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Screen-Free, Year-Round Activities for Kids

Studies indicate that children can start interacting with digital devices like cell phones and tablets before they're even a year old. Further studies indicate that by the time kids reach their teenage years, they could spend up to seven hours a day on screen-based activities.

It has become increasingly important to find ways to get kids away from their computers, tablets, gaming consoles and TV screens. Here are some suggestions to help children take some necessary breaks no matter the time of year.

A family playing a board game.

Reading/Journaling

Reading is a healthy activity that engages the mind and imagination. It's an activity that can entertain and educate alike. And there's no shortage of books out there to choose from, regardless of your child's age or reading level. On a similar note, journaling is another healthy activity that encourages children to work on their writing and storytelling. Your child can keep a journal about anything, whether it's a day-to-day diary of what they've been doing or their thoughts and/or feelings. Just make sure either activity is carried out with a physical book and/or notebook – and not on a screen.

Board Games

From a critical thinking game like chess to a classic board game like Monopoly, playing a game is a fun activity for the entire family.

Playing Outdoors

Getting out of the house and playing outdoors is something that kids can do year-round, regardless of the weather. And for good reason, as staying active in this manner can do a lot more than just help your child burn energy. Research shows that it can help improve mental health, reduce stress, enhance social skill development, decrease behavioral problems and more. So make sure your kids are getting plenty of outdoor time, whether it's playing in the yard sprinkler on a sunny summer day or building a snow fort on a cold, winter one.

Get Crafty

Bust out the glue sticks, finger paint, construction paper, Play-Doh and glitter. Then, have your kids make something! Whether it's a drawing to hang on the refrigerator, a puppet or a homemade rubber-band guitar, there's no shortage of fun crafts that your child can engage in and enjoy after they're finished creating it.

Take Up a New Hobby

Make sure that your child has more interests than playing video games with friends. Engaging in a new hobby is a great way to ensure this. Taking up a new hobby could literally be anything. From learning how to play a musical instrument to gardening to rock collecting, there are so many healthy activities for children to participate in that don't involve a screen. It's just a matter of introducing your child to something that aligns with their interests.


Family in the kitchen.

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