We get it, video games are incredibly fun. They can show us diverse worlds with amazing gameplay and they can even teach us practical skills such as improving our timing, communication. or the basics of coding. However, it can sometimes feel like lazy parenting to allow our children too much time on the video game console, not to mention how this can affect their health in the long term.
While video games are not necessarily a bad thing, without moderation they could prevent our kids, and even ourselves, from spending time doing more practical and physical hobbies. No matter how good the Minecraft world is, our kids do still have to live on Planet Earth and as demonstrated in my post about smartphones, a healthy balance is always needed.
So here are a few ideas to help your children get away from your video games console more often:
It is easy to think that some sports are not right for your kids. Sure, your child may or may not be ready to tackle people on a rugby pitch or fancy kicking a football around, but sports can also include a practical hobby such as learning martial arts and its associated discipline, or biking, swimming, golf, gymnastics, or dancing.
Whatever gets your child physically active can be a great to encourage. While video games are excellent, they’re rarely active and is no substitute for the benefits of a team or solo sport.
Efforts and hobbies like this also allow your children to feel more comfortable in their bodies as they use them for physical pursuits, which is essential to help them stay fit, aware, and active as a child should be.
Try Metal Detecting
Metal detecting can also be a fantastic way to explore with your child and engaging in a brilliant hobby.
Metal detecting with your kids serves three purposes. First, it allows you to spend quality time with them as you scan your property and environment. Second, it allows you to get outside and have fun trying to find something worthwhile. It’s not all about what you find, but the experience and conversations along the way that can work brilliantly. Third, you may just find something of value. While the chance of finding buried treasure is low, you never know what you may find and that can provide an air of excitement as you practice.
Creating something together can be a great idea, as making something tangible can be just as satisfying as developing a sprawling buildings in a game like Minecraft. From painting to drawing, or arts and crafts, or even basic woodworking depending on the age of your child, you can teach them practical skills and help them develop.
Often, creating something with our child is a great use of our time because it’s just so much fun. Don’t think as though you need to learn an entirely new craft in order to unlock the benefits of this. Even building a large LEGO spaceship together, or working on a model train set and village can all be worth your attention and time. Sometimes, it’s just important to give yourself the time and space to it.
Show Your Childhood
Share your own childhood to your children. Show them what you enjoyed doing when you were their age. Perhaps there’s a particular TV show you enjoyed, or maybe you loved playing in the woods with your friends, or performed a silly show to your parents, complete with air guitar.
You could spend an afternoon showing them some of the keepsakes you kept from when you were young, or the photographs you have held onto. While this may not provide ‘content’ for weeks upon weeks, it can be a fun to connect with your child and show them just what life was like before the world of modern video game consoles.
Board games are still gaming, but can be more methodical, intellectual and often engaging form of it in the right social setting. From classics such as Cluedo and Monopoly, to more niche and hilarious options such as Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (if you wish to provide some tablet screen time), they can be great fun and help you laugh as a family.
Additionally, board game communities and conventions may be available in larger cities, and this can provide you with a worthwhile means of getting out of your house and playing board games with others.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas to help get your children away from the video game console and spend some quality time together.