12 Ways to Keep Your Kids Engaged without Frying Their Brains
If experience has taught us anything about childcare, it’s that children sniff out the nearest gadget with the relentlessness of a hungry cat. And, if science has taught us anything, it’s that unlimited screen time may be harmful to a child’s development.
That’s not to say that technology should be shunned outright. Sure, the Internet can be a child’s first real gateway to the magical world of procrastination, but it’s also home to a lot of incredibly valuable information. I mean, how else are we supposed to know that Steve Buscemi used to be a New York Firefighter.
Though the Internet is our business, here at Healthversed, we sympathize with your earnest attempt to shelter your children (or grandchildren) from an endless deluge of half-baked political discourse. So today, we’ve ransacked the Public Library’s collection of vintage toy store catalogues to compile a comprehensive list of tech-less activities for you and your youngster. Ready? Let’s go!
Read To Them
Looking for an engaging, educational, and enjoyable indoor pastime? Look no further than your bookshelf. Well, that’s assuming that you do in fact have a bookshelf. You know, one that actually holds books. If you don’t, you should get one pronto. Take it from me, bookshelves make pretending to be smart so much easier. More importantly, bookshelves in the home encourage the children living there to read more.
But I digress. Not only is reading to a little one much more engaging than say, watching the novel’s insulting made-for-TV version, it’s also a lot more personal. For example, I can’t hear the name Sherlock Holmes without also hearing my father’s horrendous excuse for an English accent.
Play Board Games
It is of my personal opinion that all board games should come packaged with a warning from the Surgeon General. Something like, “Warning: May cause irreparable damage to fragile relationships,” would do fine. Though they can often act as great gateways to family feuds, board games can be incredibly educational.
Chess can teach a child foresight. Euchre can teach a child about teamwork. Monopoly can teach a child that, no matter how delicious Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies are, she just can’t be trusted around pink 5’s and yellow 10’s. I remember it like it was yesterday. “You see, the thing about cookies,” Grandma said to a nine year old me, “is that you can’t buy a hotel with them.”
Children love two things: eating and making a mess. And let’s face it, us adults like it too. That’s because, with the right attitude, cooking can be a heck of a lot of fun. But getting your children familiar with food, the kitchen, and the inevitable kitchen cleanup is about more than just fun. It teaches them a valuable life skill too!
The Food Network has a great list of simple cooking-with-kids recipes to get you started. So, put the stand mixer away, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to get your hands dirty.