Summer break is here and it seems when kids are bored they spend their free time on a screen? There are so many fun electronic resources as well as so many distractions! What do your kids like? Youtube, streaming movies, playing games all day! How do we stop that from happening and help our kids get the most out of their Summer?
I started researching ways to help my kids put down their electronics and find more productive ways to spend their time. There are so many great ideas out there. Here were a few that stood out to me. Hopefully these can help you too to have a fun-filled Summer together with fun activities and a more focused and planned screen time.
- Plan your week with different activities. Build a schedule for every day. You can even plan when kids will be allowed screen time each day. Here’s a daily printable planner to plan each day.
- Plan a different theme activity day every day of the week. For instance, “Take a trip Tuesday” or “Foodie Friday”. For a printable of this click HERE or an example Here. This gives kids something fun to look forward to each day.
- Spend more time with your kids. I am a to-do list motivated person and I heard someone say that they put spending time with their kids on their to-do list every day! I hadn’t even thought about that. That was an eye opener for me of what is most important and it needs to be on the top of my to-do list every day! Even spending just 10′ a day with each child can make all the difference to them.
- Set time limits on phones or tablets. You can track screen time and set time limits on the phone.
- Encourage face-to-face interaction. I sometimes have to remind my kids to call friends and plan to hang out, play games together or watch movies. Once they invite their friends over they have a great time.
- Have screen-free areas of the home. We have the rule that no phones are allowed in a kid’s bedroom or at the dinner table during dinner.
- Let them earn technology tickets for good behavior, doing chores, etc. Here is a free printable. My kids have chores to do before they can get on electronics.
- Plan an activity and leave the phones at home. It is amazing how just going for a walk without our phones can be so peaceful and the kids seem to be more present.
- Remove unnecessary apps on their phones. Clean up their phones and tablets and remember to turn them completely off weekly.
- At night, all phones, tablets, and computers are all charged in one location. We have a station for all of the electronics.
Too much screen time can have negative effects on our kids. Things like; less happiness, more loneliness, it can negatively impact sleep, lead to obesity, or lead to sexting, bullying and other problems. We want to work toward a healthy digital diet. Electronics and screens can have a great influence in learning. Most of the time my kids get on their phones when they are bored or to pass the time.
I think the key with screen time is balance. There is good online. It’s finding a balance of face-to-face activities and electronics. Using some of these tips has helped us be better about when we use screen time and how long. Make it intentional instead of just because they are bored. Taking small steps to help our kids will indeed have a powerful influence on our families as a whole. Do you have other ideas that have helped your family? I’d love to hear about them!