fun ways to reduce screentime as winter kicks in

The chilly has arrived! Frosty mornings and crisp school runs make it super easy to cosy up and hibernate. Of course, there are lots of benefits to this, including quality family time and getting things done around the house. Still, at this time of year, we also see a significant increase in screen time. It’s easy to give in to the kids demands and let them spend more time on their screens and less time doing fun activities or playing outside. How do we combat this? Look no further….

 TIME TOKENS 

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We absolutely LOVE the concept of time tokens! Set up by fellow mum Amanda Bucknall, time tokens help give control back to your child. Once your child receives their time tokens pack (which includes loads of goodies), you can get to work “setting a contract” together. Whenever they want some screentime, they hand over TimeTokens from their wallet, let’s say the one for 30 minutes, and start their timer. When the timer beeps, that’s the end of their 30 minutes. When all the TimeTokens in their wallet are used up, no more screentime until next week when their wallet is filled up again… so lots of time for other stuff!

For more information on time tokens, click here.

FAMILY WALKS

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Come rain or shine it’s always possible to get outside (although it may not seem that appealing) It’s time to tog up, pop on your wellies and set a good example. Younger kids love activities such as puddle jumping and collecting leaves, whereas older kids might enjoy a scavenger hunt. As long as you have an activity in place to get them outside, they will have a great time. 

GAMES NIGHT

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Games night is a great way to encourage quality family time without the use of electronic devices. Make an agreement that you will all come together on a particular day/night of the week and enjoy some games and pizza together! The kids will soon forget about their screens once they are stuck into a family game. 

FILM

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Same as the above, but instead you can all cosy up with a pizza, movie and some popcorn. Technically it’s screen time, but it’s being used positively and encourages quiet time together. 

SHARING OUT CHORES

Isn’t this blog supposed to be focussing on “fun” ways to reduce screentime? Believe it or not, chores can be fun. Kids love taking ownership of specific jobs and duties. Sit down together and discuss who would like to do what each day? This can change from weekdays to weekends and in the school holidays. Once they have taken time to contribute to the family living space by completing their chores, they can then have some screentime. 

 BORED JAR

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Image credit: somewhatsimple.com

Bored jars are a great way to redirect their boredom away from their screens and onto something productive. Fill a pot with lots of activities that they might enjoy. This could be anything from arts and crafts to baking or reading a book. When they start moaning about wanting to play on their device, you can bring the bored jar out and distract them. 

You can find some great ideas here on Pinterest.

 MAKE AN ACTIVITY STATION

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Crafts are a great way to get that good old dose of quiet time without plugging the kids into a screen. Make some space in a cupboard or drawer and fill it with everything the kids will need to craft, draw, and create. You can even encourage them to go and collect some things from nature to use for their art projects. 

We hope you enjoy these activities as much as we do. Avoiding screentime all together is a battle you will never win, but reducing it can be easier than you think and fun too. How do you minimize screentime in your house? Join the conversation in the comments below, or via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. 

 My Gator Watch is a wearable mobile phone designed especially for 5-12-year-olds. It uses GPS, two-way calling, works across multiple networks and has an SOS feature for peace of mind. It does not have a messaging feature, and you, the parent; determine all numbers that are pre-set within the phone.

 For more information and prices, please click here.

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