The recent COVID-19 pandemic has people worldwide looking for engaging alternative activities that comply with social distancing guidelines. However, many individuals are unable to gather in large groups due to the global pandemic and are finding it challenging to keep their kids entertained. Sure, it can be easy to stick your child in front of a screen, but studies show that too much time on a phone or tablet could have damaging effects on your child’s brain development. Yet there’s good news. If you’re stuck in the same boring routine, here are four ways you can keep both you and your kids happy while limiting screen time throughout the summer.

1. Encourage Creativity

Technology has it’s benefits and can be a helpful tool and resource. Yet, more recently, kids are finding it challenging to use their minds to create and imagine. Sadly, tablets and smartphones often prevent children from learning valuable life skills. This is why it’s essential to encourage your youngsters to use their imaginations and access the right side of their brains, which, according to Psychology Today, fosters creativity and innovation. Here are some simple ways you can inspire your child to be artistic:

  • Make using a coloring book fun by having easy access to markers, crayons, or chalk. It’s also a good idea to keep a princess coloring book or a superhero coloring book on hand to maintain your children’s interest.
  • Keep playdough or modeling clay on hand.
  • Stickers, tape, pipe cleaners and glue go a long way.

2. Enjoy the Outdoors

If you or your kids feel tired much of the day, maybe try getting a little fresh air. Cabin fever is a real thing, and being cooped all day can have adverse effects on your mental state. Did you know that being outside raises your energy and can also increase your Vitamin D levels? A daily dose of the outdoors may also boost your immune system and enhance your brain development.

3. Get to Work

Kids thrive on schedules. The Child Development Institute states that children flourish with repetition and routine. They like to know what to expect each day. This is why daily chores are vital to not only your sanity but to your kids’ too. Chores teach your children useful life skills and help them create and maintain positive life patterns.

4. Establish Reading Time

There can be many reasons children feel overwhelmed or stressed, especially during a pandemic and worldwide unrest. Kids pick up on more than they let on and can feel emotionally drained due to outside stimuli. However, reading for 30 minutes a day may reduce stress and increase mental stimulation in your child. It may also improve memory and analytical thinking.

Sometimes it may be challenging to keep your kids busy during the summer, especially during a pandemic. Yet, with a little effort and a detailed plan, you can help your kids still have the summer of a lifetime. You can even rest easy knowing your kids’ minds are engaged and not glued to a screen every day.