The holidays are upon us again and, despite some new COVID restrictions returning, I am sure we are all looking forward to getting out and enjoying some winter sunshine. While it is cold and windy outside, there is a temptation to huddle inside, all bundled up. Unfortunately, this can mean increased screen and technology time for our kids. Now, I am certainly not suggesting that you should shut off technology at home during the holidays! I have three teenagers myself and I know that an idea like that may cause World War III! I am suggesting time off from technology, for a solid few hours every day.
As technology is so prevalent these days, it can be hard for children’s brains to get a break from it. Many parents report that the only time their child is focused is when they are watching the iPad. This becomes an issue when they come back to the classroom to learn when iPads are not the norm. There has also been an increase in technology being used to subtly condition our children for more adult ideas such as gambling. By giving our children screen-free time each day - meaning no screens at all, including the TV - we are encouraging their imaginations and fine- and gross-motor skills to develop.
Lego is still a favourite in the library at lunchtime and younger children love a fresh batch of homemade playdough. Finding a new park or a new bushwalking track is a great way to get kids moving and older children might enjoy challenging you to a handball game, although you must be ready to surrender gracefully!
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday!