The topic of allowing your kids to have hours of screen time as opposed to playing outside has been at the forefront of many parents’ minds. What’s the better option, is one better than the other, or do kids need a mix of both? Parenting is no easy feat, navigating between today’s tech toys and enabling kids to get some fresh air has proven to be a struggle for so many parents. While there are pros and cons to both, what’s important to remember here is what will benefit your child the most?
Outdoor Play vs. Tech Play
There’s no doubt the tech toys kids have today are thrilling. With stunning graphics, endless quests and quizzes, and hours of play, it’s no wonder why kids get ‘hooked’ on their iPads, computers, and video games. While there are some benefits of playing video games, like memory enhancement, improved coordination, better concentration, and enhanced multitasking skills, many still believe they come with a lot of consequences. The main pitfalls of tech games are that they can limit social interactions, they consume an excessive amount of time, and in extreme cases, create psychological distress. So, is the answer here to let your kids play outside? Outdoor play allows children to explore, get exercise, learn about nature, and improve attention span, to name a few. While this all sounds great, there are a few downsides to outdoor play as well. Unpredictable weather, unsafe structures, dirt, and the risk of injury rises when kids play in the outdoors with other kids. How do parents find a balance?
How to have ‘outdoor’ play indoors?
Being in the UAE, the weather can often be way too hot and dusty to be outside, and sometimes kids have to stay indoors for their safety. However, just because the weather outside is less than ideal, that shouldn’t give them a free pass to watch TV or play video games all day. Finding the perfect balance can take some trial and error. Screen time is not all bad, and sometimes it can even be educational but just don’t let kids have too much time on their tech gadgets. Keeping kids entertained indoors without the use of technology is the challenge. Check out our list below for fun activities kids can do inside that still give them the benefits of outdoor play.
Best Indoor Activities for Kids:
- Take them to a gymboree to burn off some energy
- Let their imaginations run free by turn your living room into a fort using a bedsheet and the sofa
- Bake a treat like cookies, cake, or home-made granola bars with your kids
- Engage with them for some arts & crafts
- Make puppets and put on a puppet show
- Teach them about nature by reading books or watching an educational movie
- Challenge your kids to a board game of their choice
When it comes to parenting, remember there is no right and wrong, and what works for some children may not necessarily be what’s best for yours. Find what works best for you and your family.