Things to do these holidays without technology. Surely we don’t need a list? Well of course you don’t. However. I do hear over and over again that parents are complaining about the amount of time their kids are spending inside glued to the screens. I hear them lament years gone by when kids went outside and made their own fun. I hear them longing for days when kids never got bored. So I thought I’d provide a little reminder for all of us about the many, many other ways our kids can be entertained on the holidays. Or anytime really.
I want to say firstly that I love technology and the benefits it affords both myself and my kids. And my kids love technology too. And they will continue to use technology over the holidays. BUT. They need to have other ways to fill the days and the hours and the minutes. They need all the different elements of their little and increasingly bigger bodies and brains to keep developing.
Sometimes we need to push a little. Sometimes we need to push a lot. Sometimes we need to show the way and provide opportunities to steer them away from the technology for a while. It’s easy to see why kids don’t bother sometimes. Screens are easy, portable, require little effort but still provide enormous amounts of joy and entertainment. But kids also still love to play. They still love to get outside, be active, connect with real people and explore and create. We just need to give them a little nudge and remind them of the many ways to ensure a balanced life that is not ruled by the screens, the games and the technology.
These are not new or groundbreaking. They are just some examples of things you can have up your sleeve when the screens get put away for a while and the “I’m bored” starts to set in.
- Build a cubby house
- Make a billie cart
- Have some running races and handicap the runners based on ability to make for a closer race
- Bake something you’ve never made before
- Have a treasure hunt
- Perform a play or a scene from a favourite story
- Get out the craft box
- Create a chalkboard mural on a wall, fence or driveway
- Take bikes to a park and have a picnic
- Go horseriding
- Find some fruit to pick
- Find a walking track you’ve never been on
- Take out a ‘proper’ camera and photograph nature
- Start a game of cricket with friends in the neighbourhood
- Find some rocks and paint some rock people
- Make mud pies
- Get some beads, shells, noodles and string and make some jewellery
- Kick a footy, soccer ball, backyard tennis, downball, shoot baskets
- Make a fairy garden
- Climb a tree (yes we can still do that stuff)
- Make a kite and fly it
- Go to a beach and collect shells or build a sandcastle
- Learn how to knit
- Ask an elderly neighbour if they have any chores they need doing
- Make a sock puppet (I have a million spare socks if you need some!)
- Play elastics (children of the 80’2
- Do a great big jigsaw
- Grab an instrument, write a song or learn your favourite tune
- Paper plane races
- Pick flowers, make a daisy chain, a flower crown or press flowers between books
- Write a poem
- Volunteer at an animal shelter or community service
- Learn to sew
- Plant a herb garden
- Play your favourite board game
- Choreograph a dance routine
- Make a terrarium
- Learn to surf or boogey board
- Grab wood, nails and hammer something
- Set up a beauty salon and give your mum a pedicure and foot massage
- Make pom poms
- Go fishing, real or with paper and magnets and paperclips
- Take the dog for a walk, or offer to walk a neighbours dog
- Write a letter to someone and post it
- Camp out in the back yard …..or the lounge room if weather not kind
- Learn to juggle
- Practise some card tricks
- Tie dye some clothing
- Clean your room….I know! crazy fun but super productive!
- Clean the family car…..who said chores can’t be boredom busters!
Now of course some of these things require more effort than others. Some are suitable for different ages and some may not be entirely possible. But we need to remember that our kids only know what they know. And unless we help them find that balance and fill up their days with all sorts of different experiences, then we risk them moving in to territory where they rely on screens and technology to keep themselves occupied. And whilst we love our screens and our tech….we owe our kids the exposure and experience to many many more ways to beat the boredom.
What do you think your child would choose if you showed them this list and asked them to pick some things to fill in the time?