Sick of screen time battles? Surprise them and tell them yes! They can pick from any one of these excellent educational activities using screens. You can also easily edit this list to make it just right for your family.
Digital devices were practically made for enabling fun math games. There are tons of good choices out there – the real problem is finding the good ones. You have to be careful because some of them are too focused on the game and not enough on the math.
Here are 3 compilation websites that have good suggestions for math games. I recommend trying a bunch of them, and bookmarking the ones you and your kids like the best:
Many adults these days get their news on their devices, so this is a habit we can begin teaching our kids now. Here are some good current events websites for kids. Have your kids pick one article each day to read and then tell you about it.
If your kids want screen time, tell them to use a screen to learn about a latest scientific discovery. Amazing things are happening in the world of science all the time, and teaching kids to use their screens to keep abreast of the latest developments is great for them and for society!
You can start by simply following NASA on Instagram. The images and information they post are wonderful.
I also recommend the website Science News for Kids. There are lots of videos to watch, colorful pictures, and easy to read articles about all things science.
Read an eBook
Your kids will feel like they’re getting away with something by getting to use a screen to read a book. Many libraries will now let you check out eBooks, so this doesn’t need to break the bank. You can also teach your kids about the wonders of using the Internet to find great new books to read. Check out my blog post about this.
If your kids need more encouragement to think this is fun, let them have screen time in the dark by reading at night on an iPad. They can even build an eBook fort for special reading time on their special device. Seriously – this works!
In the future, more and more jobs are going to require a basic knowledge of how to use and even program a computer. You can easily get started at home with some fun games and software.
Avatar Generation has some fun apps and games to try that promote coding skills.
Scratch is a great tool for kids who are just starting to learn to program computers.
Code.org is a wonderful website to learning coding skills.
The Internet has a wealth of great information on virtually any subject you can think of. Have your kids use a screen to research any topic they’re interested in. They will be practicing their research, skimming, and reading skills, while learning about something they care about. Ask them to name something they’re interested in – horses, archery, trains, basketball, whatever they want. Then tell them to go learn three new things about that topic and come back to you with what they learned. If they need more incentive, have them create a board game about the topic, write a children’s story about it, create a photo story with captions, write a skit about it, create a trivia game to play at dinner – play to their interests and you’ll hit on something that won’t feel like work to them.
Kids can definitely get too much screen time, especially time spent vegging out or playing endless games. But screens can also connect your kids to a wealth of information that just wasn’t available when we were kids. Learn how to harness those screens and teach your kids how much more there is out there than games!