Nowadays it’s a common sight to see kids engrossed in playing with their phones or tablets. Despite being aware of the potential hazard that it wreaks upon a child’s health, parents often hand over their electronic gadgets to their kids to keep them occupied. This usually happens in a scenario when parents have to go about doing their tasks without any hindrance, be it at home, parties, or family gatherings. One of the reasons for this is that parents are unable to think of other alternatives to keep their little ones engaged. So, here are 9 fun ways to keep your kids away from gadgets:
1. Coloring Books And Crayons
We all know how much kids love colors. Whether it’s paints, crayons, or even playing Holi with family and friends. Therefore, this is perhaps the simplest and most engaging activity for them. Just get a bunch of crayons or color pencils and coloring books with detachable sheets. This will keep your child engrossed for at least an hour. You can also do this activity in parties. Give one sheet to each kid. They can later take as many as they want. But avoid watercolors as kids can create a mess out of them.
2. Slimy Toys
They may look.. well, slimy. But it’s the sliminess which makes kids quite curious. Kids like to engage in gross stuff anyway (read: muddy puddles, squishy balloons). Get these slimy toys in various colors and textures. This might also help your kid learn more about textures through touch.
This can also be for slightly older kids. Folding papers into different shapes and sizes can be quite fascinating for them. The most popular shapes are airplanes, boats, and kites. You can also make windmills, animals and what not! Get a bunch of colorful origami sheets and children will stay put for a few hours. But make sure you keep a trash basket around for them to dump the tiny cutouts.
4. Chinese Whispers
In a party and can’t stop kids from constant chattering? Then simply ask them to sit in a circle and play a game of Chinese Whispers. You can also make it a point-based game to decide winners.
5. Passing The Parcel
A party favorite, especially during birthdays. Wrap multiple wrappers around a special gift like a big bar of chocolate, a box of cookies or muffins, or whatever you can think of. Make all the kids sit in a circle and ask them to pass it around while playing music. Once the music stops, the kid with the parcel needs to unwrap it. The winner will be the one who unwraps the final cover to reveal the gift.
6. Musical Chairs
Again an easy one. This is pretty much an extension of passing the parcel, except that it requires a little bit of physical activity. Even the parents can participate in this game. Just place chairs facing alternate sides and play the music. Make sure it is one chair less than the number of participants. Each time the music stops, the player without a chair gets eliminated. The winner is the one who gets the final chair in the end.
7. Miniature Basketball
Get a miniature basketball set. Attach the basket holder to one of the walls at home. Now, you can use different variations instead of the usual basketball. Use smiley balls, create origami paper balls, or even ask your kids to basket a bunch of plastic straws. This is a fun activity which can be done at home as well as outdoors on a picnic. The rules remain the same – the one with maximum baskets wins.
Remember this age-old favorite among girls? Turns out, it can be an equally challenging and interesting game for boys too. What’s more? Kids can learn numbers in a fun way. While it’s easy to conduct this game outdoors by simply drawing out the panels with chalk, an indoor version on a carpet is also available based on different themes.
9. Spot The Object
This is another interesting game. Note down the objects in a room, party hall, or a picnic spot. Write down their descriptions on bits of papers and fold them into chits. But keep the descriptions incomplete. Like – instead of ‘Golden wall clock’, you can simply write ‘Golden round object’. Put these chits in a fishbowl. Make each participant pick them and spot the object at the venue/home. The one who spots maximum objects is the winner.
Some of the games listed here are tried and tested, while some might be new. However, what’s important here is that they’ll help keep your child away from the harmful addiction to electronic gadgets.