Tablets, phones, and other digital devices can have their benefits when it comes to children. However, you may be concerned that your child is spending a little too much time glued to their screens and not enough time playing.
More traditional games and toys can be hugely beneficial to the development of your kids, helping them to develop social, emotional, language, and motor skills. With this in mind, you may be wondering how you can encourage your children to play with toys rather than their tech gadgets which may seem to be taking up more and more of their time.
Limit Screen Time
If it seems as though your child is spending too much time on their tablet or phone it may be wise to limit their screen time. This could be in the form of a curfew, or perhaps you ban devices around mealtimes or before they’ve finished their homework. There have been studies to show that addiction to technology and screens is a very real thing and can be particularly damaging to children. This means that it is important to ensure that the time your child spends on a tablet or phone is limited.
While you’re talking to your children about limiting screen time, this can also be a good time to talk about online safety. To get the conversation started, use these posters from Play Like Mum.
Get Involved in Their Games
Try leading by example and involving yourself in their games. Perhaps you can play a board game together or you can allow your child to serve you at a make-believe tea party. This can often encourage them to start playing with their toys or using their imaginations, especially if they don’t have a sibling to play with.
Provide the Perfect Environment for Playing
Your child’s bedroom can be the perfect place for them to play with their toys, and you can encourage them to do so by making sure that it has the ideal environment. You could remove any tech from their room so they’re not distracted by screens. Using plenty of color in your child’s bedroom can help to get their imagination working, and decorating it with play in mind ensures that you have a safe, practical, and fun environment for them.
Encourage Their Imaginations
Imaginative play is particularly beneficial to children as it can encourage the development of a range of skills. You can help to keep their imaginations growing in a number of ways. One of the easiest ways is to read to them. While you are reading to them, you can ask them questions about the story to get their imaginations working. Ask them what they think a character looks like or what they are thinking.
Getting your child away from the screen and playing with toys may seem like an impossible task, but it can be so beneficial to their development that it may well be worth any tantrums you may be met with!