It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy! At least it should be for students that worked hard all school year long. A break from studies and schedules is definitely well-deserved, but that doesn’t mean kids should spend all summer long zoning out on screens. Apex Leadership offers some fun ways to limit screen time this summer.
Set Some Boundaries
First of all, it’s important that kids don’t view “limiting screen time” as a punishment. Presenting a guideline for summer screen time limitations can help them understand how much time they are allotted (per day or week, depending on parents’ and guardians’ rules). This also helps children learn to budget and manage their time wisely.
Parents and guardians have a lot to juggle when kids are at home during the summer months, so creating a schedule that allows balance of all things is vital. For example, after some screen time, encourage kids to enjoy some outdoor time, during which they get some physical activity, or “quiet time,” during which they can read a book, listen to some music or work on a puzzle.
Start a Summer Idea Jar
To fend off the “I’m boreds” that tend to occur more often when the screens are shut down, parents and children can make their own idea jars. Using scraps of paper, family members can write down things they can do when the summertime doldrums set in. This can be something like “challenge a family member to a plank-off” or “work on a puzzle” — anything that is fun and doesn’t require too much effort (it is summer, after all!). Each activity should be fun, simple, and age appropriate. Need a few more ideas?
- Have a water balloon fight
- Build a fort with sheets and couch cushions
- Taste-test foods blindfolded
- Make homemade trail mix
- Play hide and seek, tag or Red Rover
- Go for a nighttime walk (flashlights and glow sticks make this a lot more fun!)
While students shouldn’t have to run on a super tight schedule during the summertime, it’s nice to sprinkle in activities that keep them off the screens and keep their minds engaged. Families could consider a weekly “adventure” — a day when they explore another part of their city; check out a local museum, aquarium or zoo; or try a new restaurant together (for the foodie families!). Many establishments even offer free or discounted admission days which families on a budget can take advantage of so they can enjoy the summer without breaking the bank.
Apex Leadership Co. reminds families that moderation is key when it comes to all things, including screen time. There is no need for parents to feel guilty or to impart guilt onto their children for what might be considered “too much” screen time. A balance of things they enjoy — on and off screen — is the ticket to a happy and relaxing summer for all.