Screen addiction is a very real problem that's on the rise among the youngest members of the population. Most children spend more time surfing the Internet or browsing social media than they do playing outside. Technology is fine in moderation, but it's important to balance its use with other healthy activities. As a parent, you can do your part to model healthy screen time habits. Here are four fun offline activities you can do with your child:
1. Explore your town.
Many people live in one area for their whole lives without truly experiencing everything their town has to offer. If you've never done so before, exploring the place you live can be a fun adventure for you and your child. Find local historical sites and landmarks. Do your research, then visit the place in question to experience living history. Find local community events and fun niche restaurants to try together.
2. Ride your bikes with a twist.
Riding bikes together can be a fun and healthy experience, but to make it even more exciting, you can put a new twist on it; try riding a tandem bike with your child. Tandem bikes require extra coordination and teamwork, while still providing the health benefits of an ordinary bike. You can turn the bike you already own into a tandem bike using a tandem bike attachment specifically designed for children.
3. Play a board game.
Not all offline activities have to take place outdoors. If the weather is too hot or rainy one day, have a little fun indoors instead. Board games are fun for the whole family. They can teach kids how to be good sports while enjoying healthy competition. Go shopping together and pick out a variety of board games. If your child enjoys the experience, you can even make one night a week a scheduled family game night.
4. Encourage reading.
If your child loves television and movies, then what they really love are good stories. Get your child reading by introducing them to the magic of books. Take your child to the library, and help them pick out books in a subject they're interested in. If your child loves fantasy shows, help them find fantasy books that feature wizards, elves, and dragons. Nonfiction books are great for kids who love learning. When in doubt, ask your local librarian to help you find books that are well-suited to your child's age range.