Summer is almost here which means incoming beach weather, non-stop barbecues and a bunch of kids hanging around the house on school holidays. Having kids around the house is great, don’t get us wrong – what’s not great is having to separate your kids from their screens 24/7.
Luckily there are a tonne of tried and tested ways to get your children away from their devices and into their imaginations these holidays.
Here are 15 of our favourite vacation activities:
1. Get off your screens yourself
This is probably our number one tip – lead by example. If your kids see you attached to your smartphone or iPad every second of the day they’re unlikely to take you seriously when you suggest screen-free time.
2. Have a bake-off
Wholesome family fun in the kitchen. Let your kids choose the style of cake, make a visit to the shops for ingredients and spend an afternoon baking together. Eating cake is your reward.
3. Google Home games
Sure, you can use Google Home to turn off your lights but Siri also is a pretty fun games master. You can play everything from Musical Chairs, Jungle Adventure and Sound Pet. All you need is a Dodo internet connection and away you go.
4. Crafternoons (or Craftermornings!)
Nothing is cheaper, or more entertaining, than a pack of paints, a plastic tarp and an endless supply of butcher’s paper. Cover your living room floor with the stuff and let your kids tap into their inner artists.
5. Hello, audiobooks
Fun audiobooks, or podcasts, are a great way for kids to enjoy tech without staring at a screen. Lay the kids outside on the grass in the sunshine, give them a set of headphones and it’s storytime.
6. Blow-up swimming pool
Nothing says ‘Australian summer’ quite like a blow-up pool in the backyard. Even better, let the kids play with the hose while the pool is filling up. It’s the best kind of water fight.
7. Host ‘World Nights’
If you’ve got a few kids then pull out the world globe, pick a country at random and theme a dinner around the customs of that nation. One child can choose the food, one can teach the family a few words in the language and you can all learn something.
8. Scavenger hunt
Word of advice: the harder you make it, the longer it will occupy them. This one will take a little organisation on your part but it’s worth it for a few peaceful, kid-free hours while they’re turning the back yard upside down.
9. Learn an instrument
This involves a screen, but in a good way. There are a heap of apps available (like this one) that make learning the basics of guitar or piano super easy. Just prop them up with an iPad and they’ll be entertained for hours.
10. Build a fort
This was THE BEST as a kid. Turn one of their bedrooms into a fort and let them have a few sleepovers in it. Only rule? The fort is a screen-free zone!
11. DIY day spa
Why not make their summer holidays work for you? Make a DIY day spa at home complete with nail painting, massage and face masks. Pamper time.
12. Letter writing afternoon
Get them to make a card or write a letter to a grandparent or friend or favourite cousin, then make a trip to the post office together to send it.
13. Playing cards
Whether its teaching older kids how to perfect a poker face or playing game after game of Uno with the little ones, a deck of cards guarantees hours of amusement. We highly recommend giving Monopoly cards a go, too.
14. Have brinner nights
What’s brinner? Breakfast for dinner! Brekkie is one of the easiest meals for kids to learn to make. Why not get them to make you scrambled eggs or pancakes for dinner?
15. Draw each other’s caricatures
Get ready to laugh when your three-year-old tries to draw your likeness. Drawing each other’s caricatures involves a lot of quality time and eye contact – excellent family bonding, and a great way for them to focus on something (your face!) that isn’t a screen.
Not sure when your kid should get their first phone? Check out our blog here!