When parents are working and kids are suddenly out of school, it can be tricky to get them engaged in non-screen activities. We see it in our home all the time – we get our son started on something, but when we turn our backs for a few minutes, he’s back on a device. That can be a pretty dull way to spend the summer! Here are 5 must-dos to make offline activities more compelling than screens this summer:
- Make it Fun. One of the best ways to get kids interested in non-screen activities is to make them fun. Choose activities that your kids enjoy and try to incorporate an element of play, creativity, or competition. Organize a summer reading challenge, some swimming pool Olympics, a film festival, or anything that can dial up an element of competitive fun.
- Give them Choices. Allow your child to have some input in choosing the activities they participate in. By giving them a choice, they are more likely to be invested in the activity and feel a sense of ownership. Present them with a few different options and let them choose which activity they want to do.
- Be a Role Model. Kids are often influenced by the behaviors of their parents, so if you want your child to be interested in non-screen activities, be a role model yourself. Show your child that you enjoy reading, gardening, or playing board games, and they may follow suit.
- Create a Routine. Create a routine around non-screen activities to make them a regular part of your child’s summer day. For example, designate a specific time for reading or playing a musical instrument. By making it a routine, your child will be more likely to participate and enjoy the activity.
- Make it Social. Kids often enjoy activities more when they are doing them with friends or family. Organize group night games, slip and slide parties, or local outings centered around non-screen activities. This can help your child see that non-screen activities can be just as fun, if not more so, than screen-based activities.
BONUS SUGGESTION: Of course, we’re partial to using Brain Chase as a way to engage kids during the summer. It checks all of the boxes – children engage in a fun, global competition with other kids around the country. They choose from dozens of hands-on electives like Engineering, Cooking, Gardening, and more. You’ll engage with them as they upload their art, science, and photography projects and review the personalized teacher feedback. They’ll find a cadence of daily and/or weekly challenges in each of their electives. And they’ll work with family and friends to solve the global treasure hunt, jotting down clues and scouring the globe for missing treasure.
Getting your kids interested in non-screen activities may require some effort and creativity, but it is possible. Make it fun, give them choices, be a role model, create a routine, and make it social. And use Brain Chase! Together, we can help our kids dial down the screen time and dial up the adventure this summer.