Now What? Join in the Fun When You Unplug

Now What? Join in the Fun When You Unplug

Kids Playing Outside

Check out 11 Alternatives to Screen Time

Screens are all around us and have a way of grabbing attention, especially from our kids. In fact, we know screen time can be habit-forming. The more time children engage with screens, the more difficult it is for them to step away from screens as they get older. 

You might be wondering why this matters. The reality is that the time your child spends watching television and other screens has been linked to their health and academic performance. Younger children who watch less television often have a healthier diet, are more physically active and do better in school. 

The first two years of life are particularly critical for brain development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no screen time for kids under 2 years old. Those children older than 2 should have no more than 1-2 hours a day.   

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count recommends that you limit recreational screen time to two hours or less every day. Screen time includes time spent on televisions, computers, gaming consoles/handhelds, tablets or smartphones. Are you wondering how you can get your child to unplug? Make it easy by creating a list of fun activities that don’t include sitting down and watching a screen. To help get started, we’ve got 11 ideas to get them up and moving outside. 

Try These Activities Instead of Watching TV: 

  1. Ride your bike, skateboard, rollerblades or scooter around the block (don’t forget your protective gear!). 

  2. Practice your favorite sport or try out a new one.

  3. Plant vegetables or flowers in a garden.

  4. Go on a walk or take a nature hike. 

  5. Design a backyard obstacle course.

  6. Create a work of art using sidewalk chalk. 

  7. Play catch with friends or family.

  8. Go camping (even if it’s just in the backyard). 

  9. Organize a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood/town.

  10. Go to a park or find a playground. 

  11. Plan a picnic and enjoy a meal outside.