foil to mold into sculptures.
13. Draw pictures with a note and put them in the post poxes of elderly neighbours who are in isolation.
14. Put sticky notes on everything that begins with a certain letter.
15. Do our special Mini Adventure in nature game.
Our special Mini Adventure in nature has been created with the challenges ahead in mind. It’s a big dose of adventure and fresh air around your garden or countryside. If you’re signed up to our subscribers list, it will already be winging its way to your mail box. If you’re not a subscriber, already (why not?!) just click HERE and sign up at the bottom of the page. Simple!
Have you got any fabulous activities that you’ve done or plan to do with your children to take their minds off being stuck at home? Let us know in the comments.
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