The summer holidays are a tough time for keeping kids entertained. Many schools are closed for six weeks and it can be difficult to find activities to keep them occupied throughout the summer. Recently the Children’s Commissioner expressed concern about the levels of online time being consumed by children and that it was up to parents to make sure they didn’t spend too much time glued to a screen during the holidays. You may encounter a few moans and groans, but there are some excellent ways to help keep your kids away from the screen this summer.
Ways to limit screen time for children this summer
If you want to limit screen time for your children, there are some excellent ways to keep them occupied. Some time online is fine, but if you want them to really make the most of the summer, try out these easy, affordable activities:
1. Enjoy days out in Richmond park
Richmond residents are fortunate to be able to enjoy fantastic days out in Richmond Park, one of the most beautiful of the Royal Parks in London. A walk to enjoy the scenery, draw pictures of the local wildlife or a bike ride can clear the cobwebs and keep kids occupied for hours. With the park right on your doorstep, you can make regular visits during the summer and make the most of this wonderful outdoor space.
2. Get them active at the local leisure centre
It’s important for children (and you!) to exercise, and heading to the local leisure centre can be a great way to keep active. Whether you take them swimming or sign them up for classes or a sports club, Richmond has some excellent sports facilities to keep them occupied. You can also check out the local Netmums pages which have some excellent details of local events taking place during the summer holidays.
3. Encourage them to volunteer
Volunteering is a great idea to limit screen time for children over the summer. It not only helps to teach them about those less fortunate but can also help them to learn some vital skills that could benefit them when applying for university or for their first job. Volunteering can be done in number of ways from visiting care homes to helping out with local charities that are willing to have some younger volunteers. It’s a great way to teach them responsibility and to give back to their local community.
4. Get crafting
Even if it’s not possible to leave the house all the time, there are many things you can do around the home that don’t involve screens. Encouraging some craft time is a fun way to get your kids to pass the time and enjoy making new things. You’ll find many amazing ideas for children’s crafts on Pinterest and they may even find something that they can make that you’d love to have in your home.
5. Teach them how to cook
Cooking is a skill that can be taught at any age, and is a useful one for children to have. Teaching children how to cook healthy, homemade meals can teach them a lot about self-care and looking after themselves as they get older. It will also equip them with vital skills for when they leave home and will give you an extra pair of hands in the kitchen!
It may seem like an impossible task but you’ll be doing a great thing by encouraging your kids to step away from the screen. Some time on the internet or watching TV every now and then is fine, but helping them find other activities that they enjoy will also help keep their minds and bodies active, ready to go back to school in the autumn.
For more tips on self care for children, visit the our blog.