Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fun Ideas To Do With you Kids (and turn off that iPad!)

My (almost 3 year old) daughter loves her iPad. If she is not watching a movie on it she is playing a game with princesses or ponies. I really try to limit her use of it because I would hate to have her waste her whole day sitting watching netflix. Lately I have been struggling with limiting her screen time because I also have a little one who is 18 months and she has started to cry all the time. She cannot yet talk and tell me what she wants, so she just screams at me... all day. Most days if I cannot find what makes her happy I have to end up putting a movie on. They both love movies and the iPad. My oldest actually watches kids netflix on the iPad instead of playing learning games which is what I really would prefer her doing.
In my struggles to limit screen time for both of them I have found these few things to help. I am sharing these in hopes of helping you find some ideas to do with your kids to spend less time watching tv and playing on the iPad. Don't get me wrong, I do know that doing those things for some of the day is fine, and some days it's impossible not to have them on all day but if you are able to, here are some fun ideas.

Flash cards. I have been teaching my oldest letters and numbers using flash cards I got in the dollar spot of Target. She loves them! She really loves to learn and really enjoys working with me on learning her letters, numbers, colors, and shapes using flash cards!

Crafting. I go to Michaels every so often and pick up crafts related to the nearest Holiday. They have cheap easy ones and I get multiple ones to keep us busy for a week or two. I like to pick up the foam kits that complete a cute little project you can display. You can also get little ceramic magnets that come with paints to decorate, cardboard images that come with markers to color, sticker books and you can color on paper and put stickers down for extra fun. They have so many great options for all ages and she loves and begs me to do crafts everyday!

Magic Mess Free Markers. These are amazing! They are white and only color on the special books made for them and they do not color your furniture or carpets. We love using these to get our coloring on! Even my little one can join in on this fun and do not have to worry about getting marker all over my house.

Playing outside! Well Duh! My kids love playing outside, me not so much. It is a lot of work chasing around two little ones making sure the smallest doesn't eat rocks and dirt and the oldest doesn't poke the dog in the eye. For Christmas we got them this trampoline. I actually got a 10 ft one so it was not so large and it is perfect for them. We go out there all the time and they can get their wiggles out and I can keep them contained (it has a safety net) so it's easier to watch them. Mom win!

Outdoor toys. We got our girls a scooter and a power wheel quad so we can take them outside and play with them. Having outdoor toys makes going for walk a lot funner for them. It is true I cannot take them both to do these activities without the help of my husband it is still a lot of fun and we try to do it whenever he is home.

Playdoh is a lifesaver. My youngest still cannot play with it because she just eats it as fast as possible ensuring a good mouth full before I can get it from her, but my oldest loves it! When my little one is napping I like to bring it out for her to play with. I got her some little tools to go with it so she can also practice her shapes, cutting, rolling etc. It is actually a lot of fun and enjoy playing playdoh with her.

Reading. Of course I have to put books on here I am a huge advocate of reading and reading to your children daily and every night before bed. I love getting them new books and sitting and reading with them everyday. I think it is so important and no iPad can replace this.

Playing music loud and dancing. We love our amazon echo and lately the girls have been obsessed with the Trolls movie soundtrack. I ask Alexa to play the Trolls soundtrack and the girls dance and sing the whole way through. I have to admit that I also am in love with this soundtrack it is so fun! My girls love to dance all over the house and putting on music (almost) always stops the crying instantly.

Puzzles. My oldest is really into puzzles right now. We like to do the 24 or 48 piece kids sets. I found some at Target and some at Wal-mart. They teach great cognitive skills and she can put them together all by herself now! Doing puzzles is something I really enjoy doing with both of my girls. My youngest favorite part is picking up all the pieces and putting them back in the bag. Haha!

These are my go to ideas for when I am needing the screen time turned off! I hope this helps you with some new ideas for your kiddos and motivates you to limited screen time.

What fun things do you do with your kids to get them off the ipad or tv?
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