Your children’s game controllers are squeezed tightly in their hands, their bodies swaying to keep up with their fictional character’s movements, and their eyes getting more blood-shot by the minute. No one is blaming you, here. You have a busy life, and watching your kids every second of every day does not exactly fit into your schedule. Video games keep the kids occupied, quiet, and worry-free for hours, and those are difficult luxuries to sacrifice. What if you had a few healthier alternatives to video games for your children that would keep them just as busy and that they would actually love? Below are ten of the best ideas:
1. Play Some Pickup Games of Sports
Don’t underestimate the excitement of backyard baseball. It’s a blast, and you could be preparing your kids for their major league future, here. Don’t have a backyard? Pillow baseball in a spacious living room would suffice. I would still beware of leaving any breakables around. Or basketball in a laundry hamper? Options are truly endless.
2. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Now, this one could take very little to an extreme amount of preparation, but comes with the tempting possibility of keeping your kids busy the entire day. You could place clues around your home for your little ones, or get the neighborhood kids involved in one around the community. The best part is that they will be delighted with even just a popsicle as their winning prize.
3. Put Together a Neighborhood Game
Speaking of neighborhood kids, pulling them together for a community game of street hockey or kick-the-can (Is that still a thing? I really was a kid not all that long ago.) could be a thrill. It could also provide you with some much needed social time with your neighbors.
4. Get Out a Board Game
They are absolutely not in the past yet. Who doesn’t love a four hour session of Monopoly? I’m the only one? Well, I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t get a kick out of Hungry Hungry Hippos or Mickey Mouse Yahtzee. You let the kids start making up their own rules, and they could be at it for hours.
5. Start a Band
Your kids don’t even need to be in their pre-teens with a couple months of guitar lessons behind them. Tell the little ones to pick a song and practice it for their big performance later that evening. Have them throw in a dance routine and pick out costumes. Maybe they might actually get excited for their next piano lesson. I mean, it doesn’t hurt to dream.
6. Read an Exciting Series
I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t put the Harry Potter books down when I was younger. I would look forward to reading them again every day. Get your kids that excited about reading, and you’ve earned about six gold stars.
7. Make a Car Wash Fun
I think the key here is to tell your kids to throw on their swimming attire first and start spraying them with water before they know they are actually being helpful. Make the chore fun before they realize it’s a chore, and they might just want to do it again.
8. Paint Some Pictures or Draw a Sidewalk Chalk Mural
Who knows? Maybe you’ve got a Monet living under your roof, and you never knew because the poor kid has never even held a brush or stick of chalk.
9. Build a Fort
For some reason, everything is 20 times more fun in a fort. After their little engineer skills are tested with the construction, they could keep themselves adding on and entertained for hours.
10. Go Through an Obstacle Course
Put your kids through a little personal training session. They will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize that they are getting their exercise in. It starts with 30 jump ropes, climb up and down the tree, across the monkey bars, down the slide, ten jumping jacks, and a lap around the backyard. Switch it up, and they’ll keep going!
Test out a few of these alternatives to video games. Your kids are bound to love at least a few and will be even healthier as a result!