A Screen Time Out

5 Simple Suggestions

As grandparents we lead by example. Keeping kids engaged and interested (no matter what age), doesn’t mean that we spend our time together being on the screens…especially if we can be together. Sometimes it’s a great idea just to use the ‘old-fashioned way’ of thinking of something to do without all the devices (except the camera for a photo-worthy moment!). We say: put down the devices!

Here are 5 “unplugged activities” to do with your grandkids…

1. Cooking class in the kitchen – teach kids how to make their favorite dish. — We always know what the kids hope to eat when they get to grandmas… but now is your time to SHOW them how to make that special dish by yours truly! Pretend you are on a cooking show and lay out all the ingredients and materials needed for the dinner on the countertop. Take the kids step by step through your “heirloom recipe”. Take pictures while you are prepping and cooking; maybe put together a family cookbook with the recipe and images from your day.

2. Create a family tree or a family photo album. — We all know there is never a shortage of family photos when you go to grandma’s house! So why not take the time to tell the children all about those special moments and the people who have been a part of your family heritage for years before them. Buy a blank white poster board and create a family tree together, or create a scrap book (the hard copy kind!) with all those photos you can gather.

3. Write a play and act it out together, record it for memory’s sake. — Maybe you have little ones that are YouTube-obsessed. Here is a time to ask them to put on a play or make a movie together or learn a new dance. Brainstorm ideas together and raid grandma and grandpa’s closets for costumes. Record the final product and even let those tech savvy kids help you edit it. End the night with a movie screening of your play/movie with popcorn and family. Yes, you can use your phone here!

4. Get outside for a family hike. — Go ahead, get outside and take a walk or hike around your neighborhood or city. Stop at places that have changed over the years, talking about memories that you may have had together, or before the children were born.

5. Go through old toys, books, clothes together, and then teach the children about donating to families in need anytime of the year. — In every town there is an outreach committee for community members who are needy. Some children today may not have been exposed to community service so taking a day to donate goods that aren’t used anymore, or help in a communal garden can show kids how gratifying it is to participate and give back. Even if the kids have given things away before, there are always more ways to contribute to the betterment of all!