5 Fun Ways to Replace Screen Time With Kid Planned Activities

I know I am not the only mom out there that struggles balancing screen time with just about everything else a kid can be doing with their time. Just like for us adults smart phones, tablets and computers can be very addictive. There is so much out there to entertain us, distract us, or simply turn our minds to mush that we sometimes don’t realize how much time we are allowing our kids to use screens to entertain themselves.   

As of right now I have 2 year old and a 5 year old and both of them have a IPad that has kids content on them, for the most part up to about now I have not done a very good job monitoring their screen time because frankly I was just as bad about being on the computer as they were. Once I realized the bad habits I was introducing to them. I stepped back and decided it was time to try something different.  We needed a no screen time family rule.  But who likes rules right?  So instead I made it fun, every weekend I carve out 2 hours of uninterrupted time where my son picks the activities that the whole family will do.  This has sparked some amazing adventures over the last several weeks. For my family we have a 5 year old and a 2 year old, so the rule is whatever we pick it has to be suitable or adjustable so his little sister could enjoy it as well. 

If you are struggling like I was to figure out the best way to disconnect from technology for a while try this with your kids. What kid doesn’t like to be in charge? 

 “Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.” Alan Alda

5 ideas to help get your kids creative minds flowing.  

Get outside and go to a creek

One of our most recent kid planned activities was a trip to the creek. Put our suits on, water shoes on and head to a near by creek that was not too deep but deep enough to get wet and walk through water, throw stones, look for fish, and explore the running currents of water.  This required very little planning ahead of time, we just jumped in car and off we went. 

Be creative with art supplies

We have endless amounts of supplies lying around markers, crayons, popsicle sticks, glue, glitter, paint, etc. So go wild put out all the supplies on the table and see what type of art your kids will make.  I bought bingo dabbers from amazon and for my daughter that created a master piece. 

Miniature golf in the house

My son wanted to go play miniature golf, but because of COVID19 I was not comfortable going to a golf course. So instead we got creative and create our own course in the house. We had the golf clubs and balls, and just endless amounts of random things to use for obstacles to go around.  We used a piece of cardboard for the goal. Just folded it and gave enough space to get it into hole. I also cheated a little the kids loved it so much and bought a fun golf/croquet course off amazon that we could set up anywhere it had 9 holes  

Bubble art

Did you know if you add food coloring to bubbles and blow them onto paper they will pop and create beautiful art work.  we tried it as a family and the kids loved it.  Super easy to do and can be done with any bubble. Recommend keeping this one outside though!

Scrabble for non-readers

So for me I have 2 non-readers but both are great with letters, and one is working on sight words. So we used the scrabble pieces and created our own sight word paper. For the 2 year old I asked her to point out the letters and put on board and match them. Once the words were complete my son had to tell me the sight word.  Learning for both at different levels. 

Don’t want to make your own game? Download the free sight word game that have everything you need to have the same fun we had with the scrabble cards.

So there you have it 5 easy to do activities with your kids without being on any form of technology. If you wanted to try letting kids plan activities but they can’t come up with anything. Just have them give you a direction. My son wanted to play a board game but not any of the ones we had which lead to the scrabble for non-readers.  The trip to the creek came after asking to go to a pool with waterslide. Again can’t do right now, so creek with waterfalls was even better!

Enjoy every minute being a mom and continue to inspire your kids!

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Jodi Carlson is a mother of 2 children, wife, and a full time product owner at a large Insurance company. She is a mom just trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life. She shares countless tips and tricks of things she has experienced first hand with her kids. As she continues to guide and teach them to become caring, sensible and responsible human beings, all while working a full time job, maintaining a home and some how still allowing for some personal time and growth. Are you a Girl Scout Leader? Along with Mom Connecting Moms, she shares her 25+ years of Girl Scout experience over at Leader Connecting Leaders , there she shares ideas and resources to help leaders who are inspiring girl leaders of tomorrow plan their troop meetings. Check out Leader Connecting Leaders .