Screenless Parenting: How to Entertain & Educate Your Kids With Fewer Screens

          Parenting is a rollercoaster that loops its way through joy, love, and education. Every day you teach your child through action and language. Tactile games are useful tools to help your child learn new skills but with the continuous development of child-friendly computer and phone applications, children are now spending countless hours glued to their devices. It is easy to give your child your phone or iPad but it should not become a routine action in times when your child is acting out.

          The World Health Organization has recommended that children between the 5 have limited or no screen time. In the early years of a child’s life, their brain is malleable and moldable, everything they see, hear or smell has an impact on the way their body grows and adapts to their environment.

          Children need hands-on activity—for example, they need to feel the texture of their toys to fully understand their size and weight. Interaction with their home environment as well as the outdoors helps them to develop spatial awareness and exposes them to real-life materials. 

          Brain development in young children requires constant stimulation. While there are many new games available for tablets and computers, these do not provide them the dexterous exercise experienced when handling three-dimensional objects. When you are looking for ways to educate and entertain your children, you should not seek out a screen as a primary tool. To enhance and feed their imagination, look to other options, such as STEM toys that help children develop cognitive skills like critical thought, reason, and design.

          Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are some of the most useful tools a child can learn in their formative years of life. Exposure to these topics, including the arts, will help them to think independently as well as question the world around them. These helpful alternatives to screen time will entertain and educate in a way that will bring their mental capacity to the next level.

Explore the Arts & Get Crafty

Allows Decompression After Long Days

          Easily enjoyed with your child, arts and crafts present a perfect opportunity to increase coordination, communication, self-esteem, and critical thinking. Setting up an art nook or table, where your child can freely explore the possibilities of color will let them examine their creativity independently. When using art apps, a child will be given color options to choose from, taking away their opportunity to meld them together. If practiced with friends or family, this is a perfect opportunity to talk to your child as they work and gain insight into how they are thinking and feeling.

          When they are finished, they have a solid piece of work to show for it which will help them build self-esteem. By continually exploring arts and crafts, they will figure out which materials work well together and notice how certain techniques offer more pleasure than others. With their mental gears churning, everyday life will inspire them for their next idea. 

Tune-In With Podcasts 

          Podcasts are a perfect way to keep your child entertained while teaching them valuable skills ranging from mathematics to mindfulness. With instructive and entertaining hosts, many podcasts are tailored to certain types of listeners. A great example of a podcast for kids is “Peace-Out”. This is a perfect way to relax and educate your child before they go to sleep.

          Emotions run rampant in children; every minute they are bombarded with new information without the proper coping mechanisms to fully understand what they are feeling. In this podcast, children learn mindfulness practices, visualization, exercises for breathing and how to stay aware of their bodies.

          After it teaches a valuable lesson, it transitions into a relaxing story that helps your child fall asleep. You may even find this a great way to find a moment of peace alongside your child by listening to this podcast with them. 

Heighten Literacy With Interactive Books

          While bedtime songs and stories are a great way to let your child’s imagination wander as they slip off into a restful slumber, interactive books can be a great tool any time of day. Pop-up and interactive books provide engaging sounds, vibrant colors, and three-dimensional depictions of characters.

          While there are many children’s e-books that provide some of these aspects, the child does not have the opportunity to touch and feel the book in front of them. By nurturing their literacy skills in a way that is memorable and routine, you will help your child to seek out books on their own, developing independence and creative choice. For children that are reluctant to indulge in books, the pop-up aspect creates a reward system that will help them overcome their storytime apprehension.

          A great way to incorporate various literacy skills in a unique and novel way is through Storypod. Storypod is part of a new age of listening devices specifically geared towards children. It allows the child to interact with stories, songs, educational content, and even interactive trivia and is completely self guided. Storypod has even created Read-Along books that allow a child to follow along with a story complete with narration and sound design. The stories even come with an interactive trivia feature that allows the listener to test their retention.

Explore Nature With Observatory Games

          Observational skills play a large role in a child’s development and behavior. Many games can be played outside in nature, which provides the physical benefits of fresh air while exercising cognitive function.

          Rain or shine, you can take your child outside with a pre-made list of items they must locate and point out throughout the walk. You can also engage in a game of “I-Spy” with your child while on family getaways. New territory presents a great opportunity to teach your child about various kinds of trees, terrain, and city signs.

          Keeping your child constantly entertained can be easily achieved by handing them a phone, but is not always recommended. Tactile games and activities will help them to generate a better understanding of the world around them. Engaging in arts and crafts with your child or creating their own area to explore, can improve coordination, communication, and heighten self-esteem.

          Podcasts can be an exceptional tool for teaching your child visualization and mindfulness. Books will always present a timeless way to entertain your child while improving their literacy. When on family trips or out on a hike, observatory games will get your child interacting with nature.

          New toys and games are being designed every day that teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which are all some of the most useful tools a child can learn. By staying up to date with the three-dimensional games and activities, you will help foster your child’s mind for the future.