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Published on June 3, 2024

Proven Activities to Get Kids Out of the Phone and Into Life

Proven Activities to Get Kids Out of the Phone and Into Life

You know the scene. The kids have their faces glued to their phones, thumbs scrolling and tapping away, lost in their own little worlds. It’s frustrating trying to tear them away. But what if we’re going about it all wrong? What if, instead of fighting the tech, we embrace it? In this article, we’ll explore some genius ways to get the kids off their phones and into life—and they’ll have fun doing it. From arty bubble painting to bouncing around in an inflatable obstacle course, these activities will get their screens switched off and their bodies switched on. And the best part? You can join in too. Ditch your own devices and rediscover the joy of play. With a dash of creativity and a sprinkle of chaos, you can transform screen zombies back into lively, laughing children. So read on for simple but brilliant ideas to get the family moving and making memories. After all, there’s a whole world of adventure waiting just beyond that touchscreen. Let’s go explore it together.

The Problems of Phone Addiction in KidsLack of Exercise

Kids today spend hours upon hours glued to their phones, tablets and TVs which means they’re not getting enough exercise. According to studies, kids now get 30% less exercise than kids did just a couple of decades ago. This lack of activity and excess screen time is causing issues like childhood obesity, behavioural problems, and poor sleep.

Sleep Deprivation

The blue light emitted from phone and tablet screens disrupts our natural sleep-wake cycles. Kids who spend the hour before bed scrolling through social media or watching YouTube videos have a much harder time falling asleep. Most experts recommend avoiding screens for 1-2 hours before bed to ensure better quality sleep.

FOMO and Social Comparison

Social media creates a fear of missing out and constant social comparison that is damaging to self-esteem and mental health, especially in kids and teens. Kids see their peers posting curated glimpses into lives that seem more exciting or glamorous than their own and end up feeling like they don’t measure up in comparison. This can foster feelings of anxiety, inadequacy and depression.

Cyberbullying and Online Predators

Parents should also be aware of the risks of cyberbullying, online harassment, and even internet predators targeting kids and teens. It’s important to monitor phone and internet usage, set clear rules around appropriate online behaviour and have open conversations about responsible technology use and online safety.

The bottom line is that while technology certainly has its benefits, parents need to limit screen time and encourage more exercise, social interaction, and outdoor activities to give kids a healthy, balanced childhood. Moderate phone use, set a good example by limiting your own screen time and make sure to have tech-free time together as a family.

Proven Activities to Get Kids Out of the PhonePlan a Scavenger Hunt

Gather clues and create a treasure hunt for kids to solve. Hide small prizes or treats along the route for kids to find. Create clues that involve movement, problem-solving and teamwork. Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get kids exploring the outdoors while using their minds.

Go on a Bike Ride

Hop on your bikes and hit the trails or bike paths as a family. Long bike rides give kids a fun cardio workout while enjoying the fresh air. You’ll also get to spend quality time together chatting as you ride along. Make it more exciting with games like “I Spy” or seeing who can find the most interesting rocks, leaves or bugs along the way.

Play Tag or Freeze Tag

Classic outdoor games like tag and freeze tag require kids to run, jump and twist – providing exercise while they play. Grab a few other kids in the neighborhood and head to an open space for an afternoon of chasing each other around. Add variety by playing games like “hot potato” or “duck, duck, goose”.

Visit a Local Playground

The simple act of playing on a playground offers kids exercise, social interaction and the joy of using their imagination. Look for playgrounds with climbing structures, slides, swings and open grassy areas where kids can run around freely. Plan to spend at least an hour so kids get a good workout.

Learn a new sport

Trying a new sport is a great way to get kids active and socializing face to face. Some easy sports for kids to pick up include soccer, tennis, swimming or martial arts. Have your child try a few beginner classes to find one they enjoy. Learning proper technique and the rules of a new sport challenges kids mentally and physically. Team sports also help build social skills like communication and teamwork.

With so many fun activities for kids beyond phones and screens, there’s no reason for them to spend all their free time staring at devices. Encourage your kids to put down the tech and get active with some of these engaging alternatives. Their social, mental and physical health will thank you.

Outdoor Activities Like Bubble PaintingBubble painting is a fun and creative activity for kids of all ages. To get started, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Washable tempera paint or acrylic paint
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Containers for mixing paint and bubbles
  • Bubble wands or straws
  • Paper for the bubbles to land on

Mix a few squirts of paint with dish soap and water in your containers. For the most bubbles, use about 1 part paint to 1 part dish soap to 2 parts water. Swirl a bubble wand or straw in the container to gather up lots of soapy bubbles, then wave the wand to release the bubbles onto the paper.

As the bubbles pop, they’ll leave behind little spots of color. This technique works best on large sheets of paper, so you have plenty of room for the bubbles to land and create interesting patterns. For an even more vibrant effect, use complementary colors like red and green or blue and orange.

Outdoor bubble painting

You can also try bubble painting outside on a nice day. The breeze will catch the bubbles and swirl them into fun shapes and lines. Just be sure to weigh down your paper with rocks or boards so it doesn’t blow away! Kids will have a blast chasing and popping bubbles.

Bubble painting is a simple but engaging activity for kids and adults alike. It sparks creativity by introducing an element of chance. You never know exactly what patterns and shapes the bubbles will make. And of course, there’s the pure enjoyment of playing with bubbles! Your kids will be so focused on creating colorful, soapy masterpieces that screen time will be the last thing on their minds.

Indoor Activities Like Inflatable Obstacle Courses

Nothing beats the excitement of bouncing around an inflatable obstacle course. Kids of all ages will have a blast navigating their way through tunnels, climbing walls, and bouncing off inflatable shapes. The best part is, you can set one up right in your own home.

Set up an obstacle course

Clear some space in your basement, garage, or backyard and get out some inflatables you already own like a bounce house, slide, or obstacle course set. You can also rent larger inflatables to create an epic course. Set up a series of challenges for the kids to complete, using things like:

  • Tunnels to crawl through
  • Walls to climb over
  • Balance beams to walk across
  • Hoops or shapes to hop on and off
  • Slides to zoom down

Time the kids to see who can complete the course the fastest. Offer small prizes for the winners to up the excitement.

Highlight the Fun and Adventure

Emphasise the thrill and adventure of navigating an inflatable obstacle course. Describe the various fun elements like climbing walls, tunnels, slides, and bouncing areas. Present it as an exciting challenge that will make them feel like heroes on a mission.

Explain that the obstacle course offers a different kind of enjoyment compared to screen time. It involves jumping, climbing, and sliding, which are all activities they can’t experience with a phone.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Offer small rewards for completing different sections of the obstacle course. These could be stickers, extra playtime, or a favourite treat. Positive reinforcement can motivate children to participate enthusiastically.

Provide plenty of praise and encouragement. Let them know how proud you are of their efforts and achievements on the obstacle course.

Make it a Social Activity

Arrange playdates with their friends or siblings. Children are more likely to join in and have fun when they see their peers enjoying the obstacle course.

Make it a family activity. Join them on the obstacle course and show that physical play is enjoyable for everyone. Children love spending time with their parents, and seeing you participate will encourage them to join in.

Create a Story or Challenge

Turn the obstacle course into an imaginative play scenario. Create a story where they have to navigate the course to rescue a stuffed animal or find hidden treasure. Using their imagination makes the activity more engaging.

Organise friendly competitions with timed challenges. Set up a leaderboard and let children try to beat their own times or compete against each other in a fun and supportive way.

Emphasise Health and Fitness Benefits

Explain the importance of staying active for their health. Talk about how physical activities done inside the inflatable obstacle course strengthens their muscles, improves their mood, and helps them grow strong and healthy.

Add extras

Include pool toys, balls, and other extras to enhance the fun. Have the kids try to get through the course while balancing a ball on a pool noodle. Toss foam balls, frisbees or soft sports balls over the inflatables for the kids to catch. Set up targets like hula hoops, buckets or nets for the kids to aim for. The possibilities for fun are endless!

An inflatable obstacle course provides hours of entertainment for kids and adults alike. Get the whole family involved for an activity you’ll all enjoy.

More Fun Activities for Phone-Glued KidsLearn a New Skill

Help your child discover a new passion or hobby by enrolling them in classes to learn skills that don’t involve screens, such as swimming, dancing, cooking or a musical instrument like piano or violin. Skill-building activates the reward centers in the brain and boosts confidence. As your child improves at their new skill, they’ll gain a sense of mastery and purpose that helps offset the dopamine hits they get from phones and video games.

Getting kids active and engaged in life is so important for their health and development. Make the activities fun and help them discover new interests and talents. While technology certainly has its place, real-world interactions and experiences are vital for children to become happy, well-adjusted individuals. With patience and persistence, you can motivate your phone-addicted kids to look up from their screens and discover all the amazing possibilities life has to offer.

Make the Experience Varied and New

So there you have it – a few fun, creative ways to get the kids engaged and interacting in the real world. Whip out those paints, pump up the bouncy castle, and let their imaginations run wild. It may take a bit of effort initially, but the rewards of seeing them express themselves, solve problems, and bond as a family make it so worthwhile. Trust me, once they rediscover the magic of hands-on play and old-fashioned fun, you’ll have a hard time getting them to let go of their newfound passions! And if the lure of the screen starts to creep back in, you’ve now got proven activities up your sleeve to get them back on track. So go ahead – give boredom the boot, and let the good times roll!


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