Replacement Activities for Gaming and Internet Surfing
Parents need to remember that video game playing and internet surfing serves a purpose for their child. When helping your child to change their digital media habits, parents should help identify replacement activities.
Many teens socialize online through video game playing or social media. When a parent suggests decreasing screen time, teens often resist as they have fallen into a habit of interacting primarily online.
To help your child break their screen time habits, look for structured activities they can participate in with their current or new friends. Purchasing sports equipment or hobby supplies can help a child develop new interests.
Here are some suggestions for replacement activities this winter:
8 Fun Activities for families this Winter Break
- Go ice skating.
- Build a winter bonfire and make s’mores.
- If you have the equipment, go winter camping. Once you’re there, go on beautiful winter hikes (afterward, a cozy fire is definitely in order)
- Feed the birds or go birdwatching. Make your own birdfeeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed.
- Go on a winter picnic. Take blankets, sandwiches and hot soup in a thermos.
- Head out on a photo expedition to take pictures of the winter landscape.
- Set up an obstacle course in the yard with jumps, tunnels and other challenges.
- Make snow paint. Simply add food coloring to water and put in a spray bottle, then go out and paint your yard!
- Spending quality time with family is the best gift of all.
Equipment Basics: Start from the Ground Up
When helping your child develop new active interests, it’s important to start with purchasing the proper footwear.
Are all sneakers the same? That is a definite “no” when it comes to selecting a running sneaker for your child. It’s not always easy to take your child shopping with you but when it comes to a comfortable sneaker for activities trying on a few pairs will be worth it in the long run.
Here are a few tips to make your next shopping trip a breeze:
When you go to the store, have your child’s feet measured for width as well as length. Shoe sizes are not standard. Your child might wear one size of running shoe in one brand and another size in a different brand. Go by how the shoe feels for your child, not the size number. Have your child try on several pairs. It may take a little longer but it will be worth it.
When trying on the shoes, have your child wear the socks they would usually wear while running around. Grab a pair of socks to keep in your purse when out and about shopping with the kids.
- A good running shoe offers arch support, a shock absorbing sole and firm heel support. It is also easy to fasten securely.
- When choosing shoes, have your child’s feet measured for width as well as length.
- Have your child try on several pairs of shoes to find the pair that best fits the shape of their foot. Have them wear suitable socks and bring along any shoe inserts they usually need.