Back in the stone ages when I was a child
When I was a kid, (I know you’ve heard stories started like this before, but hang with me) I spent a great deal of time reading, playing games, riding my bike, and enjoying my friends. Our family would also take min-vacations; weekend camping trips which were always great fun. But alas, times have changed and all those wonderful memories of when I was a child, I must sadly say, this generation will not enjoy nearly as much as I did.
We can’t blame our kids for what we introduced them to; computers, TV, game systems; we, as parents are to blame for sometimes using these technological devices to act as baby sitters or ways to pass the time while we are busy doing other things.
Fun Activities you can enjoy with your kids
There are a great many activities you can enjoy with your kids that don’t involve electronic devices. Some of these are so simple and so enjoyable but yet forgotten in our world of technology. These are favorable for younger children; the older the child is, the harder it is to get him or her away from technology; I suggest starting your kid’s young and incorporate it into their life styles so that it becomes a natural part of their life.
- Reading a book:
Kids really enjoy when you read with them and help to make the story come to life. Use different voices to really intrigue your child into the story you are reading.
- Go to the library:
Every town has at least one library; many offer story times for children which not only gets them involved in reading, but also helps to socialize them with other children. It’s great fun to watch and listen as children sit together and are focused on a story being told. You may even want to volunteer as a story teller; this gives you child a sense of pride knowing his or her parent is the one telling the story.
- Play games:
Remember playing “hide and go seek” as a child? It is just as much fun as an adult to play this game with your children. You can also play “tag” or “duck, duck, goose” (if you have several children to play this game with); these games get your children active and help them to use their imagination.
- Paint, draw, or coloring:
Give your children the chance to show their creative and artistic side; they enjoy it a great deal and the drawings or paintings your child creates will most certainly be treasured items you will keep for all your life. (I have boxes full of these types of things)
- Cooking and baking:
Let your kids help you in the kitchen preparing a meal or baking cookies. Don’t worry about the mess; that is what soap and water is for. There is great fun in letting your kids be a part of making a meal; this gives them a great deal of satisfaction when they can say, “I helped make this”. It’s also a good idea to let them help you clean up; it’s a perfect time for bonding and for teaching them responsibilities about doing chores. It’s more fun when you do it together.
Even if it’s in your back yard, spread out a blanket and have a picnic with your kids; they will enjoy this very much. You could invite a few of your children’s friends over to share in the fun and include their parent or parents as well.
What about Older Children age 9 and up?
All is not lost; there are plenty of things children this age can enjoy that will give them lasting memories of their childhood.
- Pitch a tent:
Let your child or children invite two or three friends over to have a sleep over in the back yard. Just pitch a tent and watch them have the time of their lives. They’ll probably end up inside before the night is through as darkness enhances scary sounds, but this is something they will not forget for a long time.
- Explore nature:
Take your children on a nature hike or spend the day at the zoo or aquarium. This not only gets your child active it also educates them on things they may not be familiar with. Museums are another great place to spend the day with your kids.
Encourage your child to take some kind of interest in learning to play an instrument but don’t push them into it; let them chose which instrument interests them the most. Be prepared; boys tend to pick drums as an instrument they would like to learn; I suggest a good set of ear plugs.
Some kids are naturally athletic while others need to find that hidden athlete inside of them. Don’t push them into any certain sport but try to help them discover what they really enjoy doing. My middle child was active in football all his school years. My oldest found his sport when he was seventeen; just so happens his sport of choice is rock climbing; not actually my pick of sports I’d favor him doing, but he enjoys it very much and is now considered in the professional league of rock climbing.
It is safe to say you won’t get your kids to give up their technological toys entirely; the plan is to get them active in other things as well which will then limit the time they spend on the computer, playing computer games, or watching TV. You can always join in with them playing computer games or watching TV; the point is to spend more time with your kids and show them you enjoy being a part of their interests.