Technology is now taking over our lives and while this is a good thing, it can also be bad. Children are now using phones and iPads to entertain themselves and not leaving much to the imagination. Children need less screen time to foster their imagination and creativity, but they may not know what to do with themselves to fill the technology hole. Parents also may find themselves stump as to what to suggest to their children. Knowing that, we came up with 5 activities that children can do that won’t require any technology.
Crafts offer a great way to use your imagination and creativity skills. It also can provide sensory and help develop motor skills for children. It doesn’t have to be something that takes a lot of preparation or money. Just printing out some coloring pages, or providing your child with plain paper can lead to a fun, technology-free time. You can let your child finger paint, color, make a sticker collage, etc. Listen to what they would like to do and follow their lead. No matter what age or skill level, children loves crafts and it is something to go back to over and over again. For some craft ideas, visit our blog frequently. We post crafts with directions from time to time.
This could be simple board games, card games, or even games your children make up. Children already love games on devices so why not play a physical game. Look for games that are specifically altered for young children and make sure your child has the capability to play them. An adult can even change the rules of games to fit the child’s needs. For example, if you are playing a memory matching game, the cards are typically flipped over and you have to remember where the items are in order to match them. If your child can’t remember the locations of the cards, flip them all over so all the items are shown and just take turns finding the matching cards. Games are already on devices and your child will love a physically game to take a break from technology.
Sensory activities can foster any child’s abilities and needs while providing a fun time. This can get messy so throw on some old clothes. Also, if you have young children, make sure the sensory activity is friendly for them and keep a close eye on them so they don’t put anything in their mouths. A couple sensory activities can include playing with cooked noodles, making slime, sensory gel bags, etc. Filling up a zip lock bag with hair gel and buttons can make a great sensory bag for your child to squish. Tape it to a table or window to allow your child to play with it. You can also put whip cream onto a table and let your child run a toy car through it or play with using their hands. Sensory can be messy, but it is worth the time away from technology and the chance for your child to get their hands dirty.
- Reading Books
Books allow a child to enter into a different world for a while. Books are essential for imagination and will inspire that and creativity. Set apart time for your child to read throughout the day. If your child can not read yet, have an adult or older children read to them. You can even throw a CD book in and let them listen to a book while looking at the pictures. Let the child pick out the books that interest them and let them explore topics they like. Books are a great break from TV and other technologies and your child will enjoy them just as much.
This activity will definitely need an adult involved, but can be good bonding time. Baking can provide sensory, learning, and creativity all in one. Children see adults baking and cooking all the time so involving them is not only a way to take a break from technology, but a way to show your children they are needed. It doesn’t have to be from scratch either. You can buy a mix for muffins, cupcakes, or cakes and go from there. You can even buy the frosting and your child can help put sprinkles or other decorative ingredients on. For tips on cooking with a special needs child, you can read our blog post here.
Taking a break from technology can seem like a punishment to children, but finding fun activities can give them the motivation to put the device down. It may take time to find activities your child will enjoy doing and it may take time for them to want to take technology breaks. Less screen time can help encourage imagination and creativity while providing sensory and developing motor skills. We hope these 5 activities can work for your child and inspire other activities your child can do without technology. If you have any technology-free suggestions, submit them through a comment – we would love to hear them!
If you have any questions regarding Cerebral Palsy or technology-free activities for your child, call us at (800) 692-4453 or fill out our contact form on Facebook or our website. We are here to answer any questions you may have.