The holidays are a time when my son wants to have extra “screen time”—watch movies or play a video game. Our son has set limits on the amount of time he spends in front of a screen.
We have found that he is the most engaged with life when his brain and body undertake activities that stimulate him on many levels. Here are twenty of our favorites:
- Build a fort.
- Create a page for the photo album.
- Write a story.
- Make a miniature boat and float it in the bathtub.
- Call up a relative who lives far away.
- Sing or make music.
- Climb a tree.
- Dance in the living room.
- Learn chess.
- Play Frisbee.
- Make a thank you card. (even if it’s not a birthday or Christmas there is always someone to thank for something.)
- Go for a bike ride.
- Bake cookies.
- Plant something.
- Tell jokes.
- Make a collage from old magazine pictures.
- Learn ten sign-language signs.
- Play charades.
- Watch the night sky. (Many phones have constellation apps.)
- Start a journal.
Probably the one we fall back on the most is number one. We are often building a fort or special playhouse—outside or in depending on the weather. He still loves making a big indoor tent out of sheets, but lately, it’s been about collecting sticks in the yard and making a deep, dark area behind a bush.
Whenever he says he is bored and wants to watch TV, I ask him to list five things he remembers doing that he likes. After a few moments, he runs off to do one of them, or any hundred other activities that were inspired by the list-making. What are your media free activities? Share tips below.