Keeping your kids occupied without screens

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

There might be no two words that will make a parent roll their eyes quicker than, “I’m bored.”

Now with winter settling in, those two words can be even more prevalent as kids are spending more time indoors and struggling to keep themselves occupied.

Although the easy solution can be to give your kids a tablet, a laptop or sit them down in front of the television or game console to pass the time while being stuck indoors, experts still insist that parents should drastically reduce kids’ screen time. Past research has linked screen time with an increased amount of sedentary behavior in children and teens.

According to the American Heart Association, parents should limit screen time for kids to a maximum of two hours per day. For younger children, ages 2 to 5, the AHA recommends limiting screen time to one hour per day.

To help keep your kids occupied without turning to screens, here are a few tips:

- Create a game box: Fill a box with things your child can play with alone, including coloring books, playing cards or easy puzzles.

- Make a cartoon: Give them a piece of paper and some crayons and ask them to draw you a hero and a bad guy.

- Let them help: Let your kids help if you’re cooking or cleaning. Give them job they can handle.

- Design a treasure hunt: Hide an object like a coin or a sticker in the house. Give them clues and let them try to find the object.

- Build a fort: Give them a few pillows and a blanket and challenge them to turn the couch into a fort.

- Create an idea box: Have your kids brainstorm what they can do to overcome boredom. Write down their suggestions and put them in an empty box. Next time they are bored, have them pick out one of their own suggestions.