Screen time has been a hot topic of debate for the past few years. It has been found that students up to the age of 16 spend on average 6 hours a day in front of a screen. Due to this, it is very understandable that parents would want to limit their children’s screen time when they can, especially over the holiday break. Nowadays, children are looking at screens not just at home, but throughout the school day as well. Technology has truly been integrated into the curriculum at most schools. And this is great, technology is a powerful learning tool and your children need to know how to navigate it now more than ever before. But…We do know that the old school theory of spending time outside, away from screens is also beneficial. We strive for a balanced world for our kids and as parents, it is your role to provide alternative activities to grab their interests.
- Music: getting into the hobby of playing a musical instrument or dancing is a great way to spend your free time. It is a creative outlet for kids, teaching patience and perseverance. There are heaps of cognitive benefits as well such as an increase in your ability to multitask.
- Cooking: a fun and quite delicious activity. You can make your old favourites or try something new with a fresh recipe. It is filled with academic benefits as well. Cooking demonstrates how Maths has real-world applications such as measuring and fractions, following steps in a procedure and comprehending the instructions.
- Go outside: getting out of the house feels so good. The fresh air and flora around you has a relaxing effect. Take a walk around the block or take your dog to the park. Run around, ride a bike or skateboard and enjoy the outdoors!
- Get crafty: draw, paint, write a story, create a dance, make home-made play dough. Create structures out of LEGO or toothpicks and marshmallows or create a picture out of dry pasta. The list is endless. Being creative like this is a great way to express yourself and let your imagination run wild.
- Spend time with friends or family: hanging out and chilling together is a fun and quality way to spend your time. You can have a family game night, a karaoke/dance party, do some science experiments or look through old albums together or create a new one.
The holidays are a great reason to put away the screen for a bit and spend that extra free time having fun in a ‘new’ way.