What comes to mind when you think about taking time to recharge your body and brain? Rest? Relaxation? Sleep? While watching TV or using a tablet can seem relaxing, going to those devices to recharge doesn’t actually give the body and brain the break they need and deserve. Too much screen time can interfere with your kids’ quantity and quality of sleep.
So what can you do to encourage screen-free recharging? Start with one hour. One hour each day to unplug doesn’t seem like much at first, but it will make a world of difference to your child. After all, an hour each day for a year adds up to 365 hours in a year! As your kids continue to spend time unplugged, encourage them to slowly increase that time and watch them blossom! Here are 7 easy ways you can take an hour to unplug and recharge your bodies and brains as a family.
Try a new game or physical activity. Replace one hour spent on screens with an hour of learning to play a new sport. Give your child the opportunity to run around and burn some energy to increase daytime energy and promote better sleep at the end of the day. This is also a super easy way to spend more time together.
Make a fun snack as a family. Everyone loves a snack that’s just as nutritious as it is delicious. By making snacks together, your child will learn a new recipe, develop stronger interpersonal skills, and learn about healthy relationships with food. Looking for an easy recipe option? Try this yummy Rainbow Fruit Pizza recipe or any other Easy Meal Ideas for Kids.
Start a new book. Is it time to jazz up your child’s reading routine? Pick a new book, sit down, and read together aloud. For older kids, encourage them to pick out a book on a topic they enjoy and are interested in. Inspiring your child to read will also help them explore their imagination while enjoying quiet time.
Use screen time as an inspiration. Screen time isn’t all bad! Does your teen like to watch videos on social media? If they do, encourage them to take the videos they like offline and try the latest tutorials or creative ideas out for themselves! It could be the latest hairstyle, sports trick, craft, recipe, or whatever else they enjoy. The options are up to them!
Take a break. With a Take a Break Basket, your kids get the power to choose how they spend their quiet time. Is it puzzles? Music? Coloring pages? Fill your kids’ baskets with plenty of options so they can be in control of their quiet time.
Encourage writing. Writing and journaling encourage creativity and mindfulness. Give your kids a notebook of their own to create whatever they want. Maybe they’ll write a story, maybe they’ll keep a journal or draw. The only limit is their imagination!
Get social. Try swapping screen time for social time! According to the CDC, people with meaningful social connections experience better sleep, less stress, and make healthy choices which all lead to a sense of belonging and better quality of life. If you spend time on screens during social time with others, try putting the screen down and modeling social connections with others for your kids. You can even make replacing screen time for social activities a family goal. Talk about setting limits and scheduling family technology time outs and use them as a time to play a board game or go for a walk. Technology timeouts can also be used during many daily activities such as family mealtimes or bedtime. For a fun way to foster connection with your kids, check out fit’s Chit Chat Connection Cards.
Remember that unplugging takes practice and patience. It may not be easy for your child to unplug for a full hour right away and that’s okay! What’s important is that they’re building a healthy relationship with devices and recognizing when their body and brain need some time to recharge.
Ready for more? You Might Also Like:
10 Ways to Minimize Screen Time
How to Create a Cozy Spot for Kids, Anywhere!
5 Senses in 5 Minutes: Grounding Techniques for Kids Video