When you were growing up, you probably spent your summer outside. Between playing with friends, riding your bike, and playing sports, you probably didn't even have time to watch TV. Today, however, kids are growing up practically glued to their screens and they are missing out on the amazing things the real world has to offer.

Here are some simple ways for your kids to unplug and entertain themselves this summer, saving you from having to hear the phrase "I'm bored."
  1. Take a walk around the neighborhood. If your children are too young to go out by themselves, take them on a walk around the neighborhood. While you're out, ask them to identify different colors, sights, and sounds to keep them engaged.
  2. Have them read a book outside. If the weather is nice, encourage your children to pick up a book (or a few, if they're short) and to read outside. Make it fun by spreading out a blanket or set up some pillows on the deck to create an outdoor reading nook.
  3. Gather up some sports equipment and invent a new game. Kids love to be creative, so give them the opportunity to use their imaginations while also getting a little exercise by encouraging them to come up with their own game using the sports equipment you have at home.
  4. Plan a day together. Sometimes getting out of the house is the only way to get your kids to truly unplug and they're even more likely to stay engaged if they're part of the planning process. Sit down together and plan a fun day out as a family.
  5. Get crafty with hands-on projects. Your kids can't text if their hands are busy or covered in paint. Put them at a table outside with assorted craft supplies and see what they can come up with!
  6. Create screen-free zones in your house. Some kids respond best to structure, so creating screen-free zones in your house may take away the temptation. Keep phones away from the table and keep set screen-free times for homework and study.
  7. Let your kids get involved in family activities. Whether you're preparing dinner or cleaning out the garage, getting your kids involved in activities that benefit the whole family is a great way to keep them away from screens and engaged in activities.
  8. Make a contest of it. Some kids need a little bit of extra incentive to put their phones away, so make it into a contest to see who can go without their phone the longest. Make sure you offer some sort of desirable prize like a new toy or trip to the movies.
  9. Encourage your children to learn something new. The best thing you can do for your kids is to inspire them to want more for themselves. Encouraging them to learn something new whether it be going to summer camp or reading a book is a great way to help them unplug.
The best way to keep your kids from spending too much time on their screens is to set a good example. Be a role model for your kids by putting the phone away at the dinner table and to be fully present and focused during family time.

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