The kids are almost out of school here in NJ and pretty soon we’ll be planning our summer excursions. That’s great for us parents because it means limiting electronics and getting in more family time. It’s really annoying when all your child seems to want to do is stay glued to their phones 24/7, even when you try your best to entertain them and keep them involved with everyday summer activities. This summer, we’re putting a stop to excessive electronic use and putting family first! It’s not always easy, so if you’re a parent who’s run out of ideas on how to keep your teen off her phone this summer, below you can find a few ideas that I have in mind!
1. Trade and hour of phone time to join them in an activity they like to do.
Moms, this may be a little hard for us at times but sometimes we have to compromise. We sometimes have a hard time realizing our little boy or girl is not so little anymore and they are growing up right in front of our eyes. They may not like some of the things we liked to do growing up, especially since times are changing. However, the two of you can easily come up with something you both would enjoy doing together, even if you have to bend a little bit. You may even enjoy it
2. Encourage them to play outdoors.
On days that weather permits, encourage your kids to leave their phones inside and play outdoors. They could even plan to have a friend come hang out with no phones allowed!
3. Play a family board game or card game.
My family and I love to play games. This is a great way to get everybody involved and have some family fun time. Try having everyone leave their phones and electronics to the side and enjoy some quality time together.
4. Have them devote 30 minutes to an hour to read (don’t forget to join them!).
My girl’s school has them reading at least 30 minutes a day and this is something I will continue to have them do during the summer. Those 3o minutes to an hour will keep their minds fresh and their hands off their devices during that timeframe.
5. Give them school work during the summer.
This doesn’t have to be a boat load of work, especially since I know kids want to enjoy their summer without the pressure of schoolwork. However, you can give them just enough to keep them off of their devices for a few minutes at least. Our teachers send home extra packets and reading lists to work on during the summer so our kids continue to retain what they have learned all year. There is also online resources made specifically for their school and tailor to each grade level. Just 15-30 minutes a day can help them practice on school work they have already learned so it won’t be lost during their summer break. They can return to school feeling confident and less overwhelmed and will probably thank you in the long run!
6. Have a scavenger hunt.
This may sound a little silly but could be very fun, especially if weather permits. If not, you can still have a fun scavenger hunt indoors. You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. You can find a few prizes that your children like at the dollar store, clearance, or stores like Five Below. This can be things like candy, small toys, earbuds, mini puzzles, and more. Hide them around the house or in the yard and have your kids go around and find them. You can even tape little numbers on each item so you can keep track of when everything is found.
7. Lastly, Plan a family vacation.
Family vacations are a great time to bond with your kids and leave the electronics behind. You’ll all be too busy having the time of your life and exploring your surroundings to find time to play on your phones. There are a lot of places that are on our list of travel destinations and exploring St. Louis could be one of them. I’ve never been, but St. Louis has a large roster of attractions that I hope to explore with my family one day. Places like the St. Louis City Museum (has caves, slides, and more), Butterfly House, and Blues Museum are just a few on my list. They offer excellent activities for the entire family to enjoy and I know each and every one of my children would enjoy the continued excitement. I know for a fact that my 13 year old would love the St. Louis Science Center. She would definitely stay off her phone for sure while enjoying over 700 hands on displays, the four story Omnimax Theater, and all the many other features that it has to offer.
There are so many things to do in St. Louis so if you’re planning on taking a visit, be sure to check out 25 things to do in St. Louis and map out your quest before you head out. You can even win a trip to go and explore St. Louis this summer when you enter the #FunnestFamily contest! Wouldn’t that be great?!! Enter by sharing your family’s funniest photo or video on Instagram, Twitter, or the Explore St. Louis Facebook page and use the #FunnestFamily hashtag.
One winner will receive:
- Two night stay at a St. Louis area hotel
- Tickets to several St. Louis attractions for your entire family
- $50 Visa Gift Card
Contest ends 6/30/2016 so be sure to get your entries in. One entry per person and remember, you can’t win if you don’t enter! Good luck and have a wonderful summer (hopefully in St. Louis)!